Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.“The Wisdom of No Escape” by Pema Chödrön
I’ve had a migraine for the past several days. Yesterday it got bad enough to take me out. I put on some aromatherapy, took a lot of naproxen, and went to bed in the early afternoon. Part of me is grieving the loss of my long weekend, especially because work has asked me to put in extra hours the rest of the month.
Anyhow, I’m getting back into meditation. I’ve got a bit of catching up to do because it’s one of my 2020 goals that I fell behind on. I did not practice it consistently in January through March.
One of the things I’ve learned recently is that I lack self-compassion in various areas of my life. I’ve also learned that meditation actually offers a place to practice that.
Usually when I do meditation right now, I’m doing guided meditations. Something I’ve noticed is that sometimes the guide will say something, and then my mind will go off on an adventure that somehow started with that prompt. Sometimes I catch myself fairly quickly, but sometimes I seem to follow those daydreams for several minutes before I catch myself.
When I do catch myself, I usually think something along the lines of “Dang. I got distracted,” “You should have caught that earlier,” or “You’re not meditating well/properly.” I didn’t realize until recently that I was using judgements to bring myself back to my breath. I also didn’t realize that this was an example of where I lack self-compassion, and therefore an opportunity for me to practice it.
What I’m trying instead is when I catch myself following my thoughts, I’m trying to tell myself that it’s okay. I’m trying to remind myself to observe the thought, and if I can return to my breath, but if my mind still wants to follow that thought, that’s okay too.
It’s definitely still a practice.