During last weekend's group meditation, we spoke a lot about thoughts and how, during this current time of intensified stress, we may be noticing that we're having more shallow and thought-filled meditations than we were before the pandemic took hold. And we wondered as a group: is our meditation practice really working during such action-packed sits?
And to this, I answered a big fat YES!
Let's think about it this way -- when we're thoroughly dirty and covered in mud and we get into the shower, do we look down at the dirty water and wonder if the shower is working? Nope. We don't. In fact, seeing dirty water means that the shower is doing exactly what it's meant to be doing, and it's doing it well.
I bet you can see where I am going with this. But, just in case it's not obvious, let's get crystal. In this analogy, the mud represents stress in the body and the shower represents our meditation practice. And that dirty water swirling down the drain? This is all of those thoughts in meditation, evidence of the stress being washed away.
And just like the benefit of a shower is enjoying the feeling of being clean afterwards, we think of our meditation practice much the same way. What happens during meditation is the process of cleansing, and what happens afterwards -- when our eyes are open -- is where we feel the benefits.
So, next time we find ourselves resisting or resenting the presence of thoughts while our eyes are closed, we can remember this shower analogy and remind ourselves that such activity is actually a sign that our practice is working incredibly well and may, in fact, be doing double duty. Let all of that dirty water swirl right down the drain, and then forget about it.
And when we are the most dirty is when we are most in need of a shower, so let's stick with our two meditations a day, even if (and especially when) they're thought-filled, because regularly skipping the shower – regardless of our current level of filth – ultimately leads to us being stinky. And nobody likes a stinker.