Updated: Jan 23
2021 was a challenging year in many ways, personally and I think globally. We are divided, fed up, frustrated, angry, sad, and just on edge in general. I know I have been overwhelmed with a feeling of sadness and disillusion about the state of the world. And this had repercussions on my meditation practice throughout 2021.
I generally stay away from categorising or defining my meditations as good or bad (or any other term to be honest), because they are just as they are when they are, simply moments of contemplation and acceptance. Nevertheless, I observed my mind being restless and overwhelmed significantly more this past year; the times of peacefulness and intense connection have been very few and far between.
Despite all this, I kept on sitting through the discomfort; attempting to anchor myself over and over again to a present moment which seemed to slip further and further away at times. Or perhaps it is a present moment I do not want to reside in. The present moment is said to be free of worries, anxieties, fears etc, but I have struggled to put aside the insanity of everything that has been unfolding in the past couple of years. Being fully present is not my biggest issue, but rather being fully present in this place at this moment in history.
It is true that when I sit with myself, here and now - focusing on my breath or a part of my body or whatever I choose as a focal point - I am free of my past and future (if only for a few moments, then I focus again, over and over). Yet, beyond sitting with myself, I am also sitting with the collective consciousness. I feel like that is what I have been experiencing in meditation in 2021: my discomfort and, by proxy, that of the collective. Up until last year, I think the nature of my meditation practice was very self-centered, in the sense that it supported a soul-searching and self-healing journey. It has now shifted to a tool to cultivate an attitude of understanding, compassion and acceptance of all the events, behaviours and circumstances which I cannot comprehend yet.