Without going into too many details, last week I had a little bit of a misunderstanding with a friend. When I called to apologize for my part (and quite honestly, it was mostly my fault…), he said he was glad to hear from me, as he felt “attacked” (eye roll for the seemingly obvious fabrication for my communication…), I about lost my cool. However, instead of jumping all over him for his magnification of my not so ZEN communication, I took a breath…and then apologized (swallowed some pride/ego)—as I certainly did not mean for him to feel attacked. Over the course of the next five minutes, he told me three times how grateful he was for my apology. We went on to have a great afternoon together when we got together later.
Dan Harris, author of two meditation books (10% Happier & Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics), says that the real litmus test of whether or not meditation is working isnʻt if whether or not you are able to sit on a cushion for longer periods of time without random thoughts coming into your mind….itʻs whether or not you are any LESS of an “asshole” to yourself and others.
I happened to hear Dan speak about this on a podcast the day after I had apologized to my brother. I found the timing to be rather serendipitous, as I had recently been questioning my success as a meditator, as I often have difficulty with wanting to take the time to meditate. However, I did realize that I am definitely kinder to myself and to my loved ones since I started…definitely less of an asshole! So, on that note, I feel that perhaps my meditation practice has been paying off! So, be kind to yourself when you go to meditate and know that you are making the world a better place by doing so.