When we encounter the someone who causes us pain it’s like seeing ourselves in disguise. With wisdom, we can see that the end of our suffering is actually contained within in our current experience. It’s a reminder that something is out of balance.

Everything that we’ve been longing for is right in front of us. The path has been paved. It’s up to us to follow it.

Use the manure of your experience.

In other words, use your crap. The stuff you don’t want to deal with, is the very stuff that will reveal what you may be denying in your life. If it shows up over and over again, maybe there’s a message there. Whatever is arising is useful– the good, bad and even the ugly. At first we may view our experiences intellectually, because this is where we need to start the analysis. We can really take a close look and determine what is useful for us and what is not. Favorable conditions may actually be obstacles in disguise and the things we beleive are obstacles are actually favorable. Being able to identify when these things arise is when wisdom begins.

With an open mind and continual investigation, over time you’ll start to see your experiences in a more subtle way and begin to notice things you were not able to see before. Think of the process like planting seeds on a field. You need to cultivate your field by watering it and and nurturing it in the right way in order to reap a healthy harvest. By doing this, you believe that eventually, you will experience results. It amazes me that from tiny seeds spread onto a barren field can produce amazing abundance. The mind is the same way. If you believe this, you will spend the time cultivating the field of your mind.

Noticing what is arising is acceptance.

Seeing what is without trying to change it. Meditation is not a quick fix. No doubt that its function is to help us train our mind so we can be happier and more peaceful, but going in with impatience and wanting results can create stagnation in your practice. If you sit without any expectation, you will gain the ability to witness what’s actually surfacing in your mind and simply allow it to wash over you.

Great expectations.

Even the bliss and being on that spiritual high is temporary. Getting overly excited when we are meditating can cause us to have expectations and become attached to wanting this feeling the next time. Gently remind yourself to keep an even and steady mind, with no attachment to the outcome.

Getting lost in the moment.

Be the experience and get lost in the moment. We hear this all the time with writers, artists, musicians, etc. I always hold onto the words of one of my teachers: “your meditation should feel like a bubble bath.” It doesn’t always feel that way, but there are time when it really does, so I hold that feeling in my mind. As you make meditation a daily habit, you’ll actually come to enjoying it more and more and you will look forward to it each day. Maybe you don’t feel like it today? Just sit for two fully-engaged minutes. I know you can handle it. Just take it one minute at a time and then each minute turns into more minutes and before ou know it, you’ll be taking that decadent daily bubble bath.

Photo credit Colby Stopa via Flickr