Last month I wrote a piece about integrating past practices into your current meditation practice. In my transition from moving meditation to sitting meditation a few things were missing, so I began a search. The search, more apparent to me now, was semi-conscious and included things that I knew I wanted, as well as things that I didn’t even know I was missing.
For example, I knew I wanted a practice that welcomed my intense emotions rather than confirmed my inability to vanquish them from my life. I did not know that I also wanted to have time and space for contemplating my life and spiritual teachings (Dharma). I knew I wanted someone to validate my efforts, and encourage me to continue practice, but I did not know that I needed support around never feeling ‘good enough’. Even though I started meditation practices in my early 20’s I rarely felt like I was doing them enough or exactly as instructed, mostly because I was getting slow going results, barely discernible at times.
While wanting to be relatively still, I did not want to ignore my body but I did not subscribe to my body being more honest than my thoughts and feelings. I wanted to understand all the senses – my body, mind and ‘heart’. So until I found it, I did not know I was looking for a practice where I could become genuinely sympathetic to my stories, complaints, anxieties, desires, and fears by allowing them to mature in the contained space of meditation.
Knowing what you want can lead you to finding a good fit in meditation practice, but it is likely not knowing what you want will be going on at the same time. Isn’t that interesting? Understanding that this mixture of streams happens can help us hold an open, flexible mind. This is an important foundation for Mindfulness.
Reflective Meditation is a ‘come and see for yourself’ type of practice. There are many reasons why we suggest for you to start your meditation practice from a caring, kind, and curious space. Why in meditation we ask you to consider allowing your bodymind to be as it is; to transition into the sitting with less self-control or interruption.
We invite you to come and see. It is a new year, 2019, in so many ways: from politics to technology to a renaissance of Dharma translations. Maybe it is a good time to try a new method of practice, or get to know the practice you are already doing, through Reflective Meditation.