I find it so interesting when I google images of Meditation. What is often depicted are images of people sitting and smiling and happy , with arms outstretched as an invitation to engage with the world. They definitely show the main incentive marketed towards meditation. And that is often just what it seems to me- big marketing.
What I don’t usually see is someone working through past memories and programming that would seem traumatic. Because often times we meet parts of ourselves that are hurting and looking to be healed in meditation. I often meditate following a deep, hearty, cry and think – ‘my oh my – this would make a great poster for mediation’. Actually meditation is often the prelude to the tears too.
Unfortunately today meditation is often marketed in a way that encourages an attitude of by-pass. We often see videos where people are asked “why do you meditate” and they reply “to be happy”. And this has led a lot of people seeking meditation with this end goal in mind however this “end goal” is not always the case. The fact is, It takes quite a bit more than meditation to achieve happiness although mediation could be one contributor to happiness .
Personally I go into meditation to find pieces of my inner child that may have been hurt, to become comfortable with the unknown when I am confused, to feel my own presence in the midst of anxiety, to get quiet enough to listen when the world gets too loud . There is not usually a goal but more so, a desire to BE.
The word intimacy refers to having a loving relationship with, or to establish a degree friendship or closeness – according to Dictionary. com. Despite many people mostly associating it with sex, for many of the ancient teachers mediation- “Know thy self” was the creed that they lived by. Because it was all about the -exploration of getting to know oneself intimately. A process of getting to know our talents, to take the moment to view our lives as observers, get in touch with what we could offer to the world. But additionally also, come to terms with our failures, our regrets and ways in which we have been programmed by our society.
Meditation should be a practice of coming whole with ourselves. That includes the good, the bad and the ugly. It also includes working through un-meditation-like emotions such as anger, rage, envy, competition, fear and despair.
Actually often times to move up the emotional ladder from depression to happiness we have to pass through the undesirable ones a couple of times.
If we can have the courage to view the ways that we may have fallen short, we can find ways to love ourselves with more presence because we are no longer running away from ourselves. This allows us to show up more authentically in the world because we are no longer avoiding our unpleasant feelings and neither looking to escape, project or overlook them .
But rather digging deep within ourselves so that we find a way to love in spite of it all. As ‘shame researcher’ Brene Brown often states- Getting comfortable with our own vulnerabilities, aids in the process of living more wholeheartedly.
This is the work of intimacy and friendship with oneself first.
How or What other ways are you practising self Intimacy in your daily life?