How can I meditate if I'm feeling bad?

Photo by  Abigail Keenan  on  Unsplash

It can be hard to stick with your meditation practice when you're wrestling with strong emotions. Here's some helpful perspective on why it's essential to keep at it, from WITHIN teacher Devon Pipars.

Q: I want to meditate, but I’m going through a lot emotionally right now, so I don’t think it’s the right time.

A: This is exactly when you need meditation the most! Imagine going to the physiotherapist because your back is out.  She recommends a course of exercises to strengthen the muscles and stabilize the posture. You may not want to start because you’re in pain, but starting in spite of the short term discomfort is the only way to prevent the pain from increasing and eventually to get out of pain for good.

So when you're having an especially stressful or emotional day, instead of saying to yourself, "This isn't the time because I don't feel peaceful," it's actually an opportunity to begin a process which will help disentangle you from the discomfort.

Remember, when you sit to meditate your only job is to watch without judgement, not to achieve stillness. The ocean isn’t any less the ocean during a violent storm or a calm, sunny day! 

When you begin to know yourself as the Knower or Witness of all your experience, you'll see that you, too, are in fact unchanged and unaffected, no matter what you are watching arising in consciousness.

This creates a little bit of space from the experience itself, and brings a sense of ease and relief. As you observe your experience, it also becomes obvious that all things are transitory, and sometimes, just recognizing that “this too shall pass” helps a lot!

Devon teaches our afternoon & evening classes on Mondays & Tuesdays. She has a passion for helping students deepen their practice, whether you're just starting out or have years of experience. Join her for a class this week!