When people start on the spiritual path and begin to engage with the possibilities of life, they are often very open and fluid. Typically the search inward is prompted by some suffering, often following a series of heartaches or setbacks or just ongoing disappointments about the way things are going. People come to meditation to get relief – the things they’ve tried before aren’t working, they’re making the same mistakes over and over, or sometimes after experiencing a string of catastrophes or other life traumas. They want a way out.
It’s not always this way. Sometimes people are just looking for a change. Maybe they’ve already begun to renovate their lives, perhaps by losing some weight, or starting to take yoga classes, and they’re invigorated by the changes and ready to take on more.
Either way, at the beginning, people are often inspired. They’re flexible. They’re willing to try something new, and open to transformation. And with this meditation technique in particular, they get it. The meditations we teach at Lighten Up Meditation come from ancient traditions and a lineage packed with Enlightenment and power. Incorporating this meditation into your life on a regular basis will result in big shifts quickly.
After awhile — maybe a month or two — sometimes people get patient. The changes are exciting, the effects of meditation intoxicating. Now that you start to change, you can’t get enough of it.
This is certainly good – being open to it is a positive thing – but the tricky part is when we want change to look a certain way, or happen just so.
Sometimes this comes through in expectations around the meditation itself. “I’ve been meditation for _____ long, shouldn’t I be having more experiences? Shouldn’t I be seeing lights, getting visuals?”
Or, maybe those experiential phenomena had been happening in the meditation, and now they’ve gone away. People wonder why. They question whether it’s still working.
Or, the changes just aren’t coming fast enough, so they think. Initially there were all sorts of visceral things happening – joyful coincidences, extreme good luck, maybe an increase in the sensation of deja vu – and now it’s gone away. Life feels like it’s boring again.
My first response to this is, “Just wait.” Keep meditating, and you will UNDOUBTEDLY be awed and surprised again. Everything is cyclical. Over time, you will learn to ride the ebbs and flows of your practice. Be patient. Everything changes, including how the meditation brings change to you.
My second response is, you can’t make demands of Eternity. It’s great that you want to see changes, but you can’t demand them on your schedule. That would be operating from ego, which is the exact opposite of what this process is about.
My third response is, the phenomenon of meditation doesn’t matter. Meditation does. In other words, the special effects that some people experience from meditation – perceiving lights, vivid visuals, bodyrushes – all of these are simply phenomena. They are the byproduct of getting still. It’s the meditation that matters, not the Hollywood experience. Don’t get caught up in your own mind’s hype about what’s important else you risk overlooking the real beauty going on.
Be consistent with your practice, meditate every day, and stay open. Soon enough you will be reporting on amazing occurrences in your life again – if you just keep going.