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Catching the Small Fish: Meditation, Procrastination, and My Ego

I honestly thought it'd be easier to meditate twice a day for 20 minutes each sitting. After all, I was only going to do it for 30 days. How hard could that be?

Well, I've come to find out it's much harder than I thought. At least for me. I am halfway through My Thirty Days of Transcendental Meditation Challenge and I've missed one day, completely. Just skipped TM all together. Didn't forget, mind you. Just CHOSE not to do it, even when I remembered.

What I realize is that I don't want the peace of God as much as I think I do.

I mean, I do want some peace. I've done a lot to attain some peace: I've gone through the lessons of A Course in Miracles four or five times; I set up this TM challenge for myself; before this challenge, I TM-ed a few times a week; I read many of the great spiritual texts; I spent my life seeking spiritual teachers who could impart wisdom; so I know that I want something other than what this world offers me. But by the internal struggle I'm experiencing in meditating twice daily, it's clear that I don't completely want peace. More than anything, I am acutely aware of the vice grip my ego still has. It easily convinces me that sleeping in is better than meditating, even after 8 hours of sleep. I'm what it would call "a pushover."

I think the value of any spiritual discipline is not in doing it, but in realizing how much you don't want to do it. Noticing how invested you are in the world, in other people, in things, and in doing stuff to try to make you happy and fulfilled, rather than looking within.

I know why we don't meditate. The ego, our primary source of identification, dies in meditation, in stillness. And no one wants that. That's why very few people meditate. Because if "I" go away, who am I? What am I? Am I not all the things I have spent my life identifying with? And have worked hard to attain? Am I not a mother, a father, a daughter, a son, a banker, a teacher, a wife, a husband, a woman, a man...a human being? Outside of this illusion, who am I, really?

Besides all that, the only other thing I've noticed about myself after meditating 40 minutes daily, is that I'm more productive. Oh, the irony of sitting still and doing nothing each day! As opposed to David Lynch who wrote the book Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, I catch small fish. I haven't yet had any big ideas in meditation, but loads of small ones come swimming by--things I need to do, people I should contact, edits I can make on my book, a type of hypnosis session to do with a client. When I come out of meditation, I am more effective in my daily life. My mind is sharper and my time more laser-focused. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of TM, likened meditation to archery. He said that the technique of shooting the arrow is in pulling back. In other words, the arrow doesn't go anywhere unless you first pull back. Meditate and act. Pull the arrow and shoot. That's how you hit the target.

So I may not have as much of the peace of God as I thought, but I do have that.

We'll see what changes occur after a month. I'm hoping by then meditation will trump sleeping in.

I'll leave you with an short video of David Lynch talking about how and why he got into TM. I have no doubt he already caught a big fish today.