Thinking of Meditation as a "Should"

A humourous motivational speaker used to talk about "shoulding all over ourselves" - and we do, don't we? We tend to be harshly critical of ourselves. Our "inner parent" keeps hacking away at us, long after our actual parents have eased-up or passed away.

Labelling meditation (or anything else) as a "should", as just one more annoying chore that's "good for us" & "have to do", blocks us from enjoying a healthy pleasurable engagement with the real world - a qualitatively better way of living.

REMEMBERING how we feel when doing something innately pleasurable - holding a puppy's head in our hands & staring into it's eyes, engaging in our favourite hobby, watching our favourite sport or movie - this is what it feels like to engage our natural capacity to be Mindful. Mindfulness is not some lofty activity only mystics can do. Mindfulness is a normal human capacity we all share, but need to practice in order to enjoy more often, more consistently - the more, the better, more efficient, more pleasant, healthier & normal.

Meditation practices are "laboratories" that help us clearly see how our minds actually work all the time, not just during meditation. Whatever feels hard, unpleasant, etc during meditation POINTS OUT "obstacles" we can learn to handle more skillfully in order to live an EASIER, HAPPIER life. It's very important to remember that avoidance does not work. Anything in life that we find challenging or difficult or unpleasant does tend to reappear, until we finally learn to deal with it skillfully - as in the movie "Groundhog Day"

Meditation is pleasant - here's a neuroscience perspective:

Going with the Flow - Photo: Nicole Herschenhous

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