Making Love With Yourself

Now, aside from the obvious sexual connotations of the title of this post, I think the notion of ‘making love with yourself’ is intensely important when it comes to meditation practice.

Meditation should be as easy as breathing – but we make it so hard, largely because we’re not used to the kind of internal environment it creates in us. We’re not used to being still. We find it uncomfortable because modern life has conditioned us to be compulsively active – to the extent that many of us even feel guilty if we’re not doing anything, which makes us resistant to even the idea of being still.

Added to this, we humans are very competitive – again, because that’s the way we’ve been conditioned. From school to the workplace we’ve learnt to compete with everything and everyone in a way that other creatures cannot be bothered with – other than with existential survival issues, anyway. Even in our social interactions – our love-relationships and friendship, we humans turn benign situations into subtle power struggles.

It makes sense then, that when we begin meditating all those competitive and hyperactive habits bear down on us. We instinctively try to ‘win’ at meditation – to bully our way through to get what we want from it. We push and pull at it, trying to get the tranquility and ease it’s supposed to give to us. And when the results don’t happen, we don’t understand why. After all, this muscular approach works in our life, and it’s how we’ve been taught to be – so why doesn’t it work with meditation?

It’s at that point that a lot of people give up.

And so it is that, unlike any other creature on the planet, we human beings have developed an amazing ability to create suffering from the simple act of sitting still and doing absolutely nothing.

As I’ve said many times, anyone can meditate. After all, if a dog lying in the shade finds stillness as easy as breathing, why shouldn’t we? So if you’re having problems with meditation it’s not because you lack the ability.

So then, what’s missing from our experience of meditating, that makes it so difficult for us to do?

Well, two words:

Compassion and kindness. Or maybe more simply, love.

Love of yourself.

But I need to make a distinction here. I’m not talking about love of who you are. That’s a story which in the end remains just that – a fiction of memories. Who you are is not important when it comes to meditation. Who you are will only tie you up in knots and leave you gasping, because it’s so changeable according to your current mood.

No, I’m talking about loving what you are.

I’m talking about meditating with love and compassion for the flawed and temporary living organism that you are, which struggles with an imperfect world in a universe that’s constantly changing. I’m talking about having compassion for the organism which stumbles through the dark night of your life, following the tiny light of its dreams and making things up as it goes. I’m talking about meditating with compassion and gratitude for your body – that community of trillions of cells and bacteria, virus’s and fungi all living together to serve you, and take you through this life, striving to fulfil the dreams you follow.

That’s not who you are – it’s what you are.

I do a strange thing sometimes, if I’m having difficulty with an emotion, or some difficulty in meditation. I let go of the practice, and just sit, feeling the whole of myself – the whole of my body and my bubbling mind – and inside myself I speak to the organism I am. I say, ‘I’m with you and I hear you. I love you and thank you for being my best friend. So let’s do this together and make this work.’

I might be deluded, but I feel my body respond. It’s a kind of fizzy feeling all through me, as if all the cells and organisms I’m made from are humming with pleasure.

Now, I’m not suggesting you do the same thing – it’s just something I do sometimes.

I’m suggesting that the spirit with which we meditate should be composed on compassion, understanding and kindness – love – because before anything else, love of what we are is a foundation that meditation practice, and life itself, thrives on.


‘BEING STILL – MEDITATION THAT MAKES SENSE’, Roger’s new book, is available now.


BEING STILL’ is available on Amazon as a softcover book …….. AUD $26.40 (incl. GST)

‘BEING STILL’ is also available as a Kindle ebook …………………………………..AUD $11.99

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(The audiobook includes all the exercises, as well as ebooks of Being Still, to fit any device.)