Expectations Around Meditation

We’ve been so busy with having fun creative projects in our house lately that my meditation time seems to consist more of thinking time and list time.  I first started meditating in college, after going to a Transcendental Meditation center with a few acquaintances from my dorm.  I received my mantra and began meditating with the highest expectations for something momentous to happen.  Yup…momentous totally didn’t happen.  But my very first introduction was from a family member who would talk to me about meditation.  He would mention the white light he would see while meditating and once I started meditating he would periodically ask me if I saw it.  Oh you don’t?….Huh.  Idolizing this person, I believed that seeing white light must be momentous.  If he saw the white light I wanted to see the white light, though whatever it signified I wasn’t too sure. I never saw it and I still don’t see the white light when I meditate.  Having that expectation, I let ruin my experience for meditation.  After a short time I determined that I wasn’t doing meditation correctly and I only did it sporadically after that.  But about eight years ago I sincerely sought out the benefits of it.  I no longer practice TM, or use a mantra.  I just don’t like repeating a mantra, it feels like I’m trying to “do” meditation.  Some days when I sit down to meditate I might think of a list of things I want to do during the day.  Yup, this is not meditation.  But eventually, it’s possible that I get around to it and allow myself to both focus and let go and fall into a floaty la-la land.  Some days I begin by feeling how grateful I am or just concentrate on my breathing.  Sometimes I ask for intuitive guidance.  Once in a while I feel emotional and other times I get the lovely chills I often feel when I’m on the right track or something significant happens.  I know I receive information and assistance and the presence of something other than myself.  Whatever it is I look forward to it most every day to feel calm and connected.  This morning, I sat in front of my office/studio window and took in the snowy view of our wooded backyard view.  It’s probably our last snowfall of the year and I wanted to remember it.  The trees were covered with snow and it was slowly and quietly falling from the branches.  Looking at that view was meditative and I realized I’m often unaware of meditative moments.  For example, for years, while growing up my family would go out for day long boat rides in our Dad’s antique wooden boat.  Loved the sound of that beautiful old boat’s engine and the lovely scenery as we’d slowly wind between the many rocky islands.  I’d easily fall into a meditative state.  I also feel meditative when I walk through woods or when I paint or listen to music. 

And, it can be meditative when my husband and I are sailing…assuming it’s not one of those days when we’re trying to sail like a bat out of hell.  Whatever form meditation takes, I’m happy to say I finally gave up on my expectations around it.