march 30, 2013

Posted on March 30, 2013, by ,In holistic health, meditation No comments

I have hit a wall of exhaustion the past couple of days but I’m still committed to meditation. I’ve been needing naps in the day to catch up on sleep. It’s been a difficult week with lots of details that I could let my ass get twisted into stress about but I have to say that this meditation and mindfulness stuff really has something going for it…

Being committed to meditation is kind of like taking your vitamins or committing to drinking more water each day. At first it is very difficult to remember to do it and then it becomes a habit and so it’s easy at least to remember to do it. All the books say that meditation is simple, but not easy. I agree. I’ve been hitting that place in meditation where I’m finding myself agitated at times, bored at other times. I’m checking into it with curiosity and gentleness and this is a major difference from meditation experiences I’ve had in the past.

In the past, I would mentally chastise myself for not being able to meditate successfully, whatever that really meant. (What it means is that I held some expectation of what I thought I SHOULD do instead of just watch and notice and get back to the breath…) So kudos for me for trying and this time not beating myself up. Still, it’s rather comical sometimes to really see how much I let my mind wander off in a million directions!

Because of this, this is why meditation is called a practice… it’s like playing the piano. I used to take lessons when I was younger and the majority of the time it was practicing scales and terrifically boring exercises to strengthen my fingers and teach them to move in all their little ways, either separately or together. Mostly it was about learning things so that I could forget them… to just play the little songs from memory.

Then came the piano pieces to learn. At first it was daunting to see the black notes on the paper with the sharps and/or flats and learning all the keys. I would practice and I could hear my mom going, “Wrong note!” or “Try again!” and I wished that she didn’t understand music as well as she did because I was already telling myself that I was sucking at this. But if I really liked the piece (and my teacher had a good knack for knowing what kind of songs that I liked), I would keep practicing and then it got a little easier to do and I didn’t feel so suckily untalented.

The keyword though is “practice.” This is not anything that gets perfected quickly. I am not shouting KACHING like the cartoon I posted the other day because I have found my oneness with the world. I am practicing mindfulness and bringing my attention back to the breath, very sweetly, when I notice that I let my mind wander. I get moments of sweet stillness that I love. I also get moments of great clarity. Still other moments are just interesting to notice. And many other moments are wanderings where I can’t really tell you what happened or where I was. Some of those moments are short and some are REALLY REALLY long! Sometimes I have deep urgings to stop and do something specific. I try to work through those but if they keep pestering me and if I’m not successful to just say “Planning” and be done with it, I will end the practice  and then immediately do what seemed so pressing. All, mind you, without judgment or analysis. So this, for me, is pointing my boat in a much better direction…

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