You have arrived at your meditation practice. It’s quiet and you are ready to get your inner peace on. You close your eyes and start breathing like Dark Vader. Then your mind starts getting flooded with thoughts. You think to yourself, “Geez, my mind was more quiet before I started this meditation, what gives?”
Now you politely tell your brain to “shut up” or be quiet. Nothing happens, the more you try to quiet the mind, the more your brain keeps throwing random thoughts at you. You sigh and think “I can’t meditate.” Then something happens and for one second you feel this surge of inner peace. It is the moment you have been waiting for. And like Alice chasing the rabbit down the rabbit hole, you are curious to know more.
While this moment didn’t last long, it was enough to inspire you to practice again and again. And each time you practice, that moment turns to minutes, then hours and so on.
Then these peaceful moments find you when you least expect it throughout your day. Your life starts to change and you can’t explain how or what exactly started it, but inside you are different and that feels great!
What Happens When You Meditate?
So to answer the question “What is supposed to happen when you meditation?” The meditation experience is different for everyone. For some people, the experience is mind blowing with rockets and fireworks exploding in the sky. For others, the experience is subtle.
My recommendation is to expect nothing when you meditate and be open to anything that happens. Meditation is so good for the mind, body, and soul.
There are so many benefits to meditation, some of them you can’t see right away. The practice of breathing and awareness helps your mind and body to relax, calm down, heal, recirculate oxygen, move energy, and so much more.
The Dali Lama writes in his book The Art of Happiness, A Handbook for Living:
Yes, happiness is possible –in fact, we can train in happiness in much the same way that we train in any other skill, directly cultivating it through effort and practice.
Be patient with your practice, don’t expect rockets to fly out of the sky each time you meditate. It is not fast food, so you can’t expect results quickly. It is like a fine wine, you drink it and savor each moment.
Also don’t freak out if the rockets do show up. Enjoy even the subtle parts of the practice like your breathing patterns or your ability to quite the mind without being aggressive about it. It’s a practice, make it your own.