I want to pause at the end of week one to reflect on the reactions I’ve gotten from other people while working toward my meditation goal.
First, I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of support, and several people offering tips and strategies that that have been successful for them. I’m thankful for the community that this blog has built and the interesting and kind people out there who enjoy connecting with others in the hopes about learning more about the world and themselves.
The other thing I’ve gotten, which I probably should have expected but didn’t, is a few people being very critical of my project and the methods I’m using.
I should mention that going into this project of learning about meditation, I don’t have any pre-conceived notions. I’m not of any particular religion or culture that meditation is a part of. Which means I don’t have any ideas about what the best styles or types of meditation are. I do know that there are different types – some where you try to clear your mind and others where you focus very specifically on a certain thought. But I have no motivation to pick one over another. So… I just started somewhere, with a book I thought looked interesting because it allowed me to try a few different styles.
As with just about any skill, there are people who have already mastered it – or think they have mastered it – and believe this gives them the privilege of looking down on those who haven’t.
But you know what? We’re all at different places in our lives and have gotten there by different paths. And that’s ok.
The single biggest criticism I’ve gotten is that one can’t put effort into meditating. I understand that on a certain level; if you’re actively thinking about meditating, you’re not actually in a state of meditation. But these comments have suggested that even taking time out to meditate daily is somehow not right, because that’s more effort than it should take.
I’ve been alive for 30 years now, and I have never yet spontaneously meditated!
So what’s the point?
Don’t let criticism worry you. Don’t stress about whether or not you’re doing things the right way. There are so many different ways to do the exact same thing! The fact that you’re out there and trying something new is an accomplishment! The criticisms we make of other people reflect the insecurities we have about ourselves. And why would you get stressed out over someone else’s insecurities?
Keep meditating! And let me know how it’s going for you!