By Thomas Tiernan
Most of us reading this are blessed enough to be living in a great amount of comfort. We wake up in cozy beds in climate controlled homes. We have climate controlled transportation, which brings us from one comfortable environment to the other. To top it all off, we have the ability to order products and food without ever having to venture out and impinge on our sense of well-being.
As a society, we have gone to great lengths to make sure we have access to something comfortable at all times. With the advent of technology, it would also seem that our overall quality of life is enhanced, but has technology really helped us? The downside to making sure that things feel agreeable and easy is that we either forget or never learn how to deal with discomfort. Try leaving your phone at home sometime when you leave for work. It would likely make you feel so unsettled that it would feel better and more sensible to drive back home to retrieve the phone. I’ve experienced this myself!. Our minds associate certain objects and emotions with comfort so when discomfort arises, the mind revolts until comfort is restored. We have not trained ourselves to remain centered, to embrace the discomfort and to learn from the moment. This is one of the reasons so many struggle to meditate.
When we sit down for a meditation session, we must then deal with all of the discomfort of our mind and body in the same moment. Turning within strips us of all the distractions we have created to help us remain in our respective comfort zones. I know it doesn’t seem like a great sales pitch for meditation, but bear with me. In the beginning stages, most of our time sitting in meditation is spent arguing with our ego. The mind says it is bored, that this activity is a waste of time. The mind is so convincing that it tells stories to lure the meditator away from his or her seat of stillness to other, seemingly, less boring ways to problem solve.
Then something beautiful happens. One day the mental arguing ceases and the space between thoughts emerges. Within this space, no matter how miniscule it may seem in the beginning, lies peace, equanimity, bliss, quietude and what we have been looking for all along, comfort. Over time, you’ll come to find that the type of comfort that comes from meditation is one that will never fade.
It’s important to remember that meditation, the practice of finding the quiet and peace within, is a process that will take time. Meditating requires patience. If we are gentle with ourselves, we can slowly open the door to the endless beauty of Life and create a space within that we can return to time and time again.
Thomas Tiernan teaches meditation in the Kriya tradition each Tuesday at 5:00pm at Total Body Yoga