January 8, 2024

I Finally Learned how to Meditate—After Meditating for Over 10 Years.

Yes, I’ve been meditating for over 10 years.

I think the first time I sat on a meditation cushion was back in 2012. I was heartbroken and jaded. Among 30 other students, I sobbed as I tried to gasp for air.

Although the teacher’s voice was soothing, all I could hear was the uncontrollable chatter in my head.

As I teetered toward my healing, I instantly realized that meditation was going to be my new cup of tea.

It healed me when nothing else could; it was a salve for my broken heart. Meditation was truly unlike anything else I had experienced in life, and I was hungry for more.

And so I traveled to India and Nepal and delved deeper into Buddhism. I completed many meditation courses and offered group sessions. Although I practiced it and taught it for more than a decade, I kept doing it wrong.

Four months ago, I sat with my pregnant belly on the chaise longue in my garden, closed my eyes, and breathed. I could feel my baby’s kicks and the wind gently blowing in my hair. I left my mobile phone in the living room, so I couldn’t tell how long I would be meditating for.

I didn’t worry about the technique, my posture, my thoughts, or my breathing. I said no mantras and set no intentions. I just sat there, completely present.

I didn’t know how long I meditated for, but I know that I did something I haven’t done before: I meditated with no purpose in sight.

Everything I have read and heard about meditation has to do with doing something to stop the cycle of overthinking and obsessive, intrusive thoughts. To relax the mind. To be in the moment. To reduce anger. To find peace of mind. To let go of the past. To forgive. And the list goes on.

I have realized that meditation is about doing nothing. The posture does not matter nor does the technique. What matters is what we accept as true the moment we start to breathe intentionally. What matters is who we become after our meditation practice—not what we do during it. What matters is how many layers we are willing to shed during our practice without questioning whether or not we are doing it correctly.

Don’t worry about worrying. You might not be able to stop the cycle of obsessive thoughts, and that’s okay. You might still hold a little anger in your heart. You might not be able to let go of the past or be in the moment for more than a few seconds. You might not be able to think of any intention or mantra, and that’s okay too.

Just sit there, and que sera, sera.

“Whatever will be, will be.”

The only purpose we need to have is to not have any purpose at all.


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