Serene-looking people on Photoshopped beaches give a false sense of what it’s like to meditate.
Meditation has something of an image problem. It’s either for monks in orange robes or beautiful people cross-legged in tranquil settings. It’s hard to imagine them holding down demanding jobs, dealing with sticky children or privately worrying about how much they’re drinking. They all look so calm and well-adjusted.
Your life may be more Sainsbury’s carpark than sunset beaches
You are unlikely to have a blissful experience of serenity when you meditate. Even if you were in these lovely locations, you’d probably still be thinking about work and wondering where you can get something for your urinary tract infection.
Meditating in everyday life is far more likely to be plonking the kids in front of the TV for three minutes while you sit on the loo and try to be mindful. At this point you would be forgiven for thinking that meditation isn’t living up to its Photoshopped ideals, and so you think you’re doing it wrong.
Meditation is noticing what is happening right now with interest and kindness. This is your real life and so it’s worthy of your full attention. Over time meditation can help you feel clearer and a bit more steady, regardless of any unglamorous events that try to put you off.
So, breathe deeply, savour that you still can’t find a fucking parking space and enjoy the moments of calm that do appear in your wonderful, and tragically flawed, life.
Namaste (just kidding!)