We put so much time into taking care of our bodies. I’ve been watching this tendency in myself recently. Almost all day long, I’m preoccupied with it. From thinking about what my next meal will be, to reflecting on how my last meal made me feel, to trying counting my steps, to washing my hair, to picking out my clothes, to going to the bathroom -- so many of my waking hours are spent in maintaining or adorning this body.
And what is equally true is that this body that I’m so invested in is dying. As the Buddhist saying goes: death became part of my body the moment it was born.
In comparison, how much time do I spend taking care of my mind, something that will stay with me just as long as my body will, and according to the teachings, for even longer after that?
And I mean really taking care of my mind. Not just reading a serious book or listening to something interesting every once in a while, but really taking a closer look at the thing that runs this entire show - that colors every single moment and experience I have. How often do I pause to take a closer look at it and try to cultivate a better relationship with it? How often do I try to cultivate a mind that experiences more joy, love, peace, freedom, and wisdom, and less judgment, anger, hatred, and misunderstanding?
Regular meditation is a beautiful opportunity to see how our minds actually work, to watch how it creates our reality, and to begin to influence how it moves. Through consciously working with our thought patterns, we build the capacity to transform suffering into bliss. To radically alter the way we see the world around us. To truly understand the world around us and how we co-create it.
And yet- in the moment, meditation often doesn’t feel that radical or sexy. It can be frustrating. Like, how am I supposed to sit still for this long? Why is focusing on the breath so boring? What do I do when my knees hurt? How do I stop getting distracted? And on and on.
But this is how it begins. Very few people just fall in love with sitting still and looking at our minds right away. For most of us, it takes a certain amount of trust in all the wise beings and ancient teachings that have come before that tell us, in no uncertain terms, over and over again, that slowing down and calming the mind is vital for our ultimate freedom. So at the beginning, we force it. We hold ourselves to a practice even when we don’t feel like it. And slowly, we start to see our worlds and minds begin to shift, and if we’re lucky, that motivation keeps us going.
At Sama we believe meditation doesn’t just have to be something you suffer through alone, but that the power of community can make your meditation more magical. We focus just as much on our meditation classes as our yoga classes, and we invite you to join us for Breath (our pranayama class, a great place to begin if you’re new to meditation), Stress Relief Meditation (a practice focused on mindfulness and breath awareness), and Open Heart Meditation (a visual practice designed to grow our capacity for compassion). Each one of our classes begins with a short introduction and ends with a discussion.
Try one or all and see what the best fit is for you, right now. And what you get in return is a community of other beings trying to do the same as you: work on their mind, change their reality.