Updated: May 15
it's surely only natural to be anxious, right now. is meditation not a self-indulgence then, a luxury, inefficient at best and sticking your head in the sand of mindfulness at worst? does it just encourage you to be okay with what isn't ok, increasing disconnection and indifference?
well it could be like that, but you'd have to be doing it wrong.
because when you're practicing mindfulness meditation, you're being with what is. that means all of your experience, non-selectively, non-judgmentally. you are by definition not avoiding anything. and if you keep at it long enough, an awareness arises of what it is in you which is not all that experience you're having. this is where peace lies, and also your power to change things.
in mahayana buddhist traditions there are 6 (or 10) realms in which sentient beings live, from the depths of the hell realm up to the god realm. you might think the god realm is the one to aim for, but it's actually the humans who get the best shot at enlightenment. the gods are so busy enjoying their blissed out states that they can't really be bothered with anything anymore.
it's suffering that cracks you open to compassion. without being forced by some kind of pain, it's hard to rouse the motivation to serve all beings, and it's impossible to grasp the world as it really is - full of suffering, both the brute physical kinds and the mental tortures we make. transience hurts. and it hurts to pretend it's not true.
so let's stay human. as you meditate, you spend time being fully aware of your thoughts, feelings, pains, habits, tensions, fears - and also the tiny, maybe overlooked place in you which feels safe, or comfortable, or ok, or just neutral in the midst of the storm.
sometimes you need to intentionally access that place, to find it in your breath, in your very aliveness.
it's the place the strength comes from to do what needs to be done. and it helps.
Sarah Luczaj, PhD
therapist, writer, artist, reiki master, creative regenerator and co-founder of terrealuma.
offers online reiki healing/chanting sessions, here