No Good Or Bad Meditation

Image: Urban Bodhidharma by Vince Larue

People beginning a Zen practice often make the mistake of judging their meditation. They talk about a “good” meditation (mind and body calm, quiet, focused) or a “bad” meditation (agitated, noisy mind and uncomfortable body).

But these are not different. The calm, quiet, focused state is simply what happened that time, so it’s what you observed. The agitation, noise and discomfort are simply what happened that time, and so that’s what you observed.

If you tell yourself a story about how this meditation is good or bad, how you like it or how you don’t, you’re no longer sitting in meditation. You’re back in conceptual thinking, separate from what you’re doing.

What’s so good about being calm, quiet and focused? What’s wrong with agitation, noise and discomfort? The differences are only in opinion, in story.

Close the gap. Just pay attention to whatever is, neither fighting it nor attaching to it. Just be aware. Just sit.

Originally published at

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