I want to stop pushing and trust myself: I will go where I need to go.


This week reminds me how much I don’t know in a bittersweet, difficult sense. One night, at the Shambhala Center, I responded to another meditator’s question about how to push thoughts away and why she ’wasn’t very good at it’ by explaining she should not force meditation but rather be with it.

To berate or be angry with yourself for the fact that your mind remains defiantly unquiet serves only to rigidify the dualism: you vs. your own mind – and we know who wins. When you are not here, be not here. When you are here, be here. When you see yourself returning to the present, simply understand that you were gone for a few moments.

Even if you don’t ever reach a point of stillness while sitting, you are still sitting. You don’t intend to have a wild mind, but you cannot be angry at yourself for having one. Simply allow yourself to be in the pose for a time and you will find stillness.

With practice, I have come to accept that my meditation practice is such that it is, sometimes still, sometimes wild, but I no longer fault or praise myself for either state. So I hope that I will find the same wisdom with my yoga practice…

In the past week much of the tightness and rigidity in my back and neck have relaxed and released. I didn’t realize how much this would affect my yoga class this morning, when my right hip, right calf and left shoulder refused to cooperate for most of the class. Asana I normally have little problem entering were near impossible or painful for me today. And when we prepared for shoulder-stand, I spent the whole time trying to figure out my strap and never got into position. Finally, as the teacher instructed us to move to the next pose, I just lay back down on the mat feeling angry & sad at myself.

There’s that sense of pushing, as if we have someplace to go, some end result in mind. So much of my life right now is concerned with not pushing and yet still moving to a point different from where I am now – achieving goals, living a life I envision – and I’m seeing that come right down the line from the top.

In my goals and dreams, I push needlessly. In my relationships, I push when I lose presence, and I’ve dealt with strong repercussions. In my meditation practice, I still sometimes push – as if enlightenment were just beyond my reach. And in yoga, I push as if I were working out.

I want to stop pushing and trust myself: I will go where I need to go.

Mila (Jacob Stetser)

Mila is a writer, photographer, poet & technologist.

He shares here his thoughts on Buddhism, living compassionately, social media, building community,
& anything else that interests him.

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