34 Comments

Thanks for this reminder! I also found the part of your books where the Dalai Lama points out to the painter that his incredible focus/mindfulness and mental quiet while he is painting is, effectively, a form of meditation.

There was a comedian I was listening to the other day that commented that pre-mobile-phone, we all practiced mindfulness often, which is why (he claimed) we talk so much about it now vs in the 80s. He joked how when we use to wait, we actually just sat quietly and waited (watching the paint peel), when we rode the bus we just sat on the bus watching someone's nose drip, and when we pooped, we just sat quietly and pooped. Well, he did have a point.

Personally, I needed the reminder that without meditation, I'm assuming my mind is calm (ha!) and without that discipline, not checking in regularly, I honestly don't know.

I so appreciate your work!

Expand full comment
author

Thanks so much for sharing those insights, Sheri. I also often contemplate the spaces in our lives that seemed so natural before, which are now spent looking at a phone ...

Expand full comment

David, Thank you for this wisdom…As a very calm person by nature, my personal beautiful meditation practice is Kinhin, a walking meditation. There have been so many unexpected gifts and benefits that have come from my practice…Aside from reducing my mind chatter throughout the day it’s when I’m most” living in the now,” bringing in clarity , focus and I believe enhances my creativity. Because I live in nature vs busy city noise it never fails to open my heart to gratitude for such a blessing of peace and quiet not only for my life but for the ability to be part of the beauty around me .Sometimes I feel one with the leaves of the trees or the pine cones highest on the tallest of trees opening to the sun or closing in the rain…perhaps meditation brings us closer to Source Energy, a happiness that can’t be defined with mere words…one of the joys of life really! ❤️ Adrienne

Expand full comment
author

I am so glad to hear this, thank you Adrienne. Walking in nature is a beautiful meditation!

Expand full comment

I feel happy and reassured when you describe our human condition, kind of like an AA meeting for humans anonymous. As a Centering Prayer practitioner, I meditate for Love, and it's amazing that even in the most intimate communing with the divine, my thoughts couldn't care less! They operate on a different plane, but gradually I am able to calm them down and ignore them. But they teach me so much about my personality and self-constructed world, as well.. what a worthwhile journey!

Expand full comment
author

Beautifully described, thank you so much Kathy!

Expand full comment
Apr 6Liked by David Michie

Favorite segment, "But it really isn’t like that, neither the unique freneticism nor the special talent. We are all in the same boat – i.e. obsessive-compulsive thinkers. Thought huggers. People in thrall to our own inner chatter - especially the negative kind!" Thank you. Namaste. 💜🙏🧘‍♀️

Expand full comment
author

Thank you so much for identifying this particular segment, Deborah! Warmest wishes, David

Expand full comment

The reason we don't see progress in meditation is because we meditate with ulterior motives, that is to improve ourselves or get something out of meditation. It's when we meditate for the sake of meditating that the magic of Meditation happens by itself.

Expand full comment
author

Yes, Spiritual Entertainer, it is a challenge for many of us goal-orientated types to loosen the grip of expectation.

Expand full comment
Apr 7Liked by David Michie

Thank you so much, David! You have given a very clear summary of important points concerning meditation. For me it is a precious reminder that will help me to re-concentrate my attention on my meditation practises.

Expand full comment
author

I am so glad you find it helppful, thank you Susanna!

Expand full comment
Apr 6Liked by David Michie

Thanks David. I am definitely a sporadic meditator. Full of good intentions but short on staying power! Much like my non existent gym practice now I think of it. I've been meditating off and on for about 3 years. It never seems to improve but perhaps overall my outlook on life has changed for the better. I often find lessons and inspiration re-reading your HHC books which send me back to the cushion to try again when I have lapsed. When I think about it the fact that I keep returning is in itself progress. I've been doing that for way longer than I ever tried going to the gym.😁 Reading your well timed reminder not to over expect also helps me to keep returning to my cushion.

Expand full comment
author

Wonderful - thank you Anne! I have no doubt that you'd an ever greater benefit with a more regular practice!

Expand full comment

I realised the 3 point has been blocking me. I never saw meditation in the same way of sports, I don't know which variants are out there, I just try something and then I can't keep up with it.. So this was actually a small revelation !

Thanks David!

Expand full comment
author

I am so glad to have stimulated this small revelation, Marie! Welcome to our virtual Dharma group here on Substack!

Expand full comment
Apr 7Liked by David Michie

That is a well explained chapter about the practice of meditation.

A lot of it will ring a bell with many of us.

Like the ocean, it won’t always be calm and stormy skies do appear to remind

us to pull closer to shore or anchor somewhere safely. Clouds pass in time.

We all love the fair weather and encourage others to join us on our majestic sea.

The crew have work to do and the vessel is seemingly never still.

We sail away and day by day we make progress realising the journey is

As important as the destination. We may be surprised and even elated on arrival.

Meditation is a process to internalise our comfortability in the fact that no sooner we

arrive that we will be leaving. Enjoy the ride.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you so much for sharing that ship metaphor Malcolm!

Expand full comment
Apr 7Liked by David Michie

Much gratitude for this reminder., David. Everything you present is so helpful and inspiring.

Having lapsed about 12 years ago with my meditation practice, which slowly trickled down to the bottom of my self care routine by 2018, so much I barely thought about it. Then in 2019 I was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease, Hypopituitarism, which shut down my adrenals, and I went into adrenal crisis almost dying. In 2020 I was diagnosed with another rare genetic disease of the connective tissue, called Ehlers-Danols type hEDS. It comes with Dysautonomia(the type where the sympathetic nervous system overrides the parasympathetic, causing me to have constant adrenaline dumps), and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. I’ve had mild to moderate symptoms all my life, but this was a wake up call. I started meditating again, with an agenda. To stop the panic attacks and anxiety. Then, realizing at some point, it was going deeper into a spiritual realm and I needed to let go of any control my ego thought it had. It’s a curious process, so many paradoxical things, there are thoughts negative, positive, and everything else thrown in like a big pot of “clean out the fridge” stew. Every time I meditate it’s something new. Sometimes I don’t want to do it, but I know that’s usually when I need it the most. I love what you said about trying different types of practices to see what works for you. I’m doing that, and finding some things don’t work now, but in time I go back to them and they do. I stopped asking why, and just go with it. I’m a messy, imperfect human, and yet I feel better equipped on most days to deal with what comes. I look at what my mind labels as “bad” and ask “ what can I learn from this”? And sometimes I just feel completely overwhelmed and forget everything else, but the self pity party. So it goes…🌼

Thank you for the updates and the heartwarming pictures from the charities. Pure love and joy within me.💖

Expand full comment
author

Thank you so much for sharing in such an honest and heartfelt way, Laura. It is so true that the positive and negative are all there, mixed up together. Also that practices that don't appeal very much to begin with can become our favourites. But what a gentle, fascinating and powerful practice to have available, and how lucky are we not simply to know about it, but to actually do it?! (How do other people cope?!)

Expand full comment
Apr 6Liked by David Michie

Hi David - Thank you once again for writing just the right article at just the right time. The insights and wisdom which you share so freely and in ways that are so relatable are a blessing for everyone who has the opportunity to read them. You are a gift to all of us. Grateful, as always - Donna Daisy

Expand full comment
author

My heartfelt thanks for your beautiful message, Donna!

Expand full comment
Apr 6Liked by David Michie

Just what I needed to read this morning!

I have just finished reading your book Hurry Up and Meditate and it got me inspired to resume my sporadic meditation practice and turn it into a daily habit.

I am currently in the " it feels like I am getting worse" stage, so this post has come at exactly the right time to encourage me to stick with it.

Expand full comment
author

I am really pleased you got to read this when you thought you were getting worse, Samantha. Really, you are just getting clearer - i.e. better! Although it may not feel that way! Wishing you a few wonderful sessions among all the average ones to help keep you going!

Expand full comment
Apr 6Liked by David Michie

Very helpful. I need more curiosity and playfulness in my meditations. Thanks ❤️

Expand full comment
author

I think most of us do, Penelope. It's easy to be too very serious about it all, and bypass the joy of it!

Expand full comment
Apr 6Liked by David Michie

Thanks David. That was a very useful article - postive and practical!

Expand full comment
author

So glad to hear, thank you Mary!

Expand full comment
Apr 6Liked by David Michie

Thank you for your encouragement to lapsed meditators, the first step is the hardest. I always appreciate your pics from the Twala Trust too, thank you.

Expand full comment
author

I so agree, thank you Wendy!

Expand full comment
Apr 6Liked by David Michie

Thank you for this today. I am grateful for your wisdom.

Expand full comment
author

The wisdom all comes from someone else, Karen, but I'm happy to be the conduit!

Expand full comment