How to Make Meditation Your Own
Meditation is like most things in life. Everyone experiences it differently. Developing and directing your awareness may be the foundation of effective meditation, but like any good foundation, it’s only the beginning. The next step is to build your house brick by brick, meditation session by meditation session, discovering what works for you and what doesn’t, until your practice is grounded and stable.
When you begin to develop and direct your awareness in meditation, you’re faced with the challenge of putting all the pieces together into an integrated practice that’s uniquely suited to your needs.
You may cherish the peace and relaxation you experience when you simply sit quietly without any effort or focus, not even the effort to be aware. Or you may have a specific purpose for meditating, such as healing an illness or resolving a disturbing psychological issue, and only feel drawn to approaches that help you meet your goals.
The key is to experiment with different forms of meditation and trust your intuition to tell you which ones are best suited for you. Inevitably, yin and yang tend to balance each other out; that is, you may start out with intense concentration and end up with more relaxed, receptive awareness; or you may begin in a more receptive mode and gradually discover the virtues of focus.
Of course, if you intend to maintain your practice from week to week and month to month, which is the only way to reap the benefits of meditation, you’ll probably need to draw on some of those time-honored qualities that every sustained enterprise requires: motivation, discipline, and commitment.