When I first started meditating, I had no idea what I was doing.
All I knew was that it had something to do with crossing your legs and breathing. I also knew that meditation came from Asia, so before I would meditate, I would make white tea and drink it beforehand. And try to eat my meal with chopsticks.
I was twelve. Give me a break here.
Since then, I think I’ve gotten a little better at it. I understand more of the theory, form, and technicalities.
You might not think those words go together. What technicalities could meditation possibly have?
When you meditate, you aren’t just sitting there in perfect serenity as soon as you sit down. If you’ve tried to meditate, you probably know this. It isn’t easy.
There will be distractions. Full stop.
I promise you if you meditate, you will run into things that pull your focus away from what you are doing right here, right now.
It may be something outside of–construction, a crying baby, a car alarm, or even just your dishwasher running in the background. It might be something inside of you–a deadline, a recent breakup, bills, or plain old boredom.
This is where form and theory come in.
Just the way you sit and breathe (among other things) can help or hinder your practice.
Beyond any of those things, one thing that you can continuously do to better your meditation and life in general is to have the right effort.
To approach meditation with curiosity, devotion, and reflection every single day will propel you forward faster in your practice than those who may have everything else memorized.
I’m paraphrasing a little, but the Buddha said something to the effect of: the fool who practices with his heart will attain enlightenment faster than the scholar who may know the whole dharma but practices not at all.
Even if you don’t understand all the technicalities, theories, and methods, if you have persistence and discipline to meditate each day, then the fruits of practice will become more apparent in your day to day life.
So even though I thought white tea and chopsticks was a great prelude to meditation all those years ago, by committing to practicing every single day, I did a lot more for myself than I at first knew.
What is the biggest reason you don’t have a daily practice?
I encourage you to write this down and reflect on it to begin to overcome whatever it is that is stopping you.