I recently recommitted myself to my meditation practice. That is to say, I've committed to doing it every single day, rather than only doing it on the days I want to do it. So far, I've got a nice little streak going!
I've heard it said that meditation is about seeking the gaps between one's thoughts. This definition resonates with me. The default condition for my mind appears to be eight thousand RPMs. Not exactly a calm, idle. My sitting practice brings this fact to my attention. But also offers a few minutes each day where I can throttle back and simply rest.
My practice is to meditate first thing in the morning, before I begin my work for the day. I find the days when I most resist doing my practice are the days when it feels like I don't have time. Of course, this feeling is an illusion. I know this because lately I've been forcing myself to do the meditation and I haven't suffered for it.
To the contrary, in fact. The benefits are clear to me. It's not that I feel calmer throughout the day. It's that I'm more aware throughout the day. Things still happen as they always do, but now I see them happening. I see myself reacting to them happening. When I see myself reacting, it opens the door to making new choices. Calmer choices.
So, I guess my life is calmer when I'm taking the time to experience the gaps between my thoughts.
Since we can't be together today, here is my challenge to you. Take some time out of your busy day to notice the gaps between your thoughts. Take a walk without any agenda other than taking a walk. Listen to a song that you love without multitasking. Then listen to it again. Watch your breath with total concentration and zero judgment.
How much time should you dedicate to this practice? That's up to you. Here are my recommended guidelines. (1) You must do it for at least one minute. No less. The difference between zero and one is infinite. (2) Take the amount of time that you think you have to do this and double it. That's probably a good place to start.
Have fun! I'd love to hear how you get along with this challenge. Feel free to reply to this email.
I look forward to our paths crossing again next week.
Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/users/gregplom-3802982/