Steps: Learning the Circle
Hello all! One week and a bit into my daily practice of meditation. What have I done and how have I progressed?
In a world that views progress in measurable chunks of continuous improvement, I must say, I have taken a few steps backwards. Those first few days radiant with beginners’ success, were followed by days of indifferent meditative quality.
In the first place it has become more difficult for me to settle down and breathe well. For example, today I found at one point of time, I was holding my breath and my chest felt tight, and my back tense. I consciously had to let go, allow my self to breathe, and then allow myself to breathe long and deep.
I also find that I sit down in my designated spot, on my designated cushion, close my eyes and start planning what I will do next. In the mornings, I think, “I have to check that note, once I have done that, I will take such out of the freezer to cook later…. Drat, I release my thoughts.” After a few moments of emptying of thoughts, another one pokes in and off I go on a merry go round again. In that first flush of excitement with my meditation circle, I had no problems releasing my thoughts, and sinking into a comfortable silence. Any intrusive thought would be quietly recognised, accepted and let free.
The other thing is that every time I sit down to meditate, I find an urge to get up and get going. Yes, even when I go to bed and sit down to meditate, I have this feeling of “hurry up and go to sleep” !!?? And my stopwatch has been showing an ever decreasing span of time. Gone is the 10 minutes in the morning, and 5 minutes at night. I find I am lucky if I am putting in 3 minutes.
So last night, I decided to hunker down, and get to it. A 6 km walk in the cool of the evening, had calmed me down, and I felt quiet and fresh at the same time. I sat down to my nightly pause, set my intention for 5 minutes Plus, as I had been doing less for a few days ( I know, I know, it is not a simple matter of plus and minus) and breathed in. I was still restless, and I was still flickering between anger with events that had happened 20 years ago, and plans for the morrow, but I was resolute. I breathed, and recognised the thought patterns and set them free. They came back, and I set them free again, and they came back again….. After what seemed like ages, I opened my eyes, and the stopwatch said 4mins 40 seconds…. ARGH! Even as I started to feel upset, I agreed that it was better than the 3 minutes or less I had been doing. So I had a good night’s rest.
This morning, it was even better, 7 minutes 49 seconds. There still seems to be difficulty getting rid of the restlessness, and allowing myself to breathe deep, but I am pleased that at least I sat still for 7 minutes 49 seconds. I feel great, and I think tonight will be even better.
I think I will go on to class three even though I had not mastered the visualisation of class two. … Yes, I think I will do that right now.
I will leave you with the thought that arrived in my inbox today. “The more significance you give the moment, the more the moment has the opportunity to be significant.”
PS: Have you joined me yet? Please shout out if you have. I am eager to hear from you and about your experience