A truth about meditation: it can be uncomfortable or even excruciating, as my friend Tashmica so eloquently shares below.
First we meet the process of physically conditioning our bodies to find and sustain a steady posture (practice note: for me, “conditioning” means understanding how to take care of the tensions in the body not torturing ourselves to endure a rigid alignment that can create more distress). Holding the body through sitting meditation, in particular, takes time…just as training the body to walk a half marathon takes time, diligence and patience.
What we may be surprised to learn is that meditation is not “passive.” Rather, I’ve found it more accurate to frame meditation as I would yoga asana — in which we discover that the opposite of being active is not being passive; it is the more complex and dynamic energy of being receptive.
Sitting within the quiet space of receptivity, we open up to the possibility of encountering the hidden/neglected/protected parts of ourselves. With that, difficulties and discomforts may arise well before any insights or understanding that we may be longing for.
How, then, do we take care of ourselves through those moments when we discover that this practice, which is so often extolled for delivering peace, actually puts us face-to-face with the stunning reality that cultivating peace is a process…a training, not unlike a marathon. Tending to our hearts and minds requires our patience, diligence, and self-compassion.
I love that Tashmica is choosing not to give up but to keep getting up!