The Inner Weather Map - Bringing Balance to My Meditation Practice
Updated: Oct 11
When I sit for meditation, the first thing I do is to scan inside, assessing the inner weather map:
- Is there physical pressure anywhere?
- Is there any emotional disturbance?
- Are there any sensations of discomfort?
By taking a reading of my inner state, and then being present to whatever emerges I find I am able to circumvent the mental and physical restlessness that used to characterise my meditation practice.
Take this morning. As I was preparing for meditation, I sensed that this would be one of those days when I would be distracted; when, previously, I’d be lucky to last 5 minutes before grabbing my phone to check whatever, or just give up completely. This was when I took a deep breath and turned my attention to the inner 'climatic' conditions.
At once I noticed a twinge of energy, like a coiled-up spring, rising from my left hip up through my abdomen. In the past I might have tried to excavate a story that connected this sensation to a disturbing incident in my childhood. If not a story, at least I’d try to identify what cocktail of emotions - fear, anger and sadness - were connected with this sensation, and in what proportion. Now I have learned that the most effective way to relate to inner disturbance is to simply acknowledge it, be present with it and accept it with kindness. And breathe. And after a few moments I experienced some settling of the inner agitation. And the distracted feeling had settled.
Now I could take my attention to the more formal meditation practice. I felt calm and centred. while still aware of the dance of energy moving in my being; that coiled spring was still doing its thing and there wass some tightness in my left shoulder and jaw. And yet the overriding feeling was of peace and calm. I was able to rest here, knowing my inner being was being nourished and that, rather than distracting me, the energy pattern I’d noticed in that coiled up spring sensation had become somewhat integrated. It was no longer undermining my experience of wholeness, but rather supporting it. My mind could rest in its source, the heart.
Tomorrow, there may well be a different sensation showing up. And I can repeat the process.