Friday, October 22, 2010
By AM Howe
When first starting out, meditation can feel a lot like listening to a radio station you can't quite tune in. It can be just like a bunch of static on the radio. It can also be like when somebody is hogging the remote control and flipping the channels every few seconds. That level of distraction is common, especially as you begin a new practice. When all of that is going on in, we often wonder "How do I know if I'm doing it right?"
These are a few common distractions that we all have to deal with at some point as we apply ourselves to silence and to stillness. Some days the diversions are never ending. The most common and most trivial side effects include:
What time is it? How long have I been doing this?
No Right or Wrong Way First of all, we defeat ourselves if we assume there is a wrong way to do it. You will indeed improve as you continue to sit, to breathe, to return to the center. It is called a meditation practice for a reason-it takes practice. With time and repetition, it becomes more fluid, more natural. Depending on how attached you are to the distractions, it might feel awkward for awhile. Whenever we run up against a wall as we meditate it is important to understand there is no right or wrong way.
Why do we meditate? One of the core reasons a person meditates is to get to know their mind and to develop and accept compassion. Most of us do not realize in the early stages of our practice that the compassion must begin with ourselves. If you cannot have compassion for your own mind, how will you ever develop it for another's?