This morning meditation went really well. Too well! Let me explain what I mean.
First of all why did it go well? I think because I took a little extra time to get set up. I did a few Sun Salutations and other yoga poses to get started, including a nice long head stand which is always great for clearing the morning cobwebs out of the brain. And then I started off by chanting Om several times. This helps slow down the breathing and the resonance of slowly chanting the same syllable several times has a way of calming and stilling the mind.
Then I just focused on breathing, and I was off to a great start! Unlike most of the past ten sessions I was not fidgety, my mind was not squirmy, I wasn’t daydreaming about food etc. I was in my zone! The problem is that I noticed things were going well, and I started getting excited about that! “Hey this is going really great! Good for me! I got this! etc.” I got caught up in noticing that meditation was going well and pretty soon that was all I was thinking about, and I was right back to living in my thoughts instead of the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy, I was stoked. That was the problem. I forgot to be chill. I started congratulating myself for how well I was meditating.
This makes meditation very tricky. We can get distracted when we feel like we are doing bad. But we can get equally distracted when we notice it is going well!
This is why it is important to not judge your meditation, good or bad! Let it happen effortlessly and without judgement. I know that to my western american mind trying to do something without judging it, without congratulating yourself when it is going good, feels like a paradox. But it is crucial. the attitude necessary is one that is grounded and never changes, no matter what is going on around you. So: when things are going bad, be chill, cultivate non-attachment. And when things are going good, be chill and cultivate non-attachment.
Either way, be chill.