It’s wonderful, and ironic, how the idea of meditating has gained so much popularity. Naturally, after modern medicine “verifies” it’s benefits many of the skeptics come on board (no real digs at modern medicine– I’m an exercise physiologist). However, according to the traditional teaching of the Yoga Sutras, meditation is not the first step on the path to Union, Enlightenment, Self-Realization, Transcendence (whatever you may call the experience– not concept). In fact, meditation (dhyana) is the 7th of the 8 rungs. It is recommended to get one’s house in order prior to meditating. That presents a stark contrast to the modern/Western idea that meditation is for stress reduction or happiness. Meditation is work– but, that doesn’t mean it is an unattainable feat. One doesn’t simply sit and meditate. When one has the done the preparatory work then meditation more naturally unfolds. I mentioned in previous posts, introspection and sitting in silence. It is my personal experience that when my life is in more chaos, meditation is not an easily attainable. Listen to the inner call to deal with what it happening in your “outer” life that may be distracting you from the “inner”. In Setting it All Down, I discussed my personal drama with feeling attacked. That is something to address and not avoid– the spiritual path is not about avoidance. The yamas and niyamas can offer insight into areas of our life to balance which will incline us to naturally want to go inside. If you are still working with introspection– let this direct cleaning house. If you already meditating perhaps this will create a space to deepen your practice.