An Inner Resistance to Meditate

Have you noticed a great aversion to meditate? Have you seen it? Have you felt it – an inner resistance to meditate? Is not our resistance evidence of a subconscious fear that meditation will lead to remarkable change?

We have much to lose by looking inward – a deep-seated attachment to a false and complex identity that touches every aspect of our lives. What happens if that false identity begins to collapse? Who would not be afraid?

And yet we have much more to gain by looking inward - an immense and profound freedom/understanding that reaches far beneath and beyond our currently contrived sense of self.

So take the resistance as a good indication. It is a sign that your meditation is genuine, that your meditation is beginning to touch formerly unseen places. It is a sign that an amazing transformation could happen at any moment. It is to be sure, a very good sign.


It was a dark and stormy morning; the rain fell in torrents . . .

This morning when I awoke it was dark, cold, windy and raining. I really didn’t want to go for my morning run. (I mean it was really raining.)

Then I remembered my promise to myself. I would run every day. To keep my promise all I had to do was to start running each day, the duration didn’t matter. I could run for 60 minutes or 60 seconds. Since starting is the hardest part, as they say, simply starting to run each day was and is my promise to myself.

Anyway, as it turns out I had a wonderful run. Gusting winds and rain is a beautiful thing: the rain keeps you hydrated and purifies the air; the wind provides a visual treat by blowing trees and bushes in impossible ways; and the sound . . . like being right inside a Stravinsky composition.

It’s amazing how terrible a judge of what I’ll enjoy I can be sometimes.

Starting, it’s a nice way to begin. I’ll end there for now . . .


Zen in a Wine Glass

I’ve spent very little time speaking/writing lately.
I suppose I’ve been listening.

For example, I was just listening to myself transfer the wine glasses from the sink to the china cabinet. What a beautiful sound a vibrating wine glass makes.

And I could destroy that sound in an instant simply by grasping the glass with my hand.

This is what destroys beauty – holding it too tightly.

For beauty to be beauty it needs to be free – as free as a singing wine glass, a vibrating string. But to hear and feel beauty not only does the object of beauty need to be free, but you also need to be free. This freedom is faith – a deep trusting in the universe, being in a state of let go – letting the divine sing through you. It is falling in love with existence, becoming intoxicated with life itself.

But things can go wrong, and they usually do. Our natural/spiritual attraction to beauty can so easily turn into obsession – because being free can fill us with fear, we want to hold onto something, and hold onto it tightly. And of course once we do that, like grasping a singing wine glass, we’ve destroyed its song. When this happens authentic faith (trusting/letting go) is replaced by inauthentic faith (grasping).

Is this not what has happened to many of the “great” religions? Perhaps they began with one person or a group of people, who lived a life of authentic faith. Naturally others would be attracted to such individuals. But it never takes long for new followers to misunderstand. Their desire for authentic faith turns into grasping – they want to possess the beauty of the divine, but by grasping they destroy it – they live a life of inauthentic faith. For such misguided followers faith means holding tightly to a set of fundamental tenets – the stronger your grasp (beliefs), the stronger your faith. This type of faith (doctrinal) almost always becomes the foundation of a religion.

Most religions, therefore, become their own antithesis. Instead of the followers being in a state of let go, they are continuously in a state of never let go (of their cherished beliefs).

Instead of enjoying heavenly music, their hearts tighten into dissonant knots.

Rather than being lifted up by spiritual/natural beauty, they are let down by their own failing grasp.

Instead of focusing on the divine, they focus on the strength of their own convictions in the divine.

No, I haven’t spent a lot of time writing lately.

I suppose I’ve been listening – to the sound of vibrating wine glasses, to my daughter playing silently, to the miraculous song of existence . . . yes becoming drunk with beauty is as easy as listening and trusting in life. You don’t even need the wine, just the glasses.