Whenever I talk to someone about meditation, they always say "I could never do that". The perception of meditation is that you sit in calm, quiet repose, with a blank mind.
What really goes on is very different.
I take my seat on the cushion. I shift and shift until I find a spot that seems comfortable. I straighten up, place my palms on my thighs and begin. I set my focus about 4-6 feet in front of me, but softly. I notice my foot is cramping, so I shift again. I start to be aware of my breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Did I remember to take out stuff for dinner? Back to the breathing. In. Out. Why did that person say that? Should I have said what I said? why do I judge what I say? oh yeah. Back to the breath. In. Out. Rest. In. Out. Rest. I wish my posture was better. It's so hard to sit up straight. Back to the breath. 5 minutes pass. I am getting good at this. my mind is so much calmer now. Ooops. Back to the breath. 5 minutes. 8 minutes. Now my knees hurt. Maybe I should shift again? maybe my body is just trying to get attention? Back to breathing. And so on.
Sometimes it is peaceful, beautiful, calm. Sometimes my thoughts race through the whole session, and I feel thwarted, frustrated. Sometimes I feel raw, open,tender, near tears. I have been filled with fear. Sometimes, I am flooded with joy. I have had weeks where every shitty thing I have ever done to anyone in my whole life come flooding back as if they just happened. Things I didn't even remember. I have had to confront my flaws, my insecurities, my own impermanence. I have been bored. I have fallen asleep. I have wanted to be anywhere but on that cushion. I have wanted to on the cushion, and no where else.
That's what it's really like.