What Can I Tell You After A Year of Meditation?

So here we are. A year later. A year since I committed to meditate every day for a year. Very honestly, I missed some days in the second half of the year. There was jet lag and travel and people visiting etc. But, I did manage to meditate for a minimum of 20 minutes  almost every day this past year, and it’s been the best gift I’ve given myself to date.

I’ve wondered a lot about what I could say now, after a year, that’s different from what I’ve said in the past. What I could say that hasn’t been said before. Probably nothing. I can only say it a little differently maybe. And I can say it over and over again, in the hopes it reaches someone at the right time and clicks.

  • So I can tell you this. That a regular mindfulness practice promises to make your life richer. It also promises to make your life simultaneously easier and harder. Easier in that there is a lightness found in the present moment, a sense of humor. Harder in that life is bigger and sadder when you’re paying attention.

  • I can tell you that love is everywhere. And that you don’t have to worry that the universe, or that you, could run out of it. It is an inexhaustible resource. I can tell you that for much of my life I had completely confused infatuation and obsession and desperation with love. I can tell you that in my smallest moments I still do.

  • Which is another thing I can tell you. That meditation won’t fix you. It won’t perfect you. I don’t believe we are meant to be perfect. But I do believe we are meant to strive for it. And in certain moments in life we are perfect  — we feel whole, there is  a sense that we lack nothing. But then in other moments we feel crushingly small and pointless and unworthy. But a meditation and mindfulness practice allows us to remember that these moments of doubt and despair are just  passing illusions.

  • I can tell you that your mindfulness practice needs to be regular. It needs to be daily(ish) for it to work. Your body and your mind are incredibly good at forgetting the things that are good for them. Forgetting what it means –and how good it is– to feel well. And so some rigidity is good in this sense. We need to be rigid about our wellness practices. And, ironically, rigid about our practice of giving ourselves free time to do nothing. To do whatever.

  • I can tell you that you will start when you are ready. We are all growing and changing everyday. If you haven’t started, don’t think it means you never will. Keep reading. I spent many years studying and reading about contemplative practices, Buddhism, meditation, and religious studies before I managed to create and sustain my own practice.

  • I can tell you that most of us are chasing the wrong things 90% of the time. But I can also tell you that we can change. Slowly. Right now I’m chasing the wrong things probably 85% of the time, but at least now I know that I am 😉

  • I can tell you that it’s ok if it’s hard to find like-minded people, they are there. And if you work in earnest on yourself for long enough you will find them.

  • I can tell you that peace—it is real. I have touched it. Being a householder is hard. But we can touch it. I have touched it and if I can touch it once I can touch it again.

I can tell you that this practice will remain a vital part of my daily life. That this year was just the beginning.

Much love, J

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