Wednesday, October 03, 2007

No forcing

Here's an illustration by Steve Gillman I just found that I like very much:
Imagine a wonderful evening with new friends. You prepared dinner, bought a good bottle of wine, and cleaned the house. Now the guests are here, the conversation is great, and you are happy. Can you make this happen? Yes and no.

You can prepare in every way to make it a pleasant event, but in the end, the guests can decline your invitation, or not arrive, or show up late, right? You can’t force them to come, or if you try, you’ll ruin the atmosphere or even the friendship.

That is how meditation is, too. You do what is necessary to prepare for a good experience, but in the end, you can’t force it. Work and discipline help, just like cleaning up and chilling the wine are necessary to prepare for a good dinner party, but there is no forcing the result. When the experience is a good one, enjoy it, but if it doesn’t happen, just prepare again.

So when you want to invite inspiration into your meditation, or into your life, don’t try to push the guest through the door. When you are tempted to do so, turn back to your preparations, and concentrate on that. Just send out the invitations, prepare yourself, and relax.
So let's not judge our meditations or get attached to having a particular experience.

1 comment:

  1. Ellie, I needed this reminder. Thanks.


New policy: Anonymous posts must be signed or they will be deleted. Pick a name, any name (it could be Paperclip or Doorknob), but identify yourself in some way. Thank you.