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  • Andrea Robinson

    I really like the way you get us started by just totally relaxing and letting go of any tensions. As this meditation starting getting underway, I had some really good, pleasant ideas with no sense of dropping everything and jumping on them, but just some reassuring thoughts that things could be handled, and that was very beneficial. But then after a while, I got on a trip where I was living a really unpleasant moment that more or less haunts me to this day. Then I started thinking that I was doing this meditation wrong!

    I know that I’m not supposed to be criticizing my ability to meditate like it’s some kind of race or something, but what happened. And what do you do to get over something like this? Was it just a matter of losing focus?

    Thanks, Alan.

    :)

    • Charisse Cappello

      Hey, I don’t mean to butt in, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

      I’ve been meditating for a number of years, and trust me, things happen. You don’t have to worry about it, because it would be like driving with your eyes riveted on the rear view mirror.

      In Buddhist philosophy they teach that everything passes. Whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent, it passes. When you think of it, this momentary lapse is already in the past.

      You might focus on the parts that gave you joy, and then you won’t have to spend too much time worrying about the parts that didn’t.

      Life is supposed to be fun.

      • http://ishouldbemeditating.com AlanKlima

        Yes “stuff happens.” And.. We could also say life is naturally fun, when we are not riveted by the movies being played by the mind, constantly.

        • Charisse Cappello

          :)

    • http://ishouldbemeditating.com AlanKlima

      Hi Andrea! As Charisse said stuff happens, especially with meditation. While it calms things down, it also stirs things up, like water poured on a hot fire. It’s overall effect is going one way, while the moment to moment effect could be anything. And the stirring is a good thing because these things are releasing their energy when they come out this way. So that’s one of the first things to understand is that this is progress, not something “wrong.”

      Usually. But when the amount of emotional turmoil is high and the resiliency and self-understanding is low, it’s not necessarily a good thing and it’s kind of frustrating for me that mindfulness instructors in the West are not aware of this and so don’t say anything about this. I suspect from what you wrote that this is a case of the former– just normal meditation progress bringing up things which are on their way out and dissipating their energy. But we all have to judge this for ourselves.

      Just thinking a whole bunch and wandering mind about problems and so forth is totally to be expected from meditation. The typical instruction is to try not to add anything to them, not react, and let them play themselves out. That is a good instruction to know. But it also sets up an ideal in the meditator’s mind that they should not have any reactions and that something is wrong if the have. While we could have in our minds the idea to not react, and that’s not too bad, the reality is far more loose, spontaneous– it’s more an art than a science and even beyond that, as this guided meditation is pointing, it’s really about surrender, allowing, openness, and the love and forgiveness that will naturally do its work if we get out of the way of it.

      • Andrea Robinson

        Wow, I never knew that. Thanks so much, both of you.

        I see what you’re saying, Alan, and I guess it’s good to be aware of both possibilities. To be honest, I’ve been cutting loose a lot of baggage over the last few years, and I think it’s probably more along the lines of what you’re saying about stirring the pot. Good to know that I didn’t do anything “wrong.” That’s a relief, and I’m really glad I said something about it.

        I can see exactly what you’re saying about that important distinction between really just having a passing sad moment and really having a horrible, consistently bad episode without the complementary self-understanding and resiliency. And I’ve honestly never heard anyone point this out before, but it makes a lot of sense.

        Thank you so much, Alan!

        And thank you too, Charisse, because yes, I think life is supposed to be fun – when we let it. :)