The Biggest Misconception about Meditation
Everyone tells you to meditate! And I’m going to join that group because I’ve seen the power of this practice. I’ve been meditating for over 30 years! We have so many ideas about what meditation is and how we SHOULD experience meditation. I’m here to tell you much of that is a bunch of crap! This article will help you free yourself from thinking that you are good or bad at meditating (you can’t be either) and start to understand what meditation really is.
Meditation Does Not Create Total Calm!
The truth is that even in the midst of the monkey mind you are still meditating. Even in the distraction of swirling thoughts, you are meditating. Because meditation is simply an experience of whatever is happening in the moment. There is a loving place inside yourself that has nothing to do with your thoughts and whether you are having them or not. That loving place is your spirit, it is your connection to the divine. The purpose of meditation is to feel and experience that love, no matter what is going on in the world or inside your head.
I'm sure you know and have thought, “oh, I should be meditating”. Because if I meditate, I'm going to feel much more peaceful. I'm going to feel much better. I'm going to feel like I'm going to live the meditation and I'm going to be calm all day.
I'm here to tell you that that is probably a bunch of bullshit.
I have been a meditator for thirty years. And for thirty years, I can't say to you that when I meditate, my mind is completely peaceful or I have actually no thoughts. But I can tell you that even while all this stuff is going on while you're meditating, what starts to develop is this feeling and the realization. Even while your thoughts are going, there's another kind of calmness happening somewhere in your heart. There's a parallel calmness going on.
Meditating Through Life’s Tragedies
I was able to experience this in full last summer. As many of you know, my dad passed away last June. Every summer for the last thirty years, my husband, Heinz, and I have gone to the hills of New Mexico to go to a meditation retreat. I came this last summer with a huge amount of grief. I mean intense grief. I was sobbing for hours and hours a day. In this mediation retreat, we meditate twice a day, each time for about two to three hours, doing different practices.
What was really interesting to me is I would be crying, crying, crying all morning. I would go into the meditation, during the meditation, even though I knew there was this pain going on, there was sort of entering a place where I felt some kind of peace. It didn't mean the thought stopped and it didn't mean I no longer had pain. But there was also this place of peace while I was doing these practices. The practice would end, and I would stand up, and I would go out, and I would start the tears all over again.
Meditation is not going to magically transform you into a 100% calm person where nothing bothers you. All the troubles of the world will still exist, all your problems will still be there when you’re done meditating.
What happens as you start to practice meditation is you put time aside. Where, even if the thoughts are going, you can start to separate those feelings and thoughts. You start to move through and past all the crap going on in the mind and connect to a feeling of love, goodness, happiness, peace, trust, faith, and all those kinds of things. That is what meditation is.
So, I would like to free you from the idea that you're supposed to sit there and feel totally calm. Without one thought, with complete peace, and when you finish, you are just in a state of deep, deep peace, and everything is perfect. Don’t fall for the bullshit. That is not what true meditation is.
It is, though, a life-changing tool and it will help you see that your thoughts do not define you or your reality. That is not who your soul is. There’s something else underlying all these crazy thoughts that are always peaceful, good, and always there for you. That is always a feeling of love, and that is what meditation is.
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Who is Leslie Kuster?
I became a 7-figure woman entrepreneur in my 50s -- with my successful Back from Bali clothing brand! It took some getting real with myself to finally say, “Damn it, I want money!” Now I am here to ignite women entrepreneurs -- like you -- to experience the empowerment, independence and joy of creating a business that brings you both money and freedom. Read more about my story here.