Meditation is Like Dating Your Self
The best-kept secret in Yoga is that no one likes meditation. I know it sounds shocking, but it’s the truth. If as you read this you are saying to your self ‘But Manorama, I love meditation’ then you are not a beginner. But if you feel uncomfortable when you sit for meditation welcome to the world of honesty.
No one likes to feel weird especially when sitting down to contemplate their spirit. The thing is its much better if you can be honest with your self and say the truth. From that place of honesty with your self you will grow.
Dating & Meditation:
For years, I have been telling the students in all of my classes, “In this class I share a little bit about Sanskrit and Luminous Soul and a little bit about dating.” That usually gets a giggle. I tell them that dating can be fun. You go out on a date with someone, you have a cup of tea or a drink together. Your date shares stories about him or her self. You share information about your self. You are getting to know each other. You watch and listen, as you sip your drink and above all else you feel. Whether you are conscious of it or not you are paying attention to how you feel when you are with that person. Your date is doing the same thing. In the process, you are, in effect, building a relationship between your self and the other person.
If you don’t spend any time with someone will you ever know him/her? No it’s not possible. In order to know someone and develop a good friendship, you will have to spend time with him/her. You’ll want to be around him/her and ask questions, observe, laugh or cry, share and feel your self in his/her presence. Through this process you will both grow in togetherness. Its important to keep dating even when you are married not in the same fashion as when you first met, but in the sense of continuing to prioritize learning about each other all the new things you are growing into. When you stop dating, or spending time together it means you don’t want to continue to build a relationship or you feel conflict around that relationship.
Our difficulty is that we feel disconnected from our Self. In fact most of us don’t even know what the Self means. But I am asking you how can you know your Self if you never spend any time with your Self? For years I have described meditation in this way: Meditation is like dating your Self. You date others, but you forget to date your Self. And no one knows what kind of flowers you like, the kind of music you like, the type of chocolates or dinner you prefer, the way you know. So instead of thinking of meditation as a kind of uncomfortable thing you should do, the next time you decide you want to engage meditation consider the idea of dating your Self, of creating real friendship with your Self by making it a point to spend time with You, listening to You, being present with You.
Manorama’s Tips for Dating Your Self:
Sit on the cushion in an easeful posture and breathe as you normally would. This time, since you are dating your Self, do as you would when dating someone onlyyou are dating you so pay attention to how observing the breath makes you feel. See how sitting still each day for a few minutes and watching the contents of your mind without identifying with them creates a kind of internal space within you. Listen to nadam and notice how listening to nadam both energizes you and offers you a sense of real tranquil grounding.
I always tell the students to plan a hot date! I Invite you to plan yours.
Be fully with you even when its both uncomfortable or comfortable and all will follow. Instead of defending against the contact with your Self, learn to slowly build a relationship with You, one that will sustain you all the days of your life and beyond.
© Sanskrit Studies, Luminous Soul & Manorama 2014