Thought Bite: What to Expect in Meditation

A student recently sent me an article which extols the benefits of meditation, and tells of all sorts of wonderful experiences you can expect from meditating, and he wondered whether he should expect those same experiences. I've seen articles like this that say meditation leads to bliss, healing, great intuitions, visions, and extra-ordinary experiences. However, when beginning a meditation practice, you'll more likely experience the agitation, worries, mixed emotions, discomfort in your body, and impatience that has always been in your mind and you never realized was there. This is because meditation means focusing attention into our minds rather than outside of ourselves, and when we do so we observe the contents of our minds. If you've never cleaned your home and suddenly decide to really look at it, you'll find a mess, right? It's the same with our minds.

I'm not saying that as a beginning meditator you won't experience any relaxation. You'll have some moments of calm, however, there will be many moments that are noisy.

The good news is that over time, as you do the work of yoga and practice emotional purification, regulate your diet, stretch and relax in hatha yoga, engage in breathing practices, and calm down in relaxation, the mind will begin to quiet, and you'll have more frequent periods of calmness in your meditation. The yoga sutras of Patanjali say one must practice intensely, with devotion, without stop, for a long time, for the practice to bear fruit, and this is true. As you sincerely do the practice, you will experience more of the goal of meditation, which is not to have lights, experiences, and bliss, but to have, as Swami Rama said, "no experience." Out of this "no experience" grows clarity of mind, inner-silence, stillness, and peace, and this peace is far more fulfilling than all of the previously hoped-for experiences.


19 Dec 2021;
07:00PM - 08:00PM
Full Moon Meditation 2020