Meditation: Chore or Core?
Some of us find
ourselves not meditating as often as we think we should. We know there
are benefits to meditation. We’d like to be calmer and clearer
thinking, more peaceful, kind and compassionate. We wish our immune
system were stronger. We’d like to be able to let go of the worry and
anxiety, and we’d like to recover from stress more quickly. We know our
spiritual life could use a boost and that meditation would help us tune
in and understand a deeper truth. But it seems like work. It seems like
an obligation. It is something we should do, but we resist; maybe
because it is a should.
Maybe it reminds us of going to church when we were young when sitting
still and quiet seemed like torture and what we really wanted to do on
a Sunday was run around with our friends screaming at the top of our
lungs having a
ball. Sitting in a church pew may have seemed like time taken away from
and now meditation feels something like that too.
Maybe it is time to switch around our thinking. We could take the
mystic’s point of view that the point of life is to worship God and our
activities either support or distract us from that intention. Going to
church or meditating worshipfully are not chores for those who see
those actions as central to their existence.
We could also adopt the view that time spent in meditation is when we
get to be the most real. As we sit cross-legged on a cushion, the
away and we have the opportunity to experience being in its pure form.
meditative repose, we just are. Our value is not determined by our
achievements. In fact, the question of our value or lack of it is moot.
We can chose to think that meditation is not a chore; it is the core.
Meditation is not a means to an end. It is the end, and the beginning
and the in-between. It is
living time and beyond time.
If you find yourself postponing your meditation sessions, examine why.
Notice whether you view meditation as a chore or as a core experience.
Orient your mind away from the obligation to meditate because it would
be good for you. Think of it as an opportunity to be awake and at
rest—to be conscious and alive. Take the time and make the effort to
give yourself the gift of time sitting alert and not doing. You deserve
the gift, as do all beings. It is your birthright. It is your nature.
Respect yourself by being quiet with yourself.
Allow yourself the opportunity to be a part of life by stopping the
that keeps you separate.
At this moment what more need we seek?
As the Truth eternally reveals itself,
This very place is the Lotus Land of Purity,
This very body is the Body of the Buddha.
Hakuin Ekaku Zenji, Song of Meditation
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