Is there a price for the practice? Normally, an entirely fair one when rightly paid.
This writing is not about a meditation course or a book, but the price you may pay for starting your meditation practice.
No need to take this with a negative connotation. Although, if you indeed practice and keep it up, many things will eventually be interchanged.
Is this possible? To a great extent, it is, and you may deeply – but naturally review that what you thought about life, relations, meanings, success, happiness, and so on is unlikely to be the same as it was before. Many but few things are always changing, and facing that paradox from a personal end can be extremely instructive, also scary, and at some points, un-stabilizing.
The concept is not about dealing with fear for the sake of it, but the effect of hitting the grounding of your inner self, what you believe inside and not, what you perceived and not, the way you lead your life and sacred values… may change the purpose of the whole thing.
You might be familiar with Plato’s myth, Allegory of The Cave. Imagine for a second that you always lived inside an attic, with a small window at the top. You always were comfortable there, happy, eating, sleeping, with your ups and downs; still, you live ok there. Yet not knowing what is outside, and at the end of the day, you do not need it to really know it to live and die like all living things.
But one day, for whatever the reason is (usually everyone has his or her own), you go open the little window at the top of the ceiling. Then you see things you never saw before, sightseeing a horizon you never thought of before, experiencing a view you never imagined before. You remain there for a few minutes only and then return to the attic while closing the window.
Would you then be able to understand life in the attic the same way? Actually, you can if you want. Nevertheless, even if you deny it and still happily live in the attic, what you perceived is there.
The first step is whether to find the window (on many occasions with an open heart, it somehow comes to you). Second, have the courage to fully open it. And third, accept and embrace what you see, feel. Brutal, yes, worth, too.
That’s the joyful price of meditation; that is the very beginning.