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Sit : Breathe : Love, Day 11: Any meditation you do is a "good meditation"

Dear <<First Name>>.

A lot of energy is wasted in considering whether our meditations are “good meditations” or “bad meditations.” 

For most people, a good meditation is one that is easy. Things go according to plan — or better! The mind isn’t hard to work with. There aren’t too many distractions. We don’t feel any strongly unpleasant mental states such as anxiety or resentment. We may positively enjoy the meditation, and feel calm and at peace. A “bad meditation,” on the other hand, has the opposite characteristics.

We can end up feeling a bit demoralized when we experience these “bad meditations.” We create stories about how we’re not good at meditating, or how the meditation practice isn’t the right one for us, or how we need a better place to meditate in, etc. In time, though, we learn to ride them out. We put up with the bad in the hope that it'll lead to the good.

With a bit more experience (assuming we don’t give up in the face of all those judgments) we may start to think that it’s the effort we put in that defines what a “good meditation” or “bad meditation” is. We take into account that the conditions we’re working with change; sometimes they make meditation easier and sometimes harder. Imagine you go running. Some days you’re running on flat ground with the wind at your back. Sometimes you’re running uphill against a stiff breeze. The first of these runs is going to feel more pleasant (it’s a “good run”). But which of these runs is going to help you develop more fitness and stamina? The second one, right? So maybe it’s the meditations we struggle in that are really the “good meditations”: the ones where the mind is stirred up because life's become stressful, for example.

But these days? I think any meditation you turn up for is a “good meditation.” Sure, there are some days it’s easier than others and there are some days you have to put in more effort. But I’d suggest that you regard the meditation you do as being infinitely better than the meditation you don’t do. Every meditation is a good meditation — as long as you do it. Remind yourself of that before, during, and after a sit, just to drive home the message that meditating is a valuable thing to do: "Every sit is a good sit."

Take care,
Bodhipaksa

PS. Community helps!

PPS. here's a list of previous posts, in case you missed them:

Wildmind's Meditation Newsletter November 2017: Mindfulness: Freedom From, Freedom To
Bodhi Mind app available for download now!
Wildmind's October 2017 Meditation Newsletter
Wildmind's Meditation Newsletter September 2017: Stepping Into An "Enemy's” Shoes
Wildmind's September 2017 Meditation Newsletter: The Body-Wide Wave
Wildmind's August 2017 Meditation Newsletter: The Power of Gratitude
Wildmind's Meditation Newsletter August 2017: The Mind Knows its Own Way Home
Wildmind's July 2017 Meditation Newsletter: Fully embracing this present moment
Wildmind's Meditation Newsletter July 2017: Looking for Love
Wildmind's May 2017 Meditation Newsletter: How to Quickly Calm Your Mind
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