Meditation can often times be viewed in much the same way as healing. There is often a misconception or maybe a "pre-conception" that one must arrive from point A to point B. The most damaging of those pre-conceptions is when one feels they haven't done it "right" and gives up because they didn't arrive at the point B they thought they were headed for.
From my perspective there isn't an arrival destination for healing or meditation. Healing is a consistent path that you will continue to follow for as long as you live. It is a process of recognition of what's happening to you, educating yourself about the physiological reasons for it and developing tools to work with it instead of against it. In my experience, acceptance is the last element to arrive, but the ironic part is that I would often hear people saying that you must accept where you are before you can heal. I think oppositely to that and so does my PTSD. There wasn't a level of acceptance for it, but there was a belief that this can't possibly be the way I was meant to live. I kept questioning that and questioning that. It just didn't seem right, so I kept searching for answers. It was a bit like the story of "Hansel and Gretel". Breadcrumbs were being dropped and I was following the path. I still continue to do this and always will. Little realizations come on a daily basis. I can't predict them or design them, they just come because I am open to the concept that healing is a journey, never a destination. Over time, the realizations have become less jarring. For a while they were frightening because they were outside of the realm of where my brain was, but they were important to pay attention to.
Several posts ago I talked about the brain, the heart, and the gut. My brain may have been confused. My heart may have been challenged, but when the realizations came up, the gut responded with an immediate and very strong............."Listen." So I did.
I've met many first time meditators who couldn't believe they were able to sit for 30 to 45 minutes without moving, fidgeting, or thinking about a hundred things. I have to laugh when people come up to me and say that they thought meditation was a bunch of glorified "stuff". I always say, "Yeah, I thought so too!", but I see it's positive impact in myself and many, many others. It's amazing what the brain can do with the right support.
Consistently training it for calm and peace, isn't about arriving at calm and peace, but the journey you take each day to create a consistent flow of it. We all experience stress in our lives, both good stress and bad stress. Imagine that you have a raft to travel with you down a rocky river, to help you navigate the rocks and stones you travel over. That's what meditation is about. I'd love it if we all could arrive at some enlightened place, but in all reality the enlightened place many people are trying to arrive at, is really inside of them. It's not on a mountain or in a cave or high up in some tree. It's right here. We are like a cereal box with the prize inside. No need to travel from point A to point B. Just follow the path of healing and know that it's a road you will continue to travel. Alleviate the pressure you feel to "arrive" and just travel your experience openly.
*Photo: Susie Guckin