When first starting meditation many of us are looking for inner peace and have this idea that once you start being mindful one will be peaceful. This has been the furthest thing from the truth. Meditation is many things to me, but rarely is it peaceful, especially in the beginning. Learning how to sit with what comes up takes practice, patience, and kindness. Just like any workout, meditation takes practice and at times perseverance.
There are different kind of resistance and I will explore all of them with their own posts. The first will be about aversion. According to the Merriam-Webster the definition of aversion is “a feeling of repugnance towards something with a desire to avoid or turn from” and “a settled dislike”. I often think of the face little children make when they eat a food they dislike while exclaiming “YUK!”.
In regards to mindfulness, aversion can manifest in many different ways. It can come in thoughts “I don’t want to do this”, emotions like disappointment and distraction, and physical distractions like pain or discomforts. All of these things can make it easy to not start a meditation practice or to stop quickly. Aversion can be hard to work with, especially when our judging thoughts start. Worries about doing this wrong, and not being perfect at meditation or mindfulness. I find aversion to be one of the harder challenges to work with in meditation. It preys on my insecurities as a person.
How to work with this? With kindness, compassion, and curiosity. What is happening that I am having aversion to meditation? This is an opportunity to explore and to practice bringing yourself back to the breath when you get distracted. There is no need to judge the thoughts, emotions, or physical sensation. They are normal, typical, and they will come up. The idea is to bring it back to the breath, to allow for the person to not attach to the thoughts. They will come and they will go away. Again allowing yourself to roll with the aversion, there is no need to attach to the thoughts, nor judge them.
Mindfulness Practice for the week:When you sit down to meditate and you find yourself having aversion thoughts, congratulate yourself on having noticed them, and then bring your awareness to your breathe. There is not need to judge when your thoughts drift back again to thoughts, rather just congratulate yourself again on having noticed it, and once again bring it back to the breathe. Do this as many times as necessary.
Aversion. In Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aversion