It’s amazing how fast a month can go by. It’s said that as we get older, time moves faster…which is why it’s even more important to stop, slow down, and observe life whenever we can. During the past month, I traveled to California (where I got to reconnect with my best friend of 21 years), I turned 35, and I reflected on how much my life has changed in the past year. Not only am I happier and more at peace with my personal and professional lives, it occurred to me this morning that my meditation practice has changed for the better as well.
I recently dedicated a space in my house to meditation so there’s no question about where I need to go when I need time to reflect. I’m also no longer meditating for the same reasons. In June 2011, I recall sitting down on my meditation pillow and thinking, ‘Thank God for meditation because otherwise I would completely lose my temper and snap at someone.’ Meditation became a sort of life raft for me, an escape from the unpleasantries that surrounded me. I clung to it, expecting it to save me from feeling what I was feeling at the time: angry, sad, and resentful.
But that’s not what meditation is for. It’s not meant to serve as a lid to your pressure cooker. (There was no question that I was boiling and I was using meditation to reduce my temperature…so to speak.) Instead–what I’ve learned from my ebb-and-flow meditation practice over the past year–is that meditation should become as regular a habit as brushing your teeth.
When I sat down to meditate this morning, I realized that I wasn’t doing it to run away from anything or to “deal” with a bad situation in my life. Rather I was doing it simply because it feels good. Renowned yoga and meditation instructor, Sally Kempton, says that you know “a practice is working for you when you find that it activates the meditation current.” I don’t feel the “meditation current” every time I meditate, but I have felt it. The body begins to make subtle movements as the mind quiets completely and the physical body surrenders to the beating of the heart.