As I share and teach more, I see that most people think that meditation is about serenity, about bliss. And even those who practice some sort of meditation for many years, actively try to escape from their reality and “bliss out” in meditation.
If you meditate to bliss out, you might want to look a little closer at why you are doing what you are doing, and if that is really getting you anywhere in living life.
Let me explain myself here.
You see, we can often brush aside or bury something that is uncomfortable. And not facing it for what it is, causes that very thing to sit inside us and fester and drive other irrational behaviors, often, behaviors we would be surprised at, if we noticed.
Sitting in meditation is to let anything rise, any thoughts, any feelings, and allow them to be. Notice, but not engage. Watch, but don’t push them away. Just let them arise.
What? Sit and experience the chaos of our thoughts and feelings, even if we were to just witness it? That may not seem very ‘meditative’, does it? Certainly wouldn’t seem like the calm and peace that meditation is ‘supposed to be’!!
True! Sitting with the chaos of our innerspace can be very scary and very messy at first, and may not seem “meditative”.
However, sitting with them is the strongest act of meditation, because meditation is about cultivating mindfulness, attentiveness, alertness, and being able to bring that faculty into everyday life and living.
Seen as such, sitting with our messy world of fears, worries, guilt, self worth and other such unresolved issues, without pushing them away, and without getting stuck with them, just witnessing them is super powerful.
And such noticing will start shedding the light on these unresolved matters in our innerspace. And just as how the shining light dispels darkness, the light of our calm and compassionate attention, the noticing, will shed light on these unresolved dark things in our innerspace … this way brings up the peace and calm and bliss that meditation is supposed to be about.
Yes, the right practice of meditation can bring serenity and bliss, not just when we sit in meditation but as we move through our real, practical lives. But the way to achieve it is not to bliss out in meditation, because when we do that, all we are really doing is escaping our painful innerspace to get the bliss right away. What we need to practice is to sit with loving, compassionate attention in meditation, allowing the messy world of our thoughts and feelings to rise and fall as they may, building that alertness, mindfulness, attentiveness in that process, and it is through this developing quality that the serenity and bliss can arise not just in meditation practice but in life’s flow itself.
Are you escaping to bliss when you meditate? Or are you letting bliss blossom in the messy cesspool of your innerspace like the lotus in a messy, stagnant pool?