This morning’s meditation was a real challenge. My mind chatter was in full force. I’ve been meditating for years, but you wouldn’t know it by today’s effort. My understanding is that all meditators have days like this, but I don’t really know that for sure.
I tell my non-meditating friends about challenging days like today, and they always ask me why I even bother? With all the stuff to do in modern life…where we appear to never have “enough time”, why take precious time to sit quietly? And, why purposefully subject yourself to the struggle of attempting to quiet the mind when it can seem painful?
Although there’s a lot of ways you could answer these questions, there are two I generally give. First, I point out meditating is like any practice…there is a reason they call it a practice, you have to practice…just like exercising and building your muscles…like learning a foreign language… like starting a new diet. One must keep at it, one must make it a habit. We easily fall into “bad habits.” We really have to work at “good habits.” I often refer to it as “building spiritual muscles.” No pain, no gain.
Secondly (and really in the big scheme of things, this is the primary reason for meditating), we meditate to counterbalance all of the energy we put into the external world. Our senses and our mind continuously direct us to the world of effects “out there”. Many people think the material world is the only world. Meditating is a way of experiencing the other world, the inner world. When you tap into that world, it is so deep, so full of love and kindness, so reaffirming of the beautiful gift of life, that it allows the issues and the concerns of the external world to be put into their true perspective…ultimately to see that the things that we might be concerned about in everyday life are just not as important as we think they are. It’s like recharging your cell phone…we have to plug in to the inner world in order to take it with us as we navigate through the external world.
So on days like today, when meditation is a struggle, I simply reframe how I see it. I could get all stuck in self judgment, telling myself such negative things as “look, all these years of meditating and you’re still no good at it.” However, the better approach is to see the gift in the struggle… many days when the mind chatter comes up, I generally redirect my attention to simply noticing the thoughts. I ask myself, what wisdom or message is seeking to come through me? And, I listen. More often than not, the meditative time and the quietness offers the avenue for my subconscious mind to bring me messages that I really need to hear. Spirit speaks to you either way.
So why bother? On the one hand, I recharge my spiritual batteries so as to stay “spiritually charged up.” On the other hand, I am an open channel for Spirit’s wisdom to be presented to me.
So do you struggle? What are your experiences? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!