Highs and Lows
After the high, there’s a low. True dat.
The title of this post comes from a book by American Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. In his book Kornfield interviews a range of meditation/contemplation practitioners, and quizzes them on their experiences.
The nuns, monks and lay people who he talks to, describe a pattern in meditative experience where occasionally, during meditation, they are swept up from their normal experience of gentle peace or whatever, into a magical realm.
Bliss, no-mind, deep inner peace, the eternal realm, the Kingdom of Heaven, the unmanifested, nothingness, ecstasy – the experience comes by many names (according to your experience and tradition) but has a single feature in common – a feeling of total peace, oneness and connection with Being.
So these experiences do happen.
We know this. But they don’t last.
Inevitably, after the high of blissful spiritual peak experience, there is a return to normality – the laundry. An experience of hum-drum back to ordinary life. This period can be tricky to navigate.
I have recently had what would be called by some mystical experiences during my meditation. Total inner peace and bliss, seeing into the very nature of God and reality. The real McCoy.
What I haven’t coped with so well is the laundry that follows these peaks.
The core of my current issue
My main problem is that today, a couple of months after these recent peak experiences, I find meditating very difficult.
Hard to believe for a meditation blogger? Well, yeah.
The reason being that every time I lie down to meditate, I start (in my head) trying to recreate the blissful experiences I had recently in my mind. Now, as you probably know, trying to do anything other than focus on your meditation object during practice is silly and doesn’t work.
The very nature of a sitting is that it is a moment, or series of unique moments, and you just accept whatever is happening moment by moment, non-judgementally, by following the breath (or a Mantra). Any trying to force anything is just against the whole spirit of the process.
So why do I do it?
Well, the short answer is that I can’t let go. I can’t let go of what happened then in order to see what is happening now.
In meditation, I currently have developed a slight spirit of arrogance and entitlement, feeling that I should have peak experiences all the time.
If I don’t, I’m pissed off.
I would love to get back to normal practice, just sitting everyday and seeing the beauty of the present moment. But that experience currently eludes me.
All I can do now is take a temporary break from meditation and hope that a spirit of humility returns. I’ve had breaks from practice before. I’ve always returned.
Lets see what happens.
If any of my readers have any suggestions as to how to get back in the groove, please leave a comment. I’m always open to new ideas!