I know I am constantly invited to meditate. I know that the structure of the room where I meditate intentionally prohibits my meditation practice and that part of me resists changing it. What do I want? I really want someone to help me get thru the stuff and create an inviting space. My spouse and I have both had to hire people to help us with periodic filing issues. It has helped clear paperwork but it hasn’t help me get a system for organization down. There is a book out, something related to a year of organizing with week by week tasks. I like the sound of it – the week by week part.
Reality – there are many things on my plate and deciding what to prioritize becomes a bit of a job so I act like an ostrich, head in the sand and maybe butt in the air, letting other things take priority. Hiring someone to clean the house weekly has freed up so much time for me. Not that I spent hours cleaning, but I did spend hours trying to clean•do office paperwork•make food and all the other stuff that I do. That was a start – how do I get to the next step?
I miss meditating; the rush of ideas that land in that space that never truly empties. That’s a funny part of meditation for me – the way there is never really nothing but there is less interference, less noise of all the busy intrusive thoughts that run races in my head. So when I sat, facing the bookcase and wall, there were moments I actually settled, noticed my body, felt myself seated and breathing. At other times the rush of getting in the room, the self-inflicted pressure to do it vs. invitation to do it, created resistance and unwillingness to sit. I felt like a rebellious teen, drug to do something I didn’t want to do. Really it’s a gift that I keep pushing away.
I am a beginning meditation student. In my mind, I will always be a beginning meditation student. Having toyed with the idea of meditation for more than five years, actually since my first Natalie Goldberg writing workshop http://www.mabeldodgeluhan.com/workshops.html, I find incorporating meditation into my daily life sometimes challenging.
Last month, as I sat at Shambhala Mountain Center at the Shambhala Training Level I: The Art of Being Human meditation retreat, I listened to various questions posed by the 60+ participants. One question asked was “why should we meditate”? Deborah Bright, who provided the talks for the weekend, answered “to get our mind and body in the same place, at the same time”.
I was and am fascinated by the simplicity of the answer. Yet, it is one of the most difficult things for me to do, to get my brain and body to be in the same place at the same time. During the weekend retreat, the thing I noticed was a shift. My monkey mind moving from past/future thoughts to being in the moment, in the room we meditated in. I went from thinking about conversations at home before I left and what I’ll do when I get home to( finally) noticing the sounds in the room, the temperature in the room and occasionally, just occasionally, my breathing. That was my progress for the weekend. It hasn’t happened again since I got home. My mind is everywhere and my meditation time flies by and I find I’ve figured out how to cover my sofas, organize the bathroom, where to move the pictures and what to donate to ARC. Every now and then, I remember the breathing part.
I think that’s why it’s called a meditation practice. Each day, I “practice” getting my brain and body to join forces, in the same place, at the same time, for even just one moment.