🧘 I’m feeling really good when I meditate! Is there anything wrong with enjoying these (or other) pleasant experiences?
There's nothing wrong with fully experiencing pleasant or enjoyable feelings when they arise. Where we get into trouble is when we get attached to prolonging the pleasant feelings. Emotions are by nature impermanent, and we can create unnecessary suffering for ourselves when we cling to certain emotions or try to push away others.
With the kind of meditation training that we're teaching at Ten Percent Happier, it’s possible to develop a more consistent ease and happiness that’s independent of external conditions. As you continue with the practice, you should find that you become less reactive to unpleasant experiences, and better able to maintain balance and ease of mind even when things aren’t going so well.
In a meditation context, we often refer to developing the quality of equanimity, which denotes 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 are indifferent or detached. Rather, we are equally curious about, gentle with, and allowing of whatever comes, whether it be 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).