It’s disappointing when you find yourself snarling at someone. So much for the mindfulness. “So did you meditate today? Hit a roadblock?”
When I did a daylong retreat at InsightLA there was a discussion period. One person, shared a point from his teacher. The litmus test of your mindfulness practice is not your sitting, it’s how you live your life. I happened upon a section in a library book I borrowed, Living Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide for Daily Life edited by Georg Feuerstein and Stephan Bodian. Lo and behold it had a little section by Ken Wilber, “The Power and Limits of Meditation”. So challenging, so pithy!
The worst pitfall, I would say, is using meditation to “spiritually bypass” other concerns, concerns that can only be handled in their own terms or on their own level. People think that meditation will take care of their money problems, their sex problems, their food problems — and of course it won’t. What it will do is make you more sensitive and aware, and if you’ve got a painful life problem, meditation will probably just make it more painful because it will make you more sensitive…. If you’re doing meditation correctly, you are in for some very rough and frightening times. Meditation as a “relaxation response” is a joke…. Extraordinary stresses and conflicts come into play. All of this is just barely balanced by an equal growth in equanimity, compassion, understanding, awareness, and sensitivity, which makes the whole endeavor worthwhile.
This is followed by his 21 tips for meditation, which are worth looking up.
Last night I did a 15-minute sitting that was just like a war. I could not wait to stand up. It was really quite difficult. Then the 45 this morning was relatively calm.