In the city you can pretty much get anything you want immediately. Download an App and a beautician is just a tap away. Your favourite food can be delivered anytime. You can swipe for a new romantic date and stream unlimited movies and music. Isn’t it amazing?
Here in the country (where I’m writing to you from) life is a bit slower, but you can still get most things quickly using the internet. I think often about this quick culture when I teach people meditation and mindfulness skills. Here’s why.
By the time someone decides to learn meditation it’s likely that they are either a truth seeker with an interest in the nature of existence, or they are looking for some kind relief. Or both which is very common. It’s understandable then, that by the time they sit down to meditate they want to find relief from the pressures of life as quickly as possible.
They want to feel better. Less anxious, overwhelmed and burnt out. More contended, calm and happy. There are of course exceptions; there are no rules of thumb and meditation happens differently for everyone. Yet I can’t help but think that one of the best things meditation has to offer is slow-happiness.
To explain the difference between fast and slow-happiness let’s use physical fitness as a metaphor:
Slow happiness is a low resting heart rate and plenty of fitness fuelled muscle memory built over time.
Fast happiness is the endorphin fuelled joy-high you get in the period after a fitness class.
Now let’s bring this metaphor back to meditation. The state you find yourself in at the end of a meditation is your fast-happiness. You get the immediate effect of doing meditation. Which, for the most part is very relaxing, but it can also be neutral or subdued.
Regardless of the kind of fast-happiness you get at the end of a meditation, It’s exciting to remember that each time you sit down and do some meditation you’re building your happiness muscle and lowering your resting stress rate.
If you want to know if your meditation is working, take it up regularly and watch to see the changes that occur over several months or years. Even if you just take it up once a week or once a month, something new will evolve. And while the challenges of life may continue to come and go, you will have built up an enviable resting stress rate that doesn’t wear off after a few hours. You will have slow-happiness!
If you think teaching or mentoring would help, you can join my online group meditation class once a week, or once a month. And if groups aren’t for you, you can study with me once a month privately.
It’s been my experience that each visit with your meditation pillow (or chair) builds inner firmament layer by layer. What may start as a wellbeing pastime can open the door to a new understanding of who or what we are, and a new more enjoyable way of being in the world.
What do you think? Have you taken up meditation and found similar or different? Do leave a comment and let me know I always like reading what you have to say.