Reflect without judgment and expectation when you meditate. It is very important and healthy to remind yourself not to judge yourself and not to compare yourself with others. Keep that in mind and then reflect on your own recent behavior. Ask yourself honestly. How did I speak? Did I act appropriately? How did I behave? Did I lose my own mindfulness? Was I aware of my actions? Don’t just “believe” that meditation is going to “fix” something.
Begin With One Thing
In the beginning, you need to choose one thing as your focus. How should we pick what to focus on? We should select the emotion that is most habitual in our own minds. We need to see how our minds behave. Understand this as slow training.
Rinpoche observes than many of us approach meditation as if we are interviewing for a job we really want. We know we want to meditate, but we are not sure if we will do it well. That may be because we compare ourselves and our practice to the stories of the great masters. Then, we become concerned and we are nervous. Why? We have expectations. With this attitude, we are going to have a difficult time. We must keep reminding ourselves not to have too much expectation. Lowering expectation reduces the fear.
First, it is important to feel that you are very fortunate and very content. Then remind yourself not to judge. Judgment produces good or bad feelings. Rinpoche gives the example of someone having neck pain. If you go to the doctor and he operates on your head it will not help. He needs to do some procedure on the neck. Similarly, meditation needs to be effective. Meditation must produce some transformation in your thinking and in your behavior.
Rinpoche uses the example of pride. When we are proud, we are very vulnerable. We are very concerned about how others view us. If someone treats us poorly, we get a lot of pain. We feel we have “rights” to speak or to act. But, we need to understand that this attitude actually causes us pain. Many of us feel this way.
When we reflect on pride or any other emotion, we need to start from a feeling of contentment. Don’t hope to get good results, but just observe. Don’t have expectations of results. Be fearless!
Rinpoche explains that this is how he personally stays motivated. He doesn’t miss a day of practice because he reflects. Self-reflection allows us to see how the practice is transforming us. That is how we practice mindfulness. Watch and let it happen!