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Sitting Comfortably

May 16, 2019

Written for GirlieontheEdge’s Six Second Stories.
PROMPT WORD:  GOAL

Sitting Comfortably

In “Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life“, Thich Nhat Hanh says, “We sit to enjoy our sitting, we do not sit in order to attain any goal.” This was one of the most important instructions I read in regard to meditation.

When I first tried to meditate I was lost in a world of runaway thoughts where five minutes felt like five hours. I actually felt worse when I finished because I judged myself on my inability to meditate “correctly”, to define a particular goal and to cross over that undefined finish line where I would feel that I had ‘done’ something.

Then came Thay and suddenly it was easier for me to feel more comfortable with nothing but a breath.

Meditation still tests me, but when I sit to meditate now I know there is no right or wrong, no finish line, no goal, no “doing” – there’s just here and now and breath.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2019 11:15 am

    I have tried meditation but my mind won’t shut off long enough to think on one thing. ADD from helvitica.

    Good post, good advice, good use of the cue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 19, 2019 1:07 am

      I recently reattempted meditation and your points are spot on! Thoughts may intrude, but breathing and allowing help me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
        May 20, 2019 12:44 pm

        Always go back to the breathing, that’s supposed to be the key. That and the self-acceptance.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      May 20, 2019 12:46 pm

      How about not thinking about anything other than the breath going in and going out?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pat Brockett permalink
    May 16, 2019 11:24 am

    I love your explanation of meditating, especially that last line! Great SSS.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. May 16, 2019 12:34 pm

    Oh,this: “I actually felt worse when I finished because I judged myself on my inability to meditate “correctly”, to define a particular goal and to cross over that undefined finish line where I would feel that I had ‘done’ something”
    Thank you for articulating a “first” experience! You give me hope that I’m not “hopeless” at my attempts at “successful” meditation 😀
    Very enjoyable SSS 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      May 20, 2019 12:45 pm

      Thank you! You’re not hopeless at all! And I think when we can not focus on the ‘success’ part we’ll be on the path to being successful.

      Like

  4. May 16, 2019 5:18 pm

    More people need to know what you said in that last sentence when they begin. Well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. May 16, 2019 7:57 pm

    its that damn ‘not doing’…. gah! a tough one, that!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. May 17, 2019 7:05 am

    A very mindful six. mediation has always made me feel less than because I cannot Do It.I will remember your words…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. May 17, 2019 12:17 pm

    wonderful practicing
    mindfulness of what
    ever you do
    throughout
    your peaceful
    day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      May 20, 2019 1:05 pm

      That’s a nice little mantra there 🙂 ! I think the happiest people around are the ones who are mindful of everything happening in their lives. If they’re not the happiest then I think they might be the least anxious.

      Like

  8. May 20, 2019 10:03 am

    I’m never sure if when I’ve tried to meditate in the past if I actually ever did do it properly. Seems like my mind always wanders off and I think about all sorts of things while also thinking I’m a failure at meditation. Does that make sense?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      May 20, 2019 1:08 pm

      It makes perfect sense to me! I think the thing we all need to remember is that there is no such thing as “failure” at meditation. If our mind wanders off then we just bring it back with compassion and return to our breath.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. May 24, 2019 6:56 am

    Great post. I had just gotten off the cushion when I read it. 🙂 I so agree with you that is not ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to practice meditation. Even when my mind goes off somewhere – and it does a lot – I am getting better at noticing it. I’ll just say to myself, “You can have that thought but not right now.” I think it is helping me in conversations with people. Before I say something I am more inclined now to evaluate whether I want to express that thought right now. I find lots of benefits to meditating during the rest of the day even if I get distracted a lot during the session itself. So glad you posted this. I enjoyed the clarity.

    Like

    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      May 27, 2019 2:01 pm

      Thanks, LuAnne! I read somewhere to recognize the thought and name it and then let it go so that’s what I try to do – “worried thought, I’ll think about that later” – or something like that. I never thought about it helping in conversations with other people though so I’m going to have to pay attention to that!

      Liked by 1 person

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