Meditation: Why Bother?

402 consecutive days of meditation: I wonder why I’m bothering tracking it, much less why I am bothering meditating every day regardless of where I am at physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

The tracking of meditation sessions is surely born out of a combination of ego-based satisfaction and accountability.  I fully admit to that.  It feels great to say that I’ve meditated every day for over a year.  Why not be proud of this “accomplishment”?

It would be so so so easy to say, “I don’t feel like meditating today” and not meditate. To have this number creeping higher and higher (along with my funny “prison calendar” of days marked with an orange slash to indicate that I’ve meditated) somehow holds me accountable to keep sitting even when I feel like crap, or plain old have a childish response: but I don’t want to, I don’t have to do this, I don’t feel like it!!!

And really, even with all of these sessions under my belt, my legs still go numb/fall asleep halfway through my session on my zafu, my mind still reels and tries to reel me in, and sometimes I cannot help but be caught – until I catch myself and let go.

Sometimes I’m so exhausted in the morning (or evening) and I fall asleep, and sometimes just before the timer goes off I really let go for a split second and I sigh in frustration over the session’s end.

Other times I let go right away, and my mind creeps in and holds on for such dear life that it’s like I’m a sinking ship and the rats of my mind keep clawing towards higher ground.

So, just like life, meditation has its “ups and downs” because it is what it is, and that’s that. It truly is what we make of it.

I’m applying these principles to other aspects of my life right now: daily violin practice. On Saturday I had a headache, but I had not practiced yet. Lo and behold! I practice for 45 minutes and the headache that I started with vanished within minutes of my practice session. How easy would it have been so say that I didn’t feel well and then not practice? How easy would it be to say, yesterday, that I saw one of the best violinists in the world and “why bother” practicing.

No excuses, show up, do the work, and who knows what beautiful things may happen, what I may discover, and what I allow myself to be. That’s why I bother to meditate.

Here’s one beautiful thing: my husband telling me that I am sounding so good after my one lesson with my new teacher, and me knowing that this compliment is sincere.

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