Running into difficulties in meditation, or the spiritual path altogether, is completely normal – and to be expected. If you don’t have difficulties, you’re probably not meditating correctly. This is because, as Trungpa Rinpoche said, “Meditation isn’t a sedative. It’s a laxative.” Meditation is designed to break things loose, and to bring unconscious processes into the light of consciousness. This is the only way to be free of them. If we don’t unearth and bring these deep processes into consciousness awareness, they will continue to rule, and often ruin, our lives.
So you’re not doing something wrong if meditation seems to be making your life worse, or if you’re struggling along the path. That’s often a good sign. That often means the path is starting to work – whether you like it or not. If we can learn about some of these problems, we can work with them more skillfully. We can transform our obstacles into the opportunities they truly are. What could more powerful than learning that the difficulties of your meditation, or your life, are actually the greatest blessings. This is where the spiritual action is. This is where real growth can occur.
If we have the proper view, or understanding, we can really accelerate our spiritual evolution by relating to our problems properly. If we don’t have the proper view, our problems will drag us down, cause us to stall on the path, or to drop it altogether. This is the tragedy. Instead of seeing these problems as markers of progress, we see them as markers of regress. We run away from something we should actually be walking towards.
You might find another related post I wrote of interest called Meditation is Difficult Because Waking Up Hurts
Excerpted from Andrew’s book, The Power and The Pain; Transforming Spiritual Hardship into Joy,