Before you set out on your meditation journey, let me offer the most key principle in this book: enjoyment. Sometimes meditation is presented as a no pain - no gain type of practice. It is often portrayed as something related to Eastern disciplines or rigorous martial arts training. It is portrayed like a cold shower- really good for you but hard as hell to tolerate- something not for the weak. You hear stories about people meditating in frozen caves or practicing for years with little or no result. You may also hear some meditation teachers teaching meditation as "an end in itself". "Let go of any expectation. It is not about experiencing anything- it is just about getting your butt on the cushion and sitting!"

As you enter into a new relationship with meditation, I want to invite you to let go of your concepts about meditation- and concepts that others have given you about the practice -especially the ones that make it seem daunting in any way. A good way to do this is to have, from the very beginning, enjoyment as central element of your practice. Meditation is to be enjoyed- not tolerated or endured. It is yours, it is not something that someone can force you to do. It is not something that belongs to the East or belongs to anyone but you. You don't have to conform to anything to meditate. You don't have to "toughen up" or become super disciplined to become a regular meditator.

Really all that you need to do is get a good taste of how sweet meditation can be and how free and open it can make you feel. The rest takes care of itself. The most important thing is that you find a way of meditating that works for you. This is the aim of this book. No two meditators are alike. There are hundreds of ways to meditate and countless expressions of rich Inner Lives. Its not about adopting a new culture or becoming more spiritual. Be exactly who you are. Meditation may transform you- but don't feel like you need to transform yourself for meditation.

Author's Bio: 

D. Harshada Wagner is a meditation teacher and author based in New York City. Considered among the top teachers of his generation, Harshada travels widely teaching meditation and leading deep meditation workshops and retreats. He is the founding director of Banyan Education, an organization whose mission is to promote meditation and help people from all walks of life cultivate happiness and enjoy a rich inner life.