5 Qualities of a Meditator
Meditation had always intrigued me. It wasn’t until 2012 that I immersed myself into the creation of a peaceful space around me, predominantly to calm down my frustrations and anger. Now don’t get me wrong, I am yet to make it a consistent practice. Truth is, I will resort to it whenever I am feeling stuck, lost and off balance. I believe that is where everyone begins. And, it is a good place to start.
Pema Chodron says ‘Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.‘ It is about meeting the real you. The one that, once discovered, could possibly make you the happiest you could ever be. The space that gets created in a meditation practice becomes vast and embracing, nothing that you are currently encountering will feel unmanageable or out of place. It is quite literally being embraced by patience and love.
Pema, in her book How to Meditate, introduced us to the five qualities we are nurturing as we embrace meditation and make it a consistent practice:
1. The first thing that we are doing is ‘cultivating and nurturing steadfastness with ourselves.‘ While the literal translation is a personal loyalty to oneself; nurturing steadfastness is the allowing of all your personal experiences to come up during the meditation and just staying with it. As we learn to do this during our practice, we are prepared for a higher awareness of self in our day to day interactions. Being the observer has always been the greatest skill I have personally nurtured.
2. The second quality is generating clarity. The ability to see clearly is the greatest gift you can give to yourself. This un-biased way of being allows your thoughts, emotions and feelings to just come without limits or control. You are able to just see them. This clarity gives a deeper sense of truth of what is going on inside and around you. This quality also allows you to break free from repetitive non-serving behaviour-the habitual patterns that limit us.
Meditation deepens your understanding of yourself.
3. The third quality is the gradual cultivation of courage. Key word being gradual-over time you will find yourself developing an ability to experience your emotional discomforts and the reality of life’s ups and downs. In the words of Buddha ‘Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional‘. With practice, meditation allows you see possibilities and opportunities in the space of adversities. You learn to step out of your way and your higher self steps in to guide you, a wisdom offers you something you may have not seen otherwise.
4. The fourth quality is the ability to become awake to our lives, to each and every moment, just as it is. The golden promise of being present. The ability here is to feel and go through everything that exists just here, right now, as it is-without any interference. You will surprised to know how much resistance we put up in our day to day being. Imagine all the stress that amount of pressure puts on our physical and emotional being. Pema is regularly asked why we meditate? her response is ‘to become more flexible and tolerant to the present moment‘.
5. The fifth (and my favourite) quality is the ‘no big deal’ one. Each meditation session presents something new; sometimes a ridiculously profound (an insight, an answer…) or on regular days just a feeling or maybe nothing at all. It is all…no big deal. It is the kind of look many enlightened souls tend to give you (that may infuriate you as it did me)-that look while you are sharing the most magnificent experience and they have a sense of nothingness, neither compassion nor judgement, really a nothing at all. It really is just a being with a kind of look-that look that says ‘no big deal’ with a smile :).
Meditation is a continuous process
I like to see it as, at the very least, a support structure for being in this crazy, crazy world we live in. You are born magnificent, we know that and no matter what, you will never be immune to grief, sadness, anger, frustration or loneliness. Going inward is an opportunity to remind you of your true essence-that perfection you were born with. It is also a reminder of your path. With the competition, speed, busyness and fear of our regular lives-we can easily lose track of where we are meant to go. What now? What makes me happy? How do I get there? The one and only thing you can truly trust is your Inner Truth, your Higher Self. That is always within you and always available to you and ready to support, guide and love you.
My personal encounter with a 6 week long program
In 2013, I had just made the biggest decision of my life to quit everything that I was doing and focus on my coaching. Except, my fear was I did not have enough business to sustain me.
In one of my frequent visits to the library, I came across a group meditation being held a 15 minute walk from home. I had not even heard of it-Sahaja Yoga. But something pushed me to check it out.
Our first day there, Firas and I were the ones in the back giggling at the gestures (Bandhan locks-you can take a look HERE) everyone was making. I could not contain myself and naturally I had all sorts of reservations and resistance. But in the words of Michael Beckwith ‘Pain pushes you until vision pulls you‘. I needed something to help strengthen me and to quiet my louder than ever mind saying that I will fail miserably.
Within a few weeks, I received a phone call that was to kick start my career as a coach, facilitator and speaker. I felt a sense of clarity in direction and most importantly, a feeling of unconditional support-a knowing that the Universe has my back.
I still fall back on my practice every now and then. I get sucked into my hectic schedule and to-do’s. Yet, every time I sit and meditate I feel an overwhelm of pure love’s embrace-even when the messages I am getting may not please me. It almost feels like it is coming from that Uncle that you love so dearly and he can absolutely do no wrong. You are humbled into submission.
What has your experience with meditation been like? Do you have any stories to share? Feel free to post them below.
With lots of love and hugs and everything peaceful and fun :).
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P.P.S. Have you checked out our signature program at The Orkid Project? Join the next Journey to Self.