When I first tried meditation, it was relatively easy to continue practicing on a daily basis because of the sheer novelty. I had boundless curiosity about my own mind and how the thoughts spasmodically jumped around from one topic to the next.
It was bizarre…and endlessly fascinating.
I will never forget the first time I heard the phone ring while I was meditating. The urge to answer the phone was so intense I had to make an enormous effort to refrain from jumping up and answering it. The sensations in that moment were nearly overpowering, but I learned to stay put and subsequent phone calls were easier and easier to resist.
For quite some time—years even—meditation was the only thing I wanted to do. Even though I knew I had become attached to the practice, I craved my alone time. When I got it, I marveled at how difficult some thoughts were to accept and let go and how easy others were.
It almost turned into a form of entertainment.
Over time, the thoughts became less frantic and intense. I learned to accept and let go of little triggers and even some big ones. I no longer felt imprisoned by my own mind. I had tasted freedom from intense emotions. And, despite an awareness that I was clinging, I kept meditating because I wanted to see just how much more I could learn.
Five years later, my experience of meditation is much, much different.
When I sit to meditate these days, I set my timer, focus on my breathing and notice very little. Thoughts still come and go, but they are comparatively mundane—tiny fragments of memories or anticipations that don’t carry much weight.
I face what seems to be a gaping pit of mental dullness.
I know this development is common. Dullness is one of the five hindrances in Buddhism, and there are various methods suggested as an antidote to the dullness. I am working on having greater alertness and awareness during my meditation.
But sometimes I believe it is necessary simply to notice the dullness.
Breathing in, I notice my bunny mind feels dull. Breathing out, I am aware that my bunny mind feels dull.
— Bunny Buddhism (@bunnybuddhism) June 2, 2014