Have you ever had one of these days –
you wake up late.
you spill coffee on your clothes.
your forget your cell phone and have to turn around.
you hit every.single.red.light….

me too. And, for me at least, the feeling I keep noticing on days like this is a feeling of ANGER. Any one of those little things would be nothing at all, but somehow when compiled it becomes a hot mess of “not okay” and one of our primary responses as humans is one of aggression.

Aggression is one of the three primary causes of suffering identified by meditators of long ago. Last week, we talked about grasping (another cause of suffering); grasping happens as we try to get things JUST RIGHT. The right job, the right house, the right income, and THEN I’ll be happy….

Aggression comes into play when amidst all our grasping we realize things still aren’t just right. They are off in some way so we immediately go into blame mood. “If I could just figure out WHY then I could fix it…”
But, trying to find a reason for the minutia of our lives is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Instead, it is helpful to address the aggression itself. To turn inward and listen. After all, our ability to be non-aggressive with others is directly related to our ability to be non-aggressive within ourselves.

Join me for today’s talk on aggression, the meditation ritual we will work with, and a 20-minute practice at the end.

Be sure to connect with me on social media to share your thoughts; does aggression come into play for you? When do you most notice it?

#meditatewithmeryl
Photo by Asa Rodger on Unsplash

A new month, a new series….

This series was born from struggle. Struggle with too much intensity, too much hurt, too much confusion. This happens in our lives at various points, for various reasons… For me right now, current events and the state of the world are what caused my spiral into intense and overwhelming emotion.

And, as always, it was/is my practice that helped to bring me back. These struggles, our struggles, aren’t new and neither are the remedies. The practice of meditation was born out of the realization that human life equals suffering. This practice is 2500+ years old. We don’t have to make up solutions or practices to help us; they already exist.

We simply have to find our practice and trust it.

Meditators through time discovered that our suffering has 1 of 3 causes. In this 3 part series, we will look at each cause in turn. Today, we are talking about –

Grasping. It is that state of constantly getting ready for the next thing. Something better is around the corner if I could just hurry up and get there. The state of reaching for what we want, and running from what we don’t like.

It is exhausting, disappointing and we do it all the time.

Our path to freedom can summed up by a man who lived to be 116 years old. When asked the secret to his longevity, he said, “when it rains, I let it.”

Join me for today’s exploration of ritual and the path to freedom followed by a 20-minute guided meditation and gratitude practice.

Next week, we will be exploring aggression.

#meditatewithmeryl

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

This week’s podcast is a recording of a special class we hosted at Sacred Chill {West} as a fundraiser for Raices Texas – an organization that provides legal aid to the refuge parents and children separated at the US Mexico border over these last several months.

If you listened to the previous week’s episode, you know I just talked about the tendency to feel MORE as we start meditating, and this is a perfect example of what I meant. Once our hearts are open, we can’t simply turn off the news and “not think about it”. We can’t simply assume someone else will fix it. We feel and care deeply about the suffering of others, and as we watch the unfolding of our current immigration policies, the separation of parents and children feels deeply painful to many of us.

I will pause here and offer deep gratitude to Susan Piver, one of my meditation teachers, who shared a beautiful lovingkindness meditation in honor of these refuge families last week. It touched me deeply and helped me work with the difficult and painful emotions I was struggling with. It was very much my inspiration as I created this practice.

If you too are struggling with the intensity of suffering in the world right now, I humbly offer this meditation in hopes that it provides some small measure of comfort.

May all beings everywhere be happy & free.

with love,
Meryl

#meditatewithmeryl
Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

This entire series, Joyful Effort, was inspired by a student’s recent comment to me that although she was trying to meditate everyday she didn’t really feel BETTER. Her anxiety didn’t go away after meditation. Neither did sadness…

This is truly so common, and it is this way because in meditation we aren’t trying to feel better. We aren’t trying to do anything other than be with whatever is happening for us in that moment.

Remember, mindfulness meditation is simply being in the PRESENT moment, without JUDGMENT, and with COMPASSION. That’s it. It isn’t about being peaceful. Or happy. It is just about being.

When we sit in this way a funny thing starts to happen. We start to feel MORE. It isn’t always comfortable, but this is the path we’ve picked. And, in truth, the comfortable path doesn’t really exist, does it? We could try to stay closed off and shut down but that is exhausting and lonely. We could try drugs or alcohol to numb us but those effects don’t last and eventually kill us. We could try some white-light, head-in-the-clouds stuff but is that really our calling as citizens on this planet? To check out?

This practice isn’t about feeling better; it’s about feeling more alive.

Join me for this week’s brief discussion and 20-minute meditation. And, don’t forget, if this topic calls to you, the early-bird pricing for my August meditation retreat, From Tough to Tender, ends Friday, June 22. Grab your spot before they are gone via merylarnett.com.

How do we keep the work of sitting still & learning our own minds joyful? How do we remain curious through boredom, fear, or frustration?

One of the most common frustrations that comes up with a meditation practice is the oh-so-irritating, “I CAN’T STOP THINKING?!”

As we explore joy in our meditation practice this week, I want us to notice that it isn’t the thoughts themselves that cause suffering. It is how we FEEL about our thoughts that causes this discomfort. In this week’s podcast, we talk about finding stability within instability, non-attachment and turning around to meet your thoughts.

“The bad news is you’re falling through air, nothing to hang onto, no parachute. The good news is, there is no ground.”
~Chogyam Trungpa

#meditatewithmeryl

Happy June, meditators! This month our community intention at Sacred Chill {West} is JOYFUL EFFORT <3 As we think about summer there is a carefree, exciting hum of energy that often accompanies the expectation of the next many weeks. And, yet as adults, most of us will still get up and go to work. We will still be responsible for bills, laundry and dirty dishes. The normalcy of life goes on right along side this feeling of summertime… This seems to be a perfect parallel to our meditation practice. There is often an expectation of feeling peaceful, joyous, or maybe just calm, and yet the truth of meditation is we are just sitting there, feeling our breath and noticing our 1,000,000,000 thoughts. #notpeacefulnotjoyousnotcalm And, so we kick-off this month’s meditation series, Joyful Effort, with a look at the juxtaposition of the mundane and the joyous. Tune in for this week’s introduction to the series as well as a look at one of meditation’s most common complaints: “I don’t have enough time!” #meditatewithmeryl

Newsletter

Free meditations and updates!

Subscribe to my mailing list

Sign-up to receive a FREE, weekly meditation!

* indicates required