I was introduced to meditation in a way that really wasn’t appealing to me. There was this air of spiritual superiority that really made the whole thing seem so. freaking. hypocritical. and the constant lecturing of meditating would make you a more acceptable human being, like me, see?
I had literally dozens of those influences, and most of the cool people who meditated were pretty quiet about it so I didn’t even know.
So, i hated meditation.
i was convinced, i would find a path to God that didn’t include meditation. I’d do any practice you could give a reasonably different name to, and as long as it wasn’t meditation, I was willing to try it.
But, luckily I had some friends who explored meditation, and occassionally I would go to things with them, and I did have some fairly intense initial experiences in meditation. But, the holier-than-thou perception still sullied becoming a commited meditatior, but the good feelings would make me start a practice again, only to stop when the buzz wore off.
When I got sick, I realized this was a battle I was going to have to let go of. and i went into meditation. begrudgingly.
i took Wisdom Heart’s “The Meditation Habit” online. It was slightly still in the same paradigm of meditation I really resisted, but he was diverse enough and had a good balance of spiritual and practical. I got two of the most enormous gems from Wisdom Heart – that every meditation is a good meditation, and that meditation is building the muscle of coming back to center when the mind goes off on tangents. Wow. Those things turned it around for me. I took every class Eric taught and love each dearly.
But I was still stuck in a difficult relationship with meditation. It was an obligation. Even when I looked forward to it, I felt a pressure, a possibility to fail and be disappointed in myself and a big part of my doing it was avoiding that feeling. And I’d be disappointed
Another delightful concept that turned my world around came in the form of Alison Scola talking about “who wants to listen to a whiny penitent asking for stuff?” – I’d mostly been asking to get better at meditation, or back to those peak experiences, but hey, yeah, obviously.
and that coincided with a turn from the desire for an intellectual yearning for God and bliss and union to a devotional practice of deepest appreciation. Needless to say, that changed the game.
Recently, though, my meditation practice began to wane, as much as i adored the time in devotion, as much as it served and nourished every aspect of my being. Somehow I couldn’t get down to the alter – actually, that was a big part of it. My hip. I couldn’t get down and kneel at my little alter, and doing it in a chair wasn’t the same experience so I ditched. But i didn’t want to ditch. So, I had to change.
That’s when I took Ziva meditation. I really love her style, and she has this “meditation as hygiene” philosophy that (kinda) strips out the (overtly) spiritual, but really gets to the physical goods. And I really do believe the hygiene paradigm. Two brief hygiene-based sittings to show up in the world with the presence meditation develops. Totally useful.
So, it separated meditation from my spiritual practice a little bit, allowing me to have a third experience solely devotional in nature, as long or short as time allows. Just a daily dedication to put awakening first, becoming as clean and clear an instrument of Mother’s love, cutting off the sandbags, evolving into ever-deeper love, freedom and relationship.
I’m feeling that especially until my hip is fully recovered, Ziva will keep me practicing. I actually secretly love her….