It can really feel like our meditation practice doesn't matter sometimes. Life goes well, or we notice how much we've changed since first setting foot on the path of mindfulness. Or life just gets incredibly busy, and our never-ending list of things to do convinces us that taking time to sit isn't worth it.
Before you push your practice to tomorrow, consider these dangers that come from not sitting:
- Blaming others - when we’re out of touch with how we feel, we tend to think our emotional pain comes from someone else - like our loved ones or our job. we think “if only suzy would be more reasonable, or if only my boss didn’t expect me to work such long hours”… then i would be happy. But when we sit down and really allow ourselves to feel what’s going on inside… feel what’s happening in our bodies - we realize that the emotional pain in held in our body. Even if we’re in the most beautiful tropical location, and we sit down to feel… we realize that emotional pain is there. Even if it’s the weekend and we have no work to do, when we sit down to meditate we realize the emotional pain is still there. And so we realize that the emotional pain is not caused by suzie or by our boss. And then slowly slowly slowly as we heal this inner pain, and as we mediate more, we are more kind towards susie and towards our boss
2. Grasping for permanence- without meditation, we see all the changes that happen, like our bodies aging, our roles and relationships changing and our bank account changing. Because this is scary, we think in order to find safety or joy or happiness, we ought to hold on to what we have. hold on to our appearance at all costs, hold on to our roles at all costs, hold on to our possessions at all costs - even if it means great stress. Of course, when we meditate, we realize that everything is impermanent, and through practice can bring a deep understanding of the beauty of impermanence into all these aspects of our lives.
3. Stress - the fundamental belief things should be different than they are. The house should be cleaner, the friend should be nicer, the work should be more fulfilling. Because most of us are so conditioned to be in a stress response to the world around us, we don’t believe that we can have a clean house, fulfilling friendships or lucrative businesses without stress. Meditation changes all of that.