Alright let’s be blunt for a moment.
Meditation is hard.
When I talk about meditating, people’s responses tend to fall into 2 categories:
- That’s awesome for you, but I could never do that
- I should try that (implied: but I won’t)
Look, I get it. I’ve already professed my distaste for doing hard things. When left to my own devices, I’ll happily sit and scroll on my phone for hours at a time. But meditation is supposed to be hard.
That’s like, the whole point.
For years, I was also under the impressions that meditation was easy, and I was simply doing it wrong. But over the last two months of dedicated mediation 4-5 times a week, I’ve come to understand that not only is it hard, it gets easier verrrrrry slowly.
(I’m really making this sound fun, aren’t I?)
But let me tell you a story.
Some days in meditation, it feels almost effortless. When the sun is shining on my face and my headphones are in and the dog is asleep next to me and I’ve just smoked a bowl, dropping into the meditative headspace feels easy.
But take away any of those factors, or add new ones in, and the whole thing kinda falls apart.
Those are days like Thursday.
On Thursday, I challenged myself to hit a personal meditation record, 20 minutes. I cued up my Caroline McCready video, sat on the couch (with no sun), and listening to the glorious noise of my dog chewing and chasing a toy for the entire. 20. minutes.
Every meditation technique I had in my repertoire was put to the test (box breath, ocean breath and marking, if you were curious)
Sitting still for 20 minutes is hard enough.
Sitting still for 20 minutes listening to the glorious cacophony of nails clicking on hardwood, rubber bouncing and dog slobber took all of my willpower just to keep my eyes closed.
(And yes, I broke once and tried to convince her to lay down with me. It did not work, which I guess is symbolic of the entire point of meditation.)
In the intro to the video, Caroline talked about how focus is a muscle in the brain, and our world is full of distractions that make it challenging to exercise that muscle. The irony of the timing of Diamond’s display was not lost on me, but I certainly didn’t enjoy it.
Yesterday the victory was simply in completing the video. There were no lasting moments of detachments or creative revelations. Frankly, I barely even relaxed. But I did it and some days that’s good enough.