Meditation expectations | episode #018
The Art Of Tuning In Podcast
with Maria Furlano, DMQ (China), MTOM, L.Ac.
Hello, everyone, welcome. I’m Maria Furlano. Thank you for joining me, today’s topic is “Meditation Expectations.”
~ Breathing Break ~
If you’re new to the podcast, welcome, thank you for joining me and if you’ve been here a while, as always, thank you, I appreciate you so very much. And I always like to just take a moment to take a deep breath and bring ourself present into the moment and one of the best ways to do that is to inhale through your nose. And then make your exhale longer than your inhale and if you can exhale out your nose. That’s wonderful too. If you can’t, then just slowly slowly exhale out your mouth. So go ahead and just take a moment let’s just become present inhaling and exhaling nice and long. And you can always pause at the end of your breath for a moment and then allow your body to naturally begin its inhale. And you can pause for just a moment at the end of your inhale and then allow your body to exhale naturally. And so I always do this again, just as a reminder that the more we remember to just stop for just a moment and take a breath and really feel that breath and it experience that breath. It really brings us into the present moment. And when we do this several times a day, we can clear our minds very quickly and createa real state of being that is fully in our bodies.
Today’s topic is “meditation expectations.” Of course, breathing goes perfectly with meditation. I love meditating. I do meditation absolutely every single day and not because I have to. It’s luckily become something in my life that I enjoy. So when I say not, because I have to what I mean by that is, it’s not a chore. It’s not like it’s a rule I have that I have to do it. Do I need to meditate? Yes. Absolutely. Do I need to calm my mind? On a daily basis? Yes, I do. Do I need to become present inside my body and tune in and see what’s going on? Yes, I do. I am a very emotional person. And I learned a long time ago that if I did not learn how to tune in to myself and of course I’ve had these great tools and experiences with martial arts and with Medical Qigong and meditation and understanding, energy and the cultivation of my mind and my mindset, all of those things. I realized, change the chemistry of my body so much, that my emotions don’t have to lead me that I can actually tune into my emotions and To allow the wisdom of my emotions to surface so that I can make the best decisions. And it’s a really empowering state to be when you’re able to do that.
And meditation is a great place to get there. But you also know that another podcast I’ve talked about Qigong and that I always teach people how to become present in their body through breath and through moving meditation, (which is Qigong), and to allow their bodies to learn new movements because it distracts the mind. And when you distract the mind and you’re focused on your movement, and you’re focused on your breath, you can move into a meditation, a standing meditation, a moving meditation, and then after people learn to relax their bodies and get comfortable in their bodies and Understand this new state of feeling relaxed. In my experience, it can be much easier than to help them learn how to sit and do seated meditation. Because their mind may not resist them as much. When we just sit down and ask ourselves to be quiet, it can be very difficult unless you’ve trained that way and that it’s a normal thing. So once you’ve done meditation for a while, once you’ve done Qigong for a while, and I’m sure yoga practitioners feel this way to that, once you’ve done that kind of in your body, calming your mind using your breath practices, it’s much easier to sit down and drop into to your body.
Reaching outside of yourself vs. dropping in…
And that’s really what I see meditation as doing when I sit down, I literally am dropping into myself. Meditation is a full body practice. And a lot of people are using meditation to to reach different levels and states of intuitive awareness and spiritual expansion, which it absolutely does. But I see people going into a meditation almost then reaching outside of themselves. And the problem with this is that they’re not in their bodies, it’s almost becomes an escape for them.
Meditation is not an escape. It’s actually more of a real full present experience than almost any Anything else you would do. Qigong is supposed to be that way, as well as yoga.
All of spiritual cultivation practices are about tuning in to our physical state and allowing the physical state to expand and to connect with the spiritual states of being or the energetic expansion that it creates.
And when I talk about meditation expectations, I was working with a student and he began meditating every morning he had been he had been doing Qi Gong for quite a while, and he decided in the morning to get up and to do a seated simple seated in a chair meditation in front of a candle. I often tell people if they’re having a hard time closing their eyes… One technique that’s been used forever is to light a candle and put it in front of you, about eye level and to sit far back enough that you have some space and to just focus on the candle with very, very soft, relaxed eyes.
Energy comes right out through your eyes. So if you create a lot of focus with your eyes, you actually can lose Qi. You can leak energy through your eyes as well as emit Qi and you can actually do healing work with your eyes. But you also can lose energy if your focus is too forced.
So always a very relaxed eye, but sometimes when you put a candle in front of you, very simple candle flame. It gives you something to relax and to focus on while you tune into your breathing. And again, we’re just distracting the mind gently enough, so that you’re able to be with yourself. And then eventually, you usually end up closing your eyes and tuning in to your own body and you don’t need the flame anymore.
So this, this student was using this candle sitting and meditating. And he had been doing it for several weeks, I think it was about three months, and he was noticing changes and feeling much better, much more relaxed.
He had been dealing with a lot of stress in his life. And he was beginning to notice that he was handling situations more pause, so to speak. So before jumping in and reacting to a situation, he was noticing that his body naturally took a breath, and then he would make a short decision before he reacted. So he was reacting and responding differently to life. Basically, if I can put that in the most simple terms, which is exactly what we want with any kind of energetic cultivation practice, we want to learn to react and respond differently to life in better ways that serve us and also serve our environment.
But he asked me a question. He said, “I’ve had a hard time meditating the last few days because I’ve noticed that I’m now expecting to have a great experience in my meditation and I’m thinking, or expecting that I should be experiencing seeing more. I don’t know what I should be experiencing, but I think it should be more. So my mind is struggling in ways that it hasn’t in a few weeks and I went from my meditation being enjoyable and relaxing and noticing differences to now, it’s a little bit frustrating and I’m struggling.”
Expecting in meditation…
It is so great because what he did was he nailed the reason for this right on the head, which is why I titled this podcast meditation expectations. When you expect a result before you begin to meditate, or any kind of cultivation practice (Qi Gong, or Tai Chi or yoga)…
When you expect a result, you don’t allow for the energy to unfold that is meant to unfold when we expect a result.
We’re telling the Mind that we need something more. You know, I’ve talked about this a lot. And in my membership, I teach all about cultivating our mind connecting our heart and our mind, cultivating our thought process, understanding that what we think about creates the energy that moves forward and everything has momentum. And so whatever you think about it’s already created that energetic momentum, it’s moving ahead of you, whether you like it or not.
Intention is key…
So when you ask for an expectation, that energy is moving ahead of you. Instead, ask for an intention.
So, my student wasn’t trying at that time to ask for an expectation. He was just feeling that he was noticing that he was now expecting his meditation to be at some new level and to have some new profound thing that he should know, or feel at the end of his meditation experience.
Instead, go in with the intention of trust and allow whatever needs to serve him best in that morning of tuning into himself, whatever he needs will be revealed to him.
If he went in with that intention, he would allow the energy to unfold for him without the resistance of his mind.
As soon as he started doing doing that, he began to enjoy his time again. There are levels with meditation that a lot of people maybe don’t realize, or maybe they get impatient.
First. Of course, there is a physicality to meditation you have to learn to breathe, you have to learn to to allow your body to relax. You need to take your mind into your roots you need to ground your mind you need to root your mind.
And whether you’re doing a seated meditation, whether you’re doing a standing meditation, whether you’re doing a moving meditation, you need to be grounded in your body grounded into the earth. And the more grounded you are in your body and in the earth, the more your energy actually expands, where you can actually connect with greater universal divine energy. A lot of people try to reach that universal divine energy like popping out of the top of their head to reach some sort of wisdom. It doesn’t work that way. The more grounded you are, the more you’re able to keep your foundation and expand, your energy naturally expands and you’re able to to connect with higher levels of vibration.
But if you expect to do that, if you go into like I said, you’re seated meditation, you’re moving meditation, you’re standing meditation expecting I need or should receive a great profound experience, you’re going to most likely create resistance for yourself and you’re going to be stuck in this little loop because you’re not allowing meditation is actually a huge trust exercise.
Setting intention before tuning in…
Set the intention for yourself to tune in and be able to listen, what information needs to be shared with you, will be available to you, you may have a much better experience. There’s also of course, meditation of just completely quieting the mind and just being so still, and allowing your brain to just be quiet. That can be very difficult not impossible, but of course difficult.
So in the first stages if you’re someone who is wanting to incorporate meditation into their life, you really want to begin with just learning how to ground your energy into your body. First, and of course connecting to your breath because the breath is everything.
In episode 15 I talked about grounding your energy, when we ground our energy, we want to remember that our mental thoughts are everything. Our thoughts help us to ground our energy, energy follows thought right? The mind leaves the key the mind leads the energy. So whatever you expect before you go into meditation is going to create an energetic momentum, like I mentioned.
So creating the intention, instead of an expectation will serve you much better. So again, the intention being, as I sit here, stand or do my moving practices, I’m going to allow my body to speak to me, I’m going to root and ground my energy in myself in the earth. And from that, I know through my trust, my energy will expand, and I will be able to receive greater information as it’s supposed to be given to me meaning whatever’s for my highest well being. Whatever I’m needing to hear, feel, see, or sense. Today in this moment, and if that’s just pure quiet with nothing else, then that’s exactly what your body, your brain, your heart, and your soul needed.
Meditation is a full body practice if we can remember to keep that in our minds and in our knowing… I hope it might help you if you’re having the same kind of expectation, disappointment experiences that so many people have, to just to go in and allow.
Thank you for being here for being everything you are and for tuning in with me today.