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.