SHOULD I MEDITATE??


 Just yesterday, I finally “found the time”… (as if it were lost),… to sit down and give a focused reading to the thesis of one of my LIFEYOGA YSI Advanced Teacher Training students. As many theses go, the majority of the first pages were simply a description of the logistics of process and “what she did”, and I found myself striving to focus and keep reading and “get it done”!

You see, my student Lisa’s thesis was all about the process of leading and facilitating meditation, and the importance of meditation for the individual and the community. She expounded on about process, techniques, logistics of meditation, and how they related to LIFEYOGA….and while logically it made sense to me, as it does to all of us who “cognitively know” that meditation is important, I wasn’t really touched …...until she shared her personal process of BEING in meditative practice. And then….

I was moved to tears! As my brilliant, powerful, yet sometimes apprehensive student Lisa offered forth her soul felt experiences on knowing, and doing, and ego, and being…. The profundity, the absolute necessity, and the difficulties of meditative practice were radically clear.

In the western world of self-help, yoga, business, entrepreneurship, life goals, fitness and vision boards; we are constantly motivated and required to excel. While it is fantastic to move through life with great passion and purpose, it is quite ironic that our ego, and the “perceived requirements of knowing and doing” that we associate with success and abundance actually lead us away from the causal energy that allows us to “be” truly present, intelligent, mindful, and successful in our life paths. As Lisa explained in her personal journey, we are relentlessly bombarded with the questions of our human condition:

Am I smart enough?

Do I know enough?

Can I do enough?

Did I do enough?….maybe I should meditate….

Am I DOING enough?

Did I plan enough?... do I have time to meditate?.....

Did I work hard enough?

Did I yoga hard enough?maybe I really should meditate



 

Did I focus on my vision enough?

Can I meditate?

Did I do it right?

AM I DOING IT RIGHT?…. really gotta meditate…

 

Yes…. the reality is that this constant state of doing, achieving, and ego-ing in the western world, leads us farther and farther away from our BEING that is causal. Even modern western yoga and meditation practices can often become “something to do”, a place for the ego to excel and achieve, or the “tools” to aid in satisfying the ego driven goals.

Technically, our meditative state and connection with self should BE the driving force of our doing, working, planning, and ego… Life itself IS a meditation that we may or may not choose to participate in….

As we avoid the “loss of time” that occurs with the “non-doing” practice of meditation, we lose the irreplaceable time of being present that is the causal essence of our being in life…

As Lisa shares...

“Meditation has brought me to some unexpected understanding about myself and what life is truly all about.  Meditation has made me realize that it is not through doing enough, trying enough, or knowing enough that my life is of most value.  I have come to realize that it is in the ‘being’ that life really happens.”

Here are some other great inspirational words of wisdom that Lisa shared from her path of discovery...

ON DOING...

“ I used to highly value the listing off things to be accomplished in a day and their completion was a main thrust for me. I have come to see that life is about being present for what I do in my day and not how much I do. I realize that ‘being mindful’ is what gives me the most satisfaction.  I believe that I am able to recognize when I lose focus and then can return my awareness to life more fully because of what I learn being in meditation.  I find I am happier doing whatever I do if I am present for it.”

 

ON EFFORTING...

“My success at whatever I did tend to be based on how hard I tried and I would use perfection as the striving mark. I couldn’t see that the trying wasn’t the true goal but that being fully aware and present, which is gained with meditation, was what brought me the most aliveness.  I am learning that state of being present has nothing to do with trying at all.”

 

ON EGO...

“Meditation has allowed me to face my ego and become aware of its subtleness’s.  I began to see that my ego had come to rule most of my days un-checked.  In the space created by my meditations, I started seeing that I had been mostly unconscious of my ego.  Ego has a domineering presence if you can’t recognize it. The subtleties of ego are complex and at the same time the solution to its power is simple. Ego brings on the separation that leads to judgment, anger, fear, and anxiety.  Dropping ego through moment-to-moment connection and being fully in life is very freeing and has become the point to my life, thanks to yoga and meditation.”

 

ON MEDITATION...

“A most interesting thing happens when you stick to a consistent meditation practice.  Not only do you find a peace for yourself; you begin to sense that there is a much greater thing at play in this thing we call life. When you meditate consistently you will begin to understand, that this entire life experience is not about you at all, it is really about ‘us.’   This recognition that it is not about you at all, but about joining with life or the flow of divinity,…this  is what meditation showed me.  I spent nearly eleven years practicing yoga regularly, did a teacher training and taught yoga for a couple years all the while dabbling in meditation thinking this was all about me. It seemed that finding my self, getting to know myself and how I thought, felt and saw myself was the goal of the practice. I saw the entire practice about me physically practicing yoga and its many limbs/parts so that I would be a more enlightened me.  To some extent this is true.  True in that if you don’t first go through what it takes to ‘know thyself’ you could not come to meditation to hook-up with the divine.  The most wonderful thing about a meditation practice is that the ‘you’ part is finally dropped and you connect with the divine.”

 

Thank you Lisa for these beautiful words…..proof that soul felt insight and experience is a powerful teacher!...

Hmmmm……Should we meditate??

 

 

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