Missed your post earlier, perhaps whilst it was awaiting approval from the moderators... anway...
Originally Posted by Maarius
What are some of the problems or issues I will be facing?
The ones you create yourself.
I admit, that sounds a bit flippant, but it's the truth. Whenever a problem arises with what you are doing, ask yourself what it is that is considering it to be a problem... the answer is always yourself; though many people want to blame other people or other things for it. You are the only one who can do something about it, so change it and make it no longer a problem.
Many people will consider that 'distractions' are a problem when trying to meditate. Why? Is the noise a problem? Of course there are some distractions that really do need your attention, and as such you should attend to them first, but in most cases people like to blame the noise of the traffic, or the noise of kids playing, etc. for having difficulty meditating. In truth, it's not a problem. The only problem is when you attach to the distraction and 'think' about it; essentially meaning you're not placing your awareness on the focus of your meditation. If you find yourself getting attached to these other things use it as an indicator to bring yourself back to the focus of your meditation. For example, one time I meditated during the lunchbreak of a workshop (in a village hall) I was attending; I meditated on a chair in the middle of the hall, with many of the other people around (about 40 of them) all chatting and eating their food and walking about; I simply brought myself to the focus of the meditation and let them go about their business as they wanted; when I finished my meditation I found a couple of other people had drawn up chairs to be with me and were also meditating (people are drawn to the peace). Another time I was attending a Buddhist meditation class in one of our local towns (in the 'Guildhall'); This particular evening we didn't have our usual room for the discussion and meditation, because it was being used as a changing room for a band who were playing in the main hall, so we moved to a stuffy smaller room (hot summer day, not much ventilation); We meditated within the heat of this room, and with the band playing in the main hall (and they were a local rock band so not at all quiet!); It was really good practice for letting go of the attachment to these 'distractions' and just coming back to the awareness within meditation.
That's just an example.
And If it were one key issue you would have loved to know of before you begun your meditation-journey, what would that be?
That's a tricky question, and I'm sure everyone could give you different answers.
I don't think there is any particular key issue I would have loved to know beforehand... I began meditation, and I embraced it and made it part of my life.
Perhaps all I can say is that you shouldn't go into meditation with any particular expectations, otherwise you'll put all your effort into looking for those and distract yourself from actually meditating. Another is perhaps that you should understand the difference between 'information' and 'knowledge'. Information is what people will tell you about things, and Knowledge is what you have put into practice and tried, and know to be (either true or not true etc.) There'll always be people who are more than willing to tell you, especially in the spiritual/esoteric/mystical circles, how something like meditation should be done or what the meaning of a particular experience is etc. My advice is to ignore them; and trust your own experience that you've tested for yourself.