Meditation: Letting Go of Perfection

My exploration of meditation started at a very early age. As a small child of 5 or 6, I remember my parents taking me to their TM (transcendental meditation) teacher, and with offerings in hand I received my mantra.  At that time, meditation was not something I chose to actively pursue, but I feel as though it laid the groundwork for my own personal exploration of the benefits of meditation as I grew into adulthood.

A recovering perfectionist I often struggled with sitting properly, sitting long enough, clearing my mind enough, breathing, and meditating…what exactly was I supposed to be doing anyway? In the past few years I have loosened the reigns on my meditation practice in that I’ve given up seeking perfection (and you can guess that as a recovering perfectionist this came to be a very hard lesson). It was only when I relaxed into the experience that I was really able to delve beyond the superficial layers of my practice. I found that I would follow my meditation folly–somedays I would listen to recorded meditations, others I would focus on the breath and still others I would work with visualizing my energy body. I often took my meditations outside and sat with the trees and the air and let the experince of being present in nature take me where I needed to go. With all this freedom and exploration, I found that I truly began to love my practice instead of dread it, but at the back of my mind was always wondering “am I doing this right?”.

Recently I was listening to a talk with Sally Kempton, author of Meditation for the Love of it. In her talk she stressed the importance of finding a practice that worked for each practitioner and the importance of finding a practice you could fall in love with. She said that meditation should never be a chore and that we certainly shouldn’t sit down to meditate dreading the coming experience. Her simple, yet profound guidance helped me to find a place of acceptance within my own “rogue meditation” style. She also helped me to feel that while I might not be doing what everyone else was doing, if I followed my intuition most often it would land me in the right meditative place.

To listen to this two part talk, please click here.
To find out more about Sally Kempton please click here.