I have a long standing habit in my meditation practice. “Just one habit?” you may wonder. Well, undoubtedly I have way more than one but let’s go with this one for today’s pondering. Because it is in my face this morning in a crystalline kind of way.
I have a bias toward shutting down the thoughts. I don’t so much “Let them float by like clouds in the sky.” I put a chokehold and a vice grip on those puppies and knock those suckers out like a hitman on a binge ride.
Yipes. Not so yoga of me, huh? Well, it is now since I’m finally bringing voice to it and allowing it to be seen. Awareness. That’s the practice. And refinement. So, let us proceed.
I’ve known this pattern for a long time but have never been able to meet it. I confront it with my fiery judgy self – but letting go of the tendency to play whack-a-mole with my innocent childlike monkey mind has been elusive. This contributes to a cycle of love / hate with meditation since I historically have a bit of thing with “getting it right.” That thing is more and more deeply challenged as I train in this field of yoga therapy and live it in my own life.
And so we come to this morning’s practice. My husband and I meditated together for what may be the first time ever. And it was definitely my first non-nidra meditation in a long time.
The meditation bell sounded ceremoniously, we sat in textbook quiet for approximately 1 minute, and then Mira, our super duper friendly cat, began to prance around. Punctuating the 6:00am stillness of house with her little meow chirps, nuzzles, paws and general curiosity around “What is up with both of you down here??”.
Over. And over.
Now, as Mira has established already, I don’t typically meditate downstairs so something physical – not mental – was a newer distraction for me.
“Bah!!! Mira. Why do you have to be so sweet and loving? You’re driving me nutso…. grrr. Oh well, it’s just Mira.”
…Insert pregnant pause in Mind and Self…
“Yes, it is Mira.”
And the subsequent stillness swept back over like a quiet wave.
A lightbulb illuminated the quiet of my typically busier brain.
Acknowledge her. It. Whatever. I’ve known for quite a while now that the sensations and fears deep in me desire acknowledgement. I’m growing more and more adept at catching the need for that in my everyday life.
And I’ve also heard that direction over and over in guided meditation, “Acknowledge it. And let it go.”
But ‘acknowledge’ in the microcosm of meditation hadn’t landed as a practical experience yet. Being told something and experiencing it as a Truth are entirely different levels of learning. Feeling a shift is the ultimate lesson and reinforcement for staying the course (or alternatively altering course).
This arrival at a new felt Truth didn’t make this meditation perfect by any means. But it gave it solid earth to nestle into.
“This is hard.” beautiful child Rachel quipped at being back on the cushion again. Not ‘liking’ the still present busyness of a brain that I know has quieted substantially from where it started. Wanting to fidget. Fighting the discomfort as I did with my whole body tantrums of toddlerdom.
“Yes, this is hard.” came the reply from the softer space.
Thought acknowledged. Loved. Held as dear as that inner child.
And so I watched it shimmer as it dissipated. Dissolving back into that from which it came. Merely ripples remaining from the fish that glided past.
See, love and discover – with the support of acknowledgement – what just might let go of you.