Meditate when it's hard


Some people think they need a particular setting to meditate properly. They need absolute silence, or calming music. If anything unexpected happens, it breaks them out immediately.

That’s like running for a half hour at the gym, then taking the escalator instead of the stairs. I think they can do better.

Meditation is the process of learning to accept whatever’s happening right now. If you feel calm and peaceful, okay, sit and be with that feeling of calm and peace. If you feel angry and frustrated, okay, sit and be with that feeling of anger and frustration. Over time, you get practice staying focused on the moment in spite of distractions.

Your mind is a good focus for meditation it’s a constant source of distraction, which makes it great practice. But if you insist on a perfectly serene environment, you’re missing an opportunity. The world is also a great source of distraction, and it’s one that you will encounter in your daily life.

If you need stillness and silence to meditate, how are you going to stay centered in line at the grocery store? How are you going to keep your cool when someone bumps into you at the office and you drop your papers everywhere? These things are part of life. Meditating on your thoughts will help, but you’ll get further if you’re willing to pracice in less than ideal circumstances.

Be grateful when your meditation is interrupted by a car alarm going off. Thank goodness for the jerk talking loudly right outside the window breaking your concentration. When you’re sitting and your dog whines and anxiously licks your face, they’re actually helping you practice.

It’s going to be a lot worse than that someday. This is a good time to practice.