Having had the honor of guiding a good number of people into the practice of meditation now, I must say that most often, it is bumpy.
It think it is kind of like an airplane that is landing. It takes a long time to land a plane. Sometimes(although I haven’t actually investigated this) it seems to me that nearly half the flight is landing. The plane decreases altitude only a little at a time, slowly and gently, until finally it is on the ground. Of course we know that it is during this part of the flight that turbulence gets involved.(more often than not anyway) This is a lot like meditation.
When taking off, all engines are on full throttle go. The plane speeds down the runway and a great power is needed to propel us into the sky, until we reach cruising altitude. When the process of landing begins, it is a different story. The engine is running low, the breaks are applied, and the plane drops to a lower altitude. Not only is it slowing down in speed, it is getting closer to the ground. In my experience if a flight is going to get bumpy, this is the time.
I used to have these incredible meditations, where the mind would be still, I would be still, and I could just sit in perfect bliss. The next day I would become a madman and then completely crumble. At first I didn’t understand what was going on, and was perplexed. More than once I thought “This meditation thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be” or “Am I going crazy???” What was happening to me was that I was having big emotions. Any time we have a big emotion, we are going to soon have the opposite big emotion. It is like a clock pendulum and there is no guessing in this game. Just watch.
Over time, as I more and more became “The Observer”, this turbulence slowed down considerably. “The Observer” is in the middle and doesn’t swing like a pendulum, he just watches. As I became more and more detached from the emotions, knowing that they were not “me”, the emotions began to subside. Of course when we begin to go inward, we will encounter things from the past. Our “issues” are there, and must be dealt with. We all have work to do in meditation and in our Spiritual practice.
So if you are beginning to practice meditation, and are having big mood swings, do not be discouraged! Keep it up, because it is a process, and it takes a while to come down.
Many blessings to you,