These long meditations of 30-60min differ from the short 5min ones like at Chapel because we are trying to confront the obstacles that keep us from perfect stillness or jhana. And here we see the parallel between meditation and life in general. The same obstacles keep us from being happy, free and spontaneous and lead us into various painful suffering experiences. So let’s consider obstacles. You might say life is about relationships. With people, objects, circumstances. An example is your car. Typically you identify part of yourself as the person who drives that car, so when you get a new car you feel a little changed, a little like a new person. Same with clothing, homes, jobs, degrees, relationships, etc. You find that the specifics change while the theme persists, because you still have the same relationship to mature, grow, learn from. They often say this when you find yourself dating the same kind of wrong person, but it’s true in all parts of life. So what are your limits? Yoga is about facing your limits not extending them. It’s more important to develop a better relationship with dropbacks like not being afraid of them, than it is to be able to do dropbacks. The same is true of most asanas. How do you feel about a deep twisting pose like Marichiasana D? Each time you practice you can feel in more harmony with it, regardless of increased flexibility, strength, balance, etc. If you’re lucky enough that your limits don’t have the upper hand, then you’re not lost in panic or despair. In a sense you gain confidence by facing your limits. Real confidence, not the fake confidence you can get by pretending. Then once you are confident you can question the sources of confidence which include more than just the limits you’ve learned to be comfortable with. It’s like considering your attachments. For me I gained confidence from affection, money, college degrees, ordinations, appearance, life-skills and traveling, other specific skills, my parents, mentors, friends. Then when I ask why, I delve deeper into how I get confidence from each. That’s part of knowing myself which just by knowing, generates more confidence. Then of course sitting in jhana permeates me with confidence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *