Why You Don’t Need to “Meditate Away” Your Discomfort Right Now


Since the murder of George Floyd and the resulting uprisings, many people have reported continuously feeling edgy, angry, unsettled and uncomfortable and the feelings are not going away. Most of us have been taught since childhood that these are not good feelings and we should try and get rid of them. Or tolerate them for a while, but try to move on quickly. Even as meditation practitioners, we may feel that these feelings are something to “meditate away.” But that’s not a skillful or constructive outlook.

It’s ok to feel uncomfortable right now, it’s a completely appropriate and even necessary response that doesn’t need to be assuaged or mitigated. The problem comes when we are at odds with it, when we feel we are “wrong” in some way for these ongoing feelings or if we act out in ways that are harmful to ourselves or others because we don’t know what to do.

A wise response is all about changing our relationship to what’s arising, not getting rid of it. This discomfort can keep us from feeling complacent; it keeps us awake right now. For me, it is an edge that I have come to welcome and trust. 400+ years of Black enslavement is not something to try and be comfortable with.

When we have a welcoming relationship to this discomfort, we are in a better position to discern a wise and compassionate response that is in alignment with right action. Without this ongoing discomfort, its likely nothing will change. We need to use this underlying energy to stay motivated. When we’re in alignment with the discomfort we don’t expend precious energy resisting it. I invite you to welcome your discomfort and let it be a teacher to you.