This post was written for two kinds of people: those who practice meditation and those who don’t.
I hope it makes the meditators smile and feel even better about practicing. My hope for everyone else is that they smile and feel a little more curious.
- You might be a little nervous before your first time. Rightly so. What if you’re no good at it? But curiosity propels you onward. You go for it.
- It works best when you fully relax and let go. Just dropping into it rather than “trying” to make it good or to perform well.
- Once you get a taste for meditation — and find a sweet spot — you’re hooked. You want to do it again and again — and for longer durations.
- One of the most intense things about meditation practice is the feeling of layers being stripped off of you. It peels away layer after layer of unnecessary covering to reveal your hidden beauty. Layers of tension, of beliefs that might not even be true, of baggage from the past that keeps you from moving forward. You become comfortable with the nakedness and maybe even more confident because of it.
- There are lots of ecstatic moments. This may seem odd because we tend to think of meditation as still and quiet and ecstasy as vibratory and loud. But actually meditation can be quite vibratory and loud. (Think of a thousand monks chanting, loud.) And also that sitting quietly reveals a lot of inner noise that otherwise goes unnoticed. Lower the volume on the inner noise and be surprised by a more subtle, quiet, steady variety of ecstasy that is rare and delightful.
- No two times are the same.
- After you do it, people notice a special something about you. A glow. They wonder what you’ve been up to. Doing it regularly might even up your “it” factor. Think of the ever-growing number of celebrities, artists — people in the spotlight— who say their meditation practice feeds their craft. Think of David Lynch and his book “Catching the Big Fish” about meditation and creativity.
That’s it. The Sexy 7. I hope you enjoyed and continue to enjoy. Dim the lights, lock the doors, get to know yourself a little more intimately. Do it alone.Do it with others. Try out different positions, maybe standing, lying on your side, even walking. Do it at home and even in public. Close your eyes when standing in line at the grocery store.
Unorthodox Word Pairing
I said I wrote this for 2 kinds of people but the number is actually 3. I also wrote this post for myself.
Years ago, on one of my first retreats, our meditation teacher said, “Meditation is not very sexy but…” and proceeded to list some of the most amazing things about meditation, such as how it helps you get real, stay calm while working to solve difficult problems, and be a little more productive in general.
I was struggling like mad. My shoulders and back were aching. My mind was bored, bouncing off its inner walls, grasping for distraction every chance it got. I somehow heard every word she said. But the primary point she was making —about the amazing things— was only theory to me.
Through the years, thankfully, that theory became more realistic and tangible through actual practice. My body hurt less and sometimes even felt better. My mind was sometimes able to listen within its own walls without trying to escape.
Recently, I was reflecting on a particularly satisfying few weeks of practice that had seemed to drop into my life for no good reason. (We’re advised not to rate our meditation practice on performance-based lines, but I confess to doing it quite a bit). Anyway, this type of reflection invites the intellect-ego to do what it lives for, to observe the process up close and express it’s opinion.
(What is the intellect-ego? Basically, it’s “The Thinker,” or what I call “me” when I’m thinking).
My Thinker, dying to understand why the rest of me was so content, was searching for the right word for this fulfillment I had experienced in my practice. One word that would bundle the joy and tie it up in a perfect little bow.
Words like delicious, deep, smooth, sweet, savory, comforting, colorful, flowing, endorphin-infused and liberating came up. Recent practice had been all these, but no single word captured the entire experience.
Then suddenly the word “sexy” kind of blossomed upward from the base of my throat and gracefully opened right before the face of The Thinker, who immediately and wholeheartedly embraced its plumpness with a sizzling “Aha!”
The rest of me responded with a knowing chuckle, having momentarily satisfied The Thinker’s deepest longing.