Thursday, December 03, 2009

When things get worse before they get better

Many people who are fairly new to meditation are convinced that something must be wrong when meditative practices seem to make their minds worse in the early stages. Not so, really! Here's why:

You may meditate because you want peace. All sorts of expectations can arise in your mind. It is possible that you may experience peace, but most of the time you will not. Why? It's not a problem with the meditator. At the beginning there may be a sense of calm and peace. But after a while your mind will seem even worse than before. Even though your mind may seem worse, actually it is better.
The reason why your mind seems worse after meditating for a while is that your emotional problems are coming to the surface. It's important to let what needs to come out, come out. Try not to judge your thoughts. And do not chase after them or hold onto them. If you follow this instruction, meditation becomes very easy. When these emotions come up, hold on strongly to your mental focus. If your mind is calm, your focus can be more relaxed. All meditators experience emotional upset and crying when they practice. Let this be and afterwards there will be peace.

-- Lama Gursam Rinpoche

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