Controlling The Adrenaline

10 days ago when I hosted my first group meditation I noticed that some new distractions entered my mind. Instead of concentrating on my own practice I started worrying about whether I was being a good host. I wondered if it was too hot for people. I was concerned that the Goenka recording might malfunction. I hoped I was representing that tradition adequately. These mental wanderings kept me from feeling a sense of deep meditation. As more people have read my blog these distractions during my meditation have increased. I wonder first if these posts are well written and easy to understand. Then I wonder if people in my life will think I’m crazy. When I notice that people all over the world are reading my blog I wonder if I’m representing the tradition fairly and if I’m actually helping motivate anyone to complete their daily meditations.

When I was just worrying about going to work and completing my own meditations it was easier to settle my mind. I wasn’t worried about anyone judging me or about needing to support anyone. Once I put myself in a position to help others grow in dhamma focussing became harder. Fortunately, since today is the start of the college football season a good comparison came to my mind. I think my experience can be compared to a field goal kicker. A kicker will practice all summer kicking 45 yard field goals and make everyone but the real challenge is making a 45 yard field goal with 80,000 people watching you. The same task just got a whole lot harder and it might take a little while to relearn how to kick a field goal with this additional adrenaline and pressure.

I think my meditation practice is similar. Just because my meditations have become harder doesn’t mean I’ve taken a step backwards. Instead I’ve taken on a more challenging and rewarding goal that will take me some more time to master. Creating a space in society for Vipassana meditators to practice safely and confidently isn’t easy but the benefit for everyone in the Vipassana community will be tremendous. Maybe in a couple of weeks I’ll be more used to so many people reading my posts and I’ll be able to sit with a much stronger foundation of who I am.

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This entry was posted in Personal Experiences by Ryan Shelton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

One thought on “Controlling The Adrenaline

  1. I get a lot of identification from your posts. We can only share from our own experience, and there’s no right or wrong with that. Thanks for the blogs I’m enjoying reading them.

    Like

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