I feel that i have been putting in quite a bit of effort and energy lately and have been seeing the fruits of the practice: i am less reactive, more patient and generally a nicer guy. And yet, one unintended side effect of all of this pushing and rousing seems to be a restlessness during formal practice which has been especially prominent for the last few days.
More often than not, the feeling of restlessness arises during my anapanasati session and manifests as a strong desire to achieve a certain state or type of concentration. The result is that i check the clock with increasing frequency or, sometimes, try to smash the mind down with the meditation word. It should be obvious that repeatedly breaking my concentration by checking the clock won’t help me to deepen it but, in the moment, common sense flies from my awareness.
And, then, somehow, i am struck by the realization that all i need to do is accept where i am and how i am feeling and things begin to change. There is a loosening, a feeling of unbinding. Usually, i need to use a parikamma in the form of a meditation word like “ease” or “accept” to focus myself but really that is all it takes.
Why is it so hard to remember not to fight? Why is it so difficult to accept one’s immediate experience? I have no answers but i hope that, as the practice continues, i get a little quicker at remembering to meet the moment with kindness, curiosity and loving acceptance.