One reason I believe I’ve had trouble connecting with people since committing to my daily meditation practice is the new language I use to think through the world. Instead of rationalizing my way through the choices in my day, I’m feeling my way through them. Instead of seeking entertainment, I’m seeking peace and quiet. Instead of sharing activities that distract me from the challenges of life, I’m embracing those challenges in every moment of the day. These are choices that don’t make sense if you haven’t experienced meditation, so it’s reasonable that conversations with people would feel similar to those between individuals without a shared language.
My challenge is to figure out how to translate my choices into language that they can understand and relate to. The result will be my ability to feel more connected to them. Up to now I’ve been trying to explain why my language changed by explaining meditation, but this doesn’t help. When I explain 2 hours of daily meditation and 10 day silent retreats, it increases the communication gap. A non-meditator can’t relate, and generally finds those topics boring, and rightfully so. Talking about sitting in silence isn’t very interesting.
Instead, the language needs to be more engaging and less antagonistic. If someone asks me why I don’t drink, I can articulate, “Staying sober allows me to feel more connected to the loving relationships in my life.” While the first think that comes into my head might be, “It’s just an escape” or “It’s immoral,” those things just come across a personal attacks. Instead, I need to focus on the personal feeling of the choice.
Instead of talking about the tool of meditation, which most people can’t relate to, I need to focus I the relatable result of my practice. The feelings of peace, love, and health. These are aspects of life and meditation that everyone can relate to.
The final piece is truly believing what I’m saying. For the last year I’ve felt in this limbo space between my pre and post meditation identities. I need to have confidence that I’m on the right path. Yes, things have changed, but they’ve changed for the better. Now I just need to live it. Easier said than done, but these are the right goals for my life. Time to meditate.