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Zen and the Art of Non-Judgment

Am I Doing Meditation Wrong?

Some people experience more stress from meditation than they should. According to some practitioners and teachers, there isn’t really a wrong way to do meditation. Meditation can happen in as quick as a moment by taking a deep breath and putting attention on that breath. Meditation is that moment you lose yourself in the present moment without thinking of anything else. Or, meditation can be long amounts of time spent deep in practice. If meditation starts causing you stress instead of relieving stress, you aren’t necessarily doing meditation wrong. You might, however, need to tweak your practice and take a look at what parts of your meditation practice are causing you more stress than necessary.

You have high expectations

Many people think of meditation as looking something like this: You sit cross-legged on a small cushion and you fall deep into a trance like state in which your mind is completely empty and free from distractions. This can be meditation, most often Zen meditation, but this is not the only kind of meditation especially if you are new to a practice. Men and women who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction tend to keep unrealistically high expectations. Underneath their repeated self-sabotaging behaviors is a certain level of perfectionism and high expectations to which they are always failing to achieve. When your brain has been affected by addiction, settling into a Zen like state of meditation might be biochemically impossible at first. Much of the practice of meditation is actually noticing your thoughts and learning to acknowledge them without reading too much into them. If you are completely focused on emptying all of your thoughts to the point that every single thought causes you stress, you’re missing the point of meditation. Meditation incorporates the theme of non-judgment. Having high expectations means you are inherently readying yourself to be extremely judgmental.

Another theme of recovery comes into play here: acceptance. Acceptance is a place that anyone who has lived with active addiction has to come to when they are accepting that they are in fact addicted and that their addiction has grown beyond their control. From that moment on, acceptance plays a vital role in their lives. One of the most difficult things to accept is being human in that being human means not being perfect and having flaws- like needing time, just like everyone else, to learn how to meditate and quiet the mind. Having acceptance means being nonjudgmental. Being nonjudgmental means having low expectations. Lower expectations means more room for improvements and surprises instead of disappointments. Take a deep breath and let it go. There, you’re meditating.

Get started on the road to recovery today by getting in touch with us today. Our team is ready to work with you. When you come to Anchored Recovery, you join a community of like minded peers pursuing a brighter future. Call us today for information on our full continuum of care options: 800.848.6168

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