Is it okay to feel good when I meditate?

There's nothing wrong with having pleasant or enjoyable feelings when you're meditating. Where we get into trouble is when we get attached to the pleasant feelings and try to keep them going. Emotions are by nature impermanent, and we can create unnecessary suffering for ourselves when we cling to some emotions and try to push away others. 

With the kind of meditation training we teach at Ten Percent Happier, it’s possible to develop more consistent ease and happiness that’s independent of external conditions. As you keep meditating you can find that you become less reactive to unpleasant experiences and better able to stay balanced and have ease of mind even when things aren’t going so well.

In a meditation context we often refer to developing equanimity, which is the ability to ride out any circumstance with a sense of balance, ease, acceptance, and stability. Instead of being tossed around by the waves of life, we can learn how to surf them. It's not that we're indifferent or detached but instead we're equally curious about, gentle with, and allowing of whatever comes, whether it's pleasant or unpleasant. This doesn't mean we tamp down our joy, or, on the other end of the spectrum, passively accept injustice or other negative situations. But when we start with equanimity, our actions are usually more skillful, grounded and responsive instead of reactive.

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