Beginning a meditation practice is a bit like learning how to fish. No results are ever guaranteed and the best way to start is to simply set the proper conditions and begin.

Nobody wants to fall prey to rookie mistakes. When starting something new, we seek shortcuts to the top, guidance from friends or trusted experts. Read the Cliff’s Notes. Don’t want to waste time. Never want to appear to be inexperienced.

When it comes to learning how to fish, one can perform online research, read books and magazines, decide which body of water is desirable, purchase the necessary gear, hire a guide, pack a lunch and set forth. We can set all of the conditions just so, but nothing will compel a fish to jump onto the bait.

In meditation, we can ask it to be described in the most meticulous detail, we can research the different styles, we can take a class, we can turn to a private teacher or an app for guidance. We can purchase the stretchiest pants and the comfiest cushion, but comfortable experiences are not guaranteed. 

Am I doing it right? Yes. Is my back supposed to excruciate. Hopefully not, but sometimes. Its hot. Yep. I’m too busy. Yes. I can’t stop the deluge of thoughts. Yes. I’m bored. Perhaps.

Time and consistency are key. Show up and wait. Sit, stay, practice. Again and again. Until the vastness doesn’t seem so overwhelming. Until the stages of unfamiliarity become a routine stroll down a comfortable path. Until a structure begins to build itself around the formlessness of your experience.

Look out over the immensity of the water. The precise point where the water meets the sky. Consider the life teeming below. The rhythms and pulses under the surface. Can we ever really make sense of it all? Is there only one right way? Of course not! There are unlimited paths to enlightenment.

Teach a man to fish, and he’ll never go hungry. Teach yourself to meditate, and you’ll always know right where you are and exactly how you feel about it.

Please enjoy the guided relaxation and led breath practice at Always free and available to all 24 hours a day.