Interruptions, expectations, deep thoughts...oh my!
TL;DR: anything that happens in our meditation that is out of our control, we are going to work on responding to it with: "I don't know and I don't care."
Life isn't perfect and neither is our meditation practice and sometimes, we experience issues during our practice that are less than ideal. You know, things like interruptions, expectations, dark / heavy thoughts or falling asleep.
If / when we're interrupted during a meditation session, we may initially become upset at whatever is interrupting us. But guess what Light Watkins says we should implement here instead? You got it: "I don't know and I don't care." Obviously if it's something that needs to be address or needs your immediate attention, it's for the best that you end your meditation practice quickly and come back to it later on when the issue is settled and in an environment that is less distracting.
When we first start establishing our meditation practice, it might be tempting to end the session before our designated stop time. I know this was something that I struggled with when I first started this challenge - I would sit for a few minutes, start to get antsy when I couldn't focus / didn't know enough just yet about noticing my breath or mantra, so I would give up and move on with my day. In today's lesson, Light suggests that we give up the expectation that the meditation needs to go by faster and to just let go of the expectation that we have of what should be happening as that expectation could be the exact thing that is slowing down the process. Again, it comes back to our "I don't know, I don't care" attitude regarding how much time we have remaining or why time seems to be going by so slowly. The times when we are most antsy in our meditation are the greatest opportunities we have for quieting our minds.
"The mind never falls quiet by resisting anything, it's the opposite; we need to always practice embracing."
Dark / Heavy Thoughts
It's not surprising that sitting still and letting your mind wander can lead to dark or heavy thoughts and the best way to interact with them? You guessed it: "I don't know, I don't care." Don't start playing therapist with yourself in the middle of meditation as this could cause everything to slow down, making you hyper-aware in the process, according to Light.
Because so many people in our society are sleep-deprived, it's not uncommon that when people first begin their meditation practice, they fall asleep. One of the great things about meditation is that it's a corrector for sleep deprivation, and the quality of sleep for those who meditate may improve once they incorporate meditation into their every day lives.
During our eight minute meditation session today I was interrupted by a few text messages and even a phone call (I forgot to put my phone on airplane mode!)...the first message that came through annoyed me (especially because it was just from my local grocery store about weekend savings / promotions) but I quickly implemented an "I don't know and I don't care" attitude at the other two iPhone interruptions and it was true: I didn't know who or what was trying to reach me but in that moment of meditation, I didn't care. "I'm here" I quietly whispered to myself and brought the focus back to noticing my breath and mantra.