March 31st, 2010 by

Choices, Choices, Choices

I’ve hit a mini-milestone of two months since I enacted my daily meditation practice. During this time I’ve experimented with different meditation methods from vipassana (Insight), metta (loving-kindness), guided, to chakra meditations. I love each avenue and “reach” for one depending on my needs at that moment, either because of my mood or my surroundings.

But I’ve been reading Jack Kornfield’s A Path with Heart in which he encourages you to “take the one seat”. He admonishes:

“If we do a little of one kind of practice and a little of another, the work we have done in one often doesn’t continue to build as we change to the next. It is as if we were to dig many shallow wells instead of one deep one. In continually moving from one approach to another, we are never forced to face our own boredom, impatience, and fears. We are never brought face to face with ourselves. So we need to choose a way of practice that is deep and ancient and connected with our hearts, and then make a commitment to follow it as long as it takes to transform ourselves.”

But how in the world do I choose one meditation style? This conundrum made me think of the myriads of choices we all make throughout our life, when there is no “correct” answer, only what is right for ourselves.

We grow up trying to figure out what we want to be in life and what career path to choose. Perhaps in adulthood you’re still trying to figure this out. The choices are endless! Do I want to be a veterinarian, lawyer, business executive, professional surfer, a stay-at-home mom? What kid of birth do I want? Natural, medicated, a c-section? What kind of parent do I want to be? Traditional, attached, somewhere in between? What will I name my child? Where will I travel to next? What will I eat for lunch?

Even when we finally make a choice, there are still more layers of decisions to be made within that choice. What kind of law do I want to practice? Will I give birth at a hospital, birthing center or at home? I want to practice yoga but will it be Hatha, Iyengar, Bikram, or Anusara? Do I want turkey or tuna?

With the plethora of choices we are faced with every day, it’s amazing we can ever make up our minds! And yet when our options are seriously investigated and our hearts and minds are probed, the choice we usually make doesn’t even seem like a choice at all. It’s what we were meant to do, to be, to see. It’s as if there is not another way that is more right for us than what we have chosen.

The challenge is to wade through our countless options and try to figure out what our very personal, exclusive truth is. When that truth is truly our own, every other choice will melt away. But beware, the Universe has a funny way of raising new questions, creating more choices to make. Thankfully I have my meditation practice to keep me calm and sane through all of this. Now, which meditation method am I going to choose to concentrate on again? *sigh*

S

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