Meditation: The art of pain, suffering and Joy

Meditation, bringer of suffering, pain and joy, yet regardless of the suffering I am compelled to continue on this journey…

Meditation for me has brought a beauty to my existence that has been unmatched by any other experience. Nothing else on earth draws your attention to a simple sunburst captured perfectly in the corner of an ordinary window, making you feel like you could slip through its centre right into heaven.

But this is what happened first….

I was sat in a room with a person who took me through a simple ‘inward looking’ guided meditation. At the end I burst into tears without really knowing why, especially as I had not cried since the age of 9. But what I saw very clearly in that moment was that I had 2 selves. One real but rarely seen and one false. In fact my real self I had not seen for many years, so its revelation was very destabilizing. The false self could have many names like ego which is a commonly used word so makes it seem ‘OK’ But it is not OK, actually it was and sometimes still is just my cowardly way of creating self protection

I now see it like this…Imagine if you were living with a person that you hate, and even worse that person has been created by yourself to protect you from a fear that you can’t name and perhaps does not even exist. In fact this hated house companion is actually you- or to put it another way it is you but not actually the ‘real you’. To make matters worse this person lives daily inside yourself….

Meditation in my experience is about truth, who am I really? What do I stand for?, what do I really believe?, do I have right intentions? Do I have the courage to do what I know to be right even if it is at personal cost to myself? It can be an incredibly frightening and emotional journey as each unwelcome aspect of yourself is revealed, but is at the same time it is absolutely the most joyful experience.

Am I enlightened? Yes, I know I am. Meditation has revealed the starkest and most unwelcome truths which have arisen from the deepest acts of personal self enquiry, and I can tell you that this is not always a welcome sight, and perhaps not what others see as enlightenment, yet I know this has been enlightenment for me. Seeing the truth and acting on every aspect of it are two different stories so this will have to be a life long work in progress. ‘enlightenment’ in my personal context will have to be continuously attended to in order to be ongoing

Meditation for now is more joy than pain but if I forget who I am and I continue with the journey I can be sure that my friend meditation will give me a sharp and swift reminder….and this is how I want it to be.