What we all do when we start something, when we do something, when we try something, when we read something, when we respond to something… is bring ourselves into it. I was a bit baffled by some of the responses to my post about the unsaid things about meditation.
And what it was is this: when I wrote I got bored meditating there’s a whole lot I did NOT mean:
- I did not mean boredom is bad
- I did not mean I was bored meditating all the time
- I did not mean I thought boredom was a problem
Boredom just was. For me meditation is about seeing what is, inside.
I’ve wondered for a while about how to write about this, and then I saw this video on TED (don’t we all love TED?)
What many of you brought into the conversation was judgement. Not so much judging me, as expectations on how I judge myself. That probably does say more about many of you than it does me, because here’s something I learned in my early 20s:
I have long had the strong suspicion that the capacity to be vulnerable is the same as to have real inner power.
And do read the whole article if you don’t get this post.
It’s a lesson Brené Brown has backed up with her own research.
For me boredom is part of that: it’s there. Not to be numbed. Not to be repressed. Not overlaid with visualisation meditation. It’s just there. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it is. The same with fear. And though I did not experience anger in my meditation, I would say the same thing about experiencing anger in meditation, or sadness.
I would say the same even outside meditation actually: boredom, fear, anger, sadness – they’re part of life. Not to be fixed. Not to be medicated (except perhaps in extreme circumstances). You don’t have to eat to overlay them. Not to be turned into certainties. They are just there. I’m not saying I always manage to avoid all those. I’m just saying that my basic attitude is that they’re part of life.
And the funny thing is: if you can accept that, if you can live that – anger, fear, boredom and sadness usually become less of an issue very quickly. Not as in a magic wand, but as in: the fight against all of these uncomfortable emotions takes energy, and that life energy will enrich life if it’s no longer channeled into fighting other aspects of life.
That isn’t to say you should just accept everything in life as is. It does mean that fighting isn’t always the answer. Walking away may well be. I’m making some pretty big changes in my life right now and knowing my emotions and accepting them is part of what makes me capable of those changes.