Meditation Myths #1: Zen is Supposed to be a Blissful Escape

I’ve got some bad news for you: meditation isn’t always fun.
After all these years I still succumb to this one at times. Generally, my meditation is calm, focused and serene. I finish and have a sense of centeredness and wellbeing.
But this isn’t always the case.
I can’t control what kind of meditation I’ll have much like I can’t control what will happen on any given day.
If I’m stressed out at work, worried about a relationship or struggling with depression, that usually colors my meditation. Some days my head hurts and I’m irritated. What kind of meditation do I have that day? Headachey and irritated meditation.
Our Zen meditation practice is about showing up for our life and experiencing it fully. Good or bad, wanted or unwanted, we don’t judge. Deepening acceptance is an indicator that our practice is maturing. 
I love that we call this a meditation practice. It begs the question, “what are we practicing for?” For me,  I am practicing for how I want to live my day-to-day life; authentically, fully and completely present. 
Our time on the cushion is not an escape from reality.  If we don’t look to meditation to be a destination away from our daily life, we open up the possibility that meditation will change the way we see everything. 
May your practice go well.
Anthony A. Cernera, M.Ed.