Last week I published a few thoughts on meditation. Over the weekend while on my cushion, I noticed another trend that happens a lot to me while on my mat. Unlike last week’s thoughts this is a bit sillier, yet I have a feeling I am not the only one who has experienced it. Yes folks, I am talking about “the meditation itch.”
That moment in meditation when you are still, calm and focused on your breath and think, “oh wow, I can actually do this meditation thing”. And then seconds later as if on cue, a tiny itch creeps up on you and begins to torture your relaxed state one long second at a time. Have you been there?
From grade school to adulthood sitting still has never been my strong suit. For me, stillness on my meditation cushion is one of the hardest parts about meditation. So when that little itch tickles my nose I have to concentrate with all of my might on not moving to alleviate the itch.
Uncomfortable & Impermanence.
If I were to think metaphorically about “the meditation itch” I’d take a gander that it’s just another a tool to be used in strengthening our ability to be uncomfortable. In our modern world you have the ability to choose comfort from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep, but when you concentrate on sitting still you strengthen your ability to overcome slight annoyances that when not immediately alleviated can feel overwhelming.
Even stronger for me is the connection between “the meditation itch” and impermanence. I’ve found that when I let it go unmanaged, the itch seems to work its way around different parts of my body for a minute or so before going away entirely. One minute my entire mental capacity is filled with trying to ignore this small annoyance and the next minute it just disappears. Every single time the itch finally fades away my mind is blown. To me, it’s a reminder that anything can fade away at any second. Remembering this impermanence helps me not obsess over the little things, recognize the power of the second, and breathe through uncomfortable situations.