Meditation: The Biggest Lie of All

meditation 44

photo by Allison Marie for glorybegin.com

If we really care about each other, and I know we deeply, deeply do, this needs to be said.

As much as we may groove with an enchanting romantic spell now and again, the ones that conceal our view of the absolute truth must in good faith be broken.

So as unromantic as that sounds . . . let’s just get about it, shall we?

Okay, here goes:

If you (or your friend / lover / yoga instructor with the sexy solar plexus chakra) think meditation is in any way supposed to be easily peaceful, that you will somehow be miraculously absorbed by an orgasmic explosion of light or mysteriously levitated above your living room ottoman. you have been fed a grave and serious amount of bullshit, my gorgeous love.

Quite possibly on multiple occasions.

Also quite possibly, incense or magic carpets or chickens or late night credit card payments or yoke-less eggs were involved.

As a friendly blogger and humble seeker of wisdom who has taken MANY a wrong and unfortunate turn (I did mention the chickens, yes?), I am not in any way here to judge anyone’s path or experience.

I have enough to chew on de-tangling my own hairbrain ideas, thanks.

I only highlight that many of us are made to feel like we are incompetent meditators if we don’t find peace right away in order to break the pop-culture spell and speak the truth which is this:

Meditation is not easy.  Meditation is very, very hard.

It is so hard sometimes that even days / months / years into your practice you may curse it and you may want to give up on it.  And the fact that you might ACTUALLY give up on it terrifies me more than yoke-less eggs.

I mean, seriously.  That shit’s disturbing.

And long as we’re getting in the raw about it, meditation is also at times a train wreck. It’s a mess. It’s bone-wrenching and dizzying and frustrating and infuriating. It feels like torture and victory and disaster all at once.

Which is at many times maddening, frightening, and incredibly brutal.

Meditation is not easy.  Meditation is hard.

The big lie that meditation is some sort of sleigh ride into existential bliss is dangerously crippling and heartlessly discouraging for those who could otherwise benefit from its challenging invitation to healing, had someone just had the crystal balls to level with them from the get go.

That is to say: it is a cruelty toward all sentient beings to perpetuate some preacherly nonsense that the practice of true meditation requires any less of you than everything you are entirely made of. 

(Right, so preacherly is not a real word. Good catch. Looks like I’m so rattled about this that I’m making up words. If you keep reading, it may continue. :) )

Meditation is hard but not because it’s frustrating to be still, not because it’s annoying to try to find the time to squeeze it in, and not because it seems like a colossal waste of time to close our eyes and ‘do nothing.’

Meditation is hard because it is love – in all its grit and glory.

If you guys don’t mind, I’m going to say that again because it’s actually pretty heavy:

Meditation is HARD because meditation is LOVE.

And as squirmy as we little buggers get about anger, hate, punishment, jealousy and meanness, nothing really kicks up our inner turmoil like daring to apply unconditional love.

To ourselves. Without judgment.

Meditation is hard because it requires of us the deepest love.  A self-love that is so forgiving, tender, disarming, healing, accepting, immense and unrelenting that allowing ourselves to experience it upsets every stiffened fiber of our frightened bits.

This is also, of course, why meditation is so very, deeply, wholly important.

This is why a regular meditation practice is a life changer for many and a full-blown life saver for some.

To learn to meditate is to learn to love.

To sit alone, unwavering, in the face of your inner “you are not worthy”s and all the other gross forms of rabid self-inflicted cruelty, and to consciously choose kindness in the face of them, is nothing shy of a hero’s journey.

To allow all of the difficult thoughts, emotions and feelings to arise and come into full, uncomfortable focus while embracing them with all-consuming tenderness is overwhelming.

Meditation opens us up to what is going on inside without denying it, without pushing it away, and without being cruel to ourselves for allowing what is to be.

Here, would you like to try something with me real quick? Close your eyes, breathe deeply and recite (silently or aloud) the following three radical truths to yourself:

It is okay to be here right now.

This moment is okay exactly as it is.

Without changing anything, I am okay.

Just sitting in the honest expression of ‘the present is okay / I am okay’ is incredibly grounding and powerful, right?

You don’t have to call it spiritual. You don’t have to call it religious or witchy or new age or eastern or western or cosmic or punk or hippie or retro or 70’s.

Forget all of that and while you’re at it throw away all the stigma you may have clung to (or hidden behind) about what it means to meditate ‘well.’

The act of meditating, of allowing all forms of hurt, pain, fear, anxiety, depression, rejection, confusion, guilt, and scatter to exist with you in awareness, without pushing any of them away, is sacred.

It is radical.  It is healing.

The act of silent, motionless, unconditional self-love doesn’t give a flying monkey (chicken? ottoman?) what you call it.

To allow our ridiculous stories to circle us without attaching our worth, our dignity, our souls to them, is to love ourselves completely.

To hold our inherent worth as true, eternal and unchanging, amidst all kinds of distorted, hurtful, painful, wild illusions is a holy act. It is the invisible work of the peaceful warrior.

“Move like a beam of light. Fly like lightning. Strike like thunder. Whirl in circles around a stable center.”

Morihei Ueshiba The Art of Peace

In meditation, we have to learn to hold ourselves the way we desperately desire to be held (but have a damn hard time admitting): fully, penetratingly, and in the rawness of the naked present moment, by the arms of love inside a mind that rails against us.

We learn to allow the frightened bits to be frightened and lonely, to welcome them, and to comfort them instead of berating them for being what they are.

That’s intense, guys. It’s mighty hard to go there without mountains of guilt trying to push us away from that kind of cathartic self-intimacy.

It’s crushingly difficult to step up to our deepest pain and say “I love you.” without flinching.

So how about no more lies. How about no more romanticizing what it actually takes to be fully mindful, present, accepting and aware during meditation.

No more smoke and mirrors. No more chickens. (Seriously, please. No chickens.)

This is the truth about meditation.

It is brutal. It is freedom.

It is hard.

It is hard because it is love.

And if you think love is easy, my beautiful disillusioned friend, then you have no idea why it’s worth everything to fight for.

 

~ ~ ~

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12 thoughts on “Meditation: The Biggest Lie of All

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      My talented, poetic friend,

      Your comment makes me smile. I am so grateful for your presence here and for your light.

      And I am thrilled you found this to be good. That was my greatest hope.

      Much light and deepest peace to you,

      Allison

      Reply
  1. lyle nicholson

    Yes, Allison, meditation is hard, because you have to go beyond the mind to get to true meditation. Those who sit for hours while the mind throws mental bricks at them will leave tired and frustrated.

    Those who drop below the mind, where the the truth lives, will find a place of peace and love. I spent five years in an Ashram, and learned that when I was fighting the mind I was giving it what it wants. Like a small child that wants to be heard all the time. When you learn to ignore the mind, to not give into it, peace happens.

    Namaste

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Lyle, I absolutely love what you say in your comment, thank you for taking the time to share.

      I love how you say to drop below the mind where the truth lives. That is so beautiful.

      5 years in an Ashram, that is incredible to me! I am a bit jealous. :) I am fascinated all day long by this. Have you written about your time there by chance?

      Thank you for your deep wisdom and light my friend. I am so grateful.

      Namaste.

      Reply
  2. Brad

    Absolutely brilliant, brutally honest and right on soul sister! I love your juicy way of expressing your truth Allison. And I’m facing the same lesson, whether in mediation or life, how to face my self, my challenges, my messy life with love and compassion.

    Thanks for sharing the journey. blessings, Brad

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Your words and passion mean so much to me, soul sibling. 💜

      I am always thrilled to have your energy and light in this space, Brad. Love you, man!

      Sending so much love and peace always always. XO

      Reply
  3. Rajagopal

    Meditation is love, and more of it means enhancing one’s capacity to love. We are all like bubbles. The bubble is without a substance of its own. It is just air that existed, and is existing all around, wherefrom a portion suddenly creates a shell around itself and acquires a quality of its own whereby there are thin bubbles, thick bubbles, strong and weak bubbles. When the bubble bursts, the substance inside it vanishes. Where is it? The air has reclaimed it. Bubble in our case exists as etheric and pranic body, a mental and physical body. The physical body can be shot down if we want to, but not the other bodies, which are controlled by existence. The physical body is energised by a congruence of karmic inputs in the form of etheric, pranic and mental bodies. Meditation is a journey into the spirit, possible only by getting out of our body and mind, a kind of bodylessness and mindlessness, transforming into blooming awareness. Is there a purpose to it, or is it only madness? It is neither of the two; but it is methodical madness with a purpose. While meditation is the method to the madness, the purpose is to enable the deeper spiritual process of journeying out of our worldly trappings, and systematically using our loving awareness to destroy the very foundation by which physical body can happen, and thereby eliminating the possibility of our self reverting back to the cosmic recycling bin. Goal is to move away from recycling, and evolve to the next higher stage. Om Mani Padme Hum….

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      My beautiful, beautiful beam of radiance of a friend, Raj,
      I am so completely humbled and held warmly by your words in this space. I cannot express how gorgeous it was to read through your description of the elegant cosmic bubble, it felt just as airy and ethereal as you describe.
      I was brought to my knees by this question, I absolutely adore it: “Is there a purpose to it, or is it only madness?” followed by your most perfect and elegant answer. You climbed inside my mind. My entire soul rocked out with your comment, beloved, thank you so deeply and much.
      What a tremendous treat and honor to speak such glowing truth with you, dear one.
      Om Mani Padme Hum.
      So much love and light, always, always,
      Sat Nam.
      Tej Xx

      Reply
  4. seablueone

    Relating to: I have enough to chew on de-tangling my own hairbrain ideas, thanks.
    Reminds me of myself.
    Lots of cool stuff you said here, and I may write a book if I comment on each thing. Nice post that’s well worth reading.

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Haha, we are kindred spirits! That is very heartwarming to know, thank you so much for that.

      So glad this resonated for you – that is the best I could hope for. And I also hope you won’t be a stranger here.

      Always interested in your thoughts. :)

      Reply
  5. Anonymous

    the best and most honest piece about meditation I’ve read so far. It’s not the sitting still, even though that’s challenging in its own terms, it’s what comes up when you do and listen which is frightening (or not) :-)
    as a result of several years of meditation I feel less scared of being present the moment and what I feel when I am without trying to get away from it…

    Reply
    1. Allison Marie Post author

      I adore, adore, adore your comment and engagement with this piece, thank you so much for taking the time and care to share this.

      Anyone who has undertaken the practice and stuck with it for any length of time understands. :) We are kindred, friend.

      Wishing you a beautiful 2016. Namaste. :)

      Reply

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