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Many people are uncomfortable with the unknown. They don’t mind getting stuck in the same unhealthy routines because they are accustomed to the old way of doing things. For many, the mere mention of the word meditation may cause uneasiness because it is an unknown experience. However, this disquiet comes from a lack of education. Meditation is more than sitting for an extended period with your eyes closed.
Think of meditation like swimming. Remember how wonderful it felt when you realized that after relying on the instruction of a trusted teacher, you were able to glide through the water seamlessly? Recall how you learned how to enjoy the experience of going through the water, because you knew how to do it correctly and safely. Meditation is much the same. When you learn proper techniques, it can be a freeing experience.
Once you have the foundation that comes from practicing with proper instruction, you can trust that anything happening in those twenty minutes of meditation is for the good of your mental and physical health.
This does not mean that all the thoughts that occur in your mind during this time will be positive. As you sit in meditation, stress leaves the body, and it can take different flavors. For example, the stress may feel like sadness, and you may begin to weep. However, tears are only a side effect of the stresses that are being released from the nervous system.
Perhaps you are going through a Dark Night of the soul. A dark night is a genuinely life-shaking experience that affects the deepest part of you. Most people go through this at some point during their lives. Some people may use this as an excuse to avoid meditating because they may be frightened by their thoughts during this difficult time. Others may run from their feelings, perhaps by relying on the softening effects of medication or sleep aides.
Instead of running from the dark night, know you can use meditation to work through your negative thoughts. Meditating during this time may allow the problem to dissolve. Meditation can also let us shift our attention on which action to take or which direction to go, so we can experience inner peace.
In the Vedic worldview of Nature, there are three operators. Creation (or Brahma) is an operator of rebirth, creativity, innovation, new direction, and expansion. Maintenance (represented by Vishnu), the second operator, cultivates and maintains that creativity and innovation. The final operator, the destruction operator, (represented by Shiva) removes that which is no longer relevant in or on your path.
The three operators work together for one purpose – to help us evolve into the best we can be. All three operators are necessary for this process, especially the destruction operator. Shiva allows us to clear the path so that creation or rebirth can take place once again.
If you are going through a dark time or depression, do not be frightened or afraid. Understand that your feelings are not something that is happening to you. Those feelings are happening for you.
Perhaps you are going through a dark night of the soul that was brought upon by a painful breakup. Maybe you are having a difficult time letting go of the other person, or even the idea of the other person. Instead of focusing on the failed relationship, visualize how the destruction operator is working for you.
Take comfort in knowing that nature knows how to organize best. Even though you may be grieving, remember that there may be another partner in the world that could be more aligned with your preferences. You can use this time to self-nurture and to cultivate your highest version of Self.
In the dark night, practice meditation to listen to your feelings and decide how to move forward.
Use meditation to think about how these feelings are happening for you. The destruction operation is not inherently harmful, it is merely clearing your path so you can evolve into a higher version of Self.
Allow meditation to assist you in recognizing your feelings. Be mindful to pay no attention to the thoughts surrounding those feelings, and instead bring awareness to the feelings themselves. In this way, you can utilize the process of meditation to understand where you are entirely in that moment. With that, meditation can help you decipher which direction to take going forward. Trust that you already have the answers inside you.
Remember that meditation is a tool to use to unlock the answers that are within us. While you are going through this darkness, remember that nothing is ever happening to you. Everything is happening for you.