The most common reason people give to be unable to meditate is to say "I can't turn my mind off". For some reason, there's this assumption that meditation requires the supernatural ability to clear the mind in order to be performed. This is absolute rubbish.
Everything we do requires practice. If the prerequisite or goal of meditation practice was to empty the mind, the best meditation teachers would be those who could perform lobotomies. I can assure you this isn't the case.
I've maintained a daily meditation practice for about 18 years. I thought I'd share with you all some of what happens when I sit down to meditate to assure you that a quiet mind is in no way a requirement for a meditation practice. The following took place in an idyllic location while on vacation in Catalunya a couple of weeks ago. I sat down one afternoon while everyone else in the house was gone to watch my breath. I assumed the meditation posture, and focused my mind on counting my exhalations, one at a time, while allowing my mind to unfurl.
"What a beautiful spot. I can't believe how blue the sea and sky are. I should have sat down to meditate a while ago.
It reminds me of what I thought of earlier, once you decide to sit down to meditate, everything outside of the sitting session is resistance. How long have I had this meditation practice? I used to say 16 years, but I think it's 18. Wow. Mind still very much on.
This spot is high up. I'm pretty sure it will survive the ice caps melting. Who knows how many feet that will be. I hope it's gradual, although that one researcher said it's more likely to be sudden and catastrophic. Those methane reserves in Siberia are being released, that's really bad. It will all come down to timing. I hope we're all together when it happens. I can't imagine the drive out of south Florida. What will I take? Glad I backed up the hard drive and put it in a Ziploc in my office. That's going to be a crazy traffic jam. We'll have to head north. I hope I can get a job in another state easily. I wonder if the flood will bring down the global economic system.
Wow, that's the most uncomfortable tangent. I hate that topic. Government is so broken. Taken over by demonic forces. Ancient forces that brought down Rome, too. So evil the way the way they're treating the earth.
Why all the judgement? Meditation is about love, after all. Ok, let's think about love. Let's send love to the politicians and greedy oil executives.
Wow, what a nice spot to sit. I can't believe how relaxing this is. Seems like a bubble while the rest of the world turns to shit. So many dead in Gaza, Syria.
Breath tight. Release the belly. There. The most helpful thing is always to release the belly. Got to remember that. Love the chattering parts of the mind. How many parts of my mind are there? Wait, who's keeping track? Is that part of the mind, too, or something outside of it. Does mind emerge? I'm really appreciating that emergent hypothesis. I wonder if I can incorporate that into the Toronto workshop somehow. The slides are all done. Those used to make me so much more nervous.
The run this morning was awesome. I wish we had mountains and trails in Florida like that. Makes me miss living in California. I don't think my Achilles' tendon can take two runs a day, but I would love to if I could. I wish I had run more in my late twenties. Grad school sucked for that stuff.
Soften the belly.
Oh wait, that was a shimmering moment. Love that. Let's do it again.
Nope. But that was nice.
Ah, it happened again.
Hmmm. I hit my goal. But I want to keep going. Ok, another 49 breaths. I hope I have time. Is there anything else I should be doing?
Oh, nevermind, this is nice. 'The Buddha's enlightenment is vast, it encompasses all experience'. He's been here, each moment is a footprint of his enlightenment.
If only people knew how much chatter remains, even with meditation practice, they'd be less intimidated. I should totally blog out this session. "
So what's your experience like?