Treating Each Guest Honorably

Wall painting at Sati Yoga, Rimini, Italy, 2017

I have been doing daily meditations for several years now. Just like going gluten-free, I do not exactly remember when I turned meditation into a habit, but I am very happy I did it. I feel incomplete if a day goes by without meditating.

I was listening to the mindfulness expert Tara Brach yesterday, and at one point, she mentioned the idea of treating each guest honorably. She was, of course, referring to the non-stop thoughts that try to sabotage a meditation practice. Sabotage is not an accurate description, but I think you know what I mean. Thoughts are only doing what they are supposed to do. In the end, we are thinking creatures, and I feel grateful that I can think. It’s quite normal for thoughts to come and go during meditation practice. But, as Tara Brach suggests, we can imagine each thought and emotion that arise as guests. You can say hello to the guest, show him/her the room, and tell him/her to wait as you finish your meditation. An honorable guest can do that for you.

If you are practicing meditation, and sometimes being hard on yourself for not emptying your head, please don’t. Now and then, I listen to the podcasts of people who’ve been meditating for decades. Even they confess their thoughts run wild from time to time. It is normal. Please be kind to yourself.

And, most importantly, please do not ever abandon this wonderful practice. At times, it may seem like it’s not doing yourself any good. Or, it may seem a waste of time. It isn’t. Please trust the process. And remember, all is well:)

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