How does meditation stack up when challenged by the daily rub of mundane life? Sometimes when I observe my own behaviour in daily interactions with my partner Gina, with colleagues, students at the school where I teach and so on I feel disappointed with myself.
I think two things go on as you meditate regularly; you become more sensitive to selfish, rude and harmful behaviour whilst you gradually get your act together ethically and compassionately. So whilst there is really positive personal growth going on there is also a heightened sensitivity to your own and others less skilful behaviour.
Fortunately I think the metta bhavana practice combined with the mindfulness of breathing practice builds a very positive momentum in our general being and so our capacity to sit with the tension previously described just gets stronger and stronger – what we finally grow into is a true individual who knows oneself very well and can navigate any situation with creativity and poise.
In classes on Thursday nights I’ve often said these weekly emails will contain tips to help you and inspire you with meditation. So here’s a few:
Do what you can – if you’re having trouble doing regular sits lower your expectations. Short, semi regular sits are better than ‘bingeing’ with longer sits that then tail off to nothing
Alternate Mindfulness of Breathing with The Metta Bhavana (even if you have a preference for one)
Meditate with others (e.g. Our Thursday night sits or something similar) - it will give you encouragement and support and most people report that they find it easier with others
Be very kind and forgiving to yourself both during your meditation and around establishing a practice – it really needs to be something you find pleasurable
I hope you can join us for meditation on Thursday night – this week we will be doing the Metta Bhavana practice
Dharma study is on this Sunday 9 – 10.30 am at Gina’s and my place – email me if you’re interested in joining us