Every meditator endures dry spells.
Like writer’s block or an athlete’s form slump, these spells arrive without warning, with no apparent cause and no clear remedy. Like the weather, a dry spell might last a day, a week or months on end.
During a dry spell, try as we might, our meditation practise seems to be fruitless, a sheer waste of time. We cannot control thoughts, we cannot feel our hearts, we are not getting any insights or higher experiences.
Frustration mounts, even despair. The temptation is either to just give up, or to try harder to force the issue. Both these responses are counterproductive.
Giving up can never be an option. All the reasons we started to meditate in the first place – our inner unease, restlessness, confusion, stress, tension and anxiety – will remain and only become further entrenched as our default state of being.
Using force also doesn’t work, because the secret of meditation lies not in pushing or pulling but in letting go, in realising it is not ‘we’ who meditate, but rather a higher being within us, our soul, who is not answerable to our dictates.
Worrying and frustration only bring more stress and make matters worse. We simply have to know that just as we cannot force rain in a drought, so we cannot force a deep and satisfying meditation: each will arrive in its own time, and arrive it must. We just need to continue our practise calmly, patiently, resolutely and faithfully.
Such experiences are natural, normal and inevitable.
During a dry spell, explore other ways to find and to be in the heart –smiling, music, magic, games, jokes, innocent fun, adventure, a change of routine.
Our hearts will assure us that every dry spell can only be temporary.