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Meditation? You must be avoiding something...

It can seem that retiring to “a cave” to meditate is escaping life. I say cave in jest - our bedroom, car or whatever space we choose to sit to practice is our "cave". The "cave" being the location of choice for many a monk or hardend yogi to spend years trying to obtain liberation or enlightenment was thought of by many in the west as a way to escape the harsh realities of the world. This opinion perhaps borne out of a lack of meditation - which is far from an escape!

Contrary to popular belief, the practice of meditaiton is one of practicing to be with all that arises within our experience. The act of sitting in a quiet space undistrurbed for 20 minutes may seem like it is an escape from our duties, but as we intentionally shut off from the daily stimulants - phones, emails and other people etc. very quickly we notice that things come to the surface that otherwise do not get the space to breathe as buried under distraction and doing.

This can create agitation, restlessness, boredom and discomfort - it may be unsual for a start, and the voice pops in to sugest you could be doing something productive! The tendency is to want to get rid of the discomfort, the bordeom...this would be the escape from reality, because it is the reality of that moment. It is interesting to contemplate how this is may be a reflection of our daily life... It seems to me a quality that is worthy to cultivate is one of being with our reality and the entireity of our experience, exactly how it is. To encounter the harshness and the beauty, the brutality and serenity - not pushing anything away or clinging to anything.

As we learn to be still in the face of all that arises when we sit to meditate, we’re also training to be with all that shows up in our daily life - noticing how it is possible to soften in the face of difficulty and challenge in order to meet them in a more constructive way. The thing will still be difficult and challenging, but meditation give us the power to choose how we encounter our reality.

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