A Not Unpleasant Taste

By Jonathan Kaplan, Ph.D.

Tonight, I did another 20-minute meditation on my breathing.  My experience can best be described as "not unpleasant," kind of like eating oatmeal.  You know, it's never like you're really craving or drooling over a bowlful of warmed oats with cinnamon.  But, once you're eating it, you find yourself nodding in agreement that is is decidedly "not bad."  Yeah, my meditation was like that tonight.  

Indeed, often while sitting, the experience itself is not particularly noteworthy.  There is no bliss state, no flash of insight, no torrential flood of emotions, no full-body itchiness, and no mental gymnastics.  It's just sitting and noticing.  Again like eating oatmeal, you know that it's good for you, even though it's not particularly flashy.  Perhaps because of the lack of mental and emotional fireworks, such meditations are significant due to the absence of anything negative.  To continue the food analogy, it's not like we're having a sugar high, food coma, brain freeze, or hangover. The experience is not so dramatic, which can be refreshing.  Sure, we might (not so secretly) want something flashy and juicier ("Waiter, nirvana please!"), but sometimes a bowl of oatmeal feels just right.

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Comments by this author

Thanks!    Feb 24, 2012

Thanks for reading, Tina.  I'm still waiting for a flash mob to erupt during...

Thanks for your post!    Feb 22, 2012

Thanks for your post.  I loved its imagery and gentle reminder to recognize our...

Thanks, Bob!    Feb 8, 2012

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the wonderful imagery in your suggestion.  It sounds...

Thanks!    Feb 8, 2012

Thanks, Carol.  I'll check it out!  Hope all is well, Jonathan

Thanks & Astrophysics    Feb 3, 2012

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for your support and guidance in our practice.  I really...

Budding Buddhas Indeed    Feb 3, 2012

Hi Enrique,

Thanks for your post.  I appreciated your reflection on the...

Metta Commuting    Feb 3, 2012

Hi Gina,

Thanks for your post.  3 sittings in one day?!  Wow, very...

Flower power    Feb 3, 2012

Hi Elesa,

I loved the image of you laughing with a bunch of tulips!  ...

Thanks for your gratitude    Feb 3, 2012

Hi Gabriella,

Thanks for your post.  I enjoyed learning about the myriad...