the practical buddhist : essentials

some days are better than others


There’s a common misconception about those who meditate on a regular basis. It’s perpetuated by photos of blissful men and women sitting cross-legged on the beach at sunset. They are never overweight or unattractive.  The marketing of meditation is a very big business.

My own meditation practice isn’t particularly glamorous and quite likely a photo of me meditating will never be photographed and and found adorning the cover of Meditation Monthly. Within my practice I have good days and better days. Meditation periods vary in quality according to how I feel, how much sleep I’ve had, and host of other factors.

All bliss, all the time….yeah, right

On some days my meditation periods are smooth and effortless while others are fraught with physical pain, stiffness and a monkey mind that struggles to control every thought. On these days I continue sitting anyway because it’s what I wish to do. I want to meditate. I want to have meditated in spite of my pain, stiffness or frenetic monkey mind.

Because meditation is practice, it’s something I do in spite of what’s going on in my life. It’s not something I have to put off until my circumstances improve, or I feel like it (because I will rarely feel like it). I know that resistance is the force behind my monkey mind and it wants to win each and every battle.

So, I’m fine the with the varied nature of my meditation periods. If each one was the same, what would be the motivation to sit? If each meditation period was blissful, what beauty and meaning would the rest of my life possess?

I choose this

I choose to sit in spite of feeling stiff and in full acceptance of my circumstances. I choose to sit not because I will gain anything in the process, but because it’s my conscious practice. Attending to my meditation practice on a regular basis is how I choose to live.

Yes, some days are better than others and that’s the beauty of my practice.

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