I have to say, I go around and around on whether to post my thoughts and experiences/discoveries about meditation at this blog. Because, oh, you know…it can feel, at least from this side, a little preachy/soap-boxy, and that’s not what I want. (Because, hey, I NEVER preach at you to do anything with your writing or critiquing, OH, NO, I DON’T. Ha.) And then I think, well, I’m pretty sure this meditation stuff is helping my writing life, so it’s PART of my writing life, so it’s PART of this blog. (Rationalization is a beautiful thing.) And then I have two other thoughts: 1) Oh, so the alternative is you’re going to start ANOTHER blog, because you already are so good at posting at THIS one? and 2) Hey, really, nobody else cares either way!
So, yeah, you may find a few meditation moment posts coming to you. Or you may not. Except today.
I have reached the point where, on some mornings, I can pick a Meditation (versus meditation) to do while I sit for my ten minutes. Yesterday, after a scattered weekend and facing a scattered week, I just tried for a slow, solid body scan–just to bring myself back to the physical and away from the more chaotic cerebral. It pulled me out of the chaos just enough and made a big difference on how I moved into my day.
This morning I went with one that I read about in one of the books I’ve had open recently–probably one of Sylvia Boorstein’s, but possibly Pema Chodron’s Comfortable with Uncertainty. Basically, you start by focusing on your body–it’s position, it’s aches, it’s distractions…the norm. Then, when you’re grounded, you take a look at something you are feeling really averse toward, that thing you just want to go away. And while you sit with it, you observe how that thing feels in your body. Then you go back to just sitting with your body. Then, grounded again, you look at something you really, really want (anybody just send another query off to an agent? Hmm?). You observe how your body feels. And you return to just the physical and get grounded again. You basically go back and forth through those places. The first time I tried this, I did it just as a lets-try-it exercise with some random aversions and wants. This morning, I picked some specifics that have been pulling at me from both directions.
Here’s one of my favorite things about mindfulness meditation: I get to observe AND relax, all at the same time. Yes, this is a duh!, but in the act of observation, just observation, the tension in my body is less important, it eases, and it goes away–at least for a few minutes. And, yes, it becomes crystal clear that the aversion and the want BOTH create the tensions–they’re not identical tensions, but I can so feel both in my jaw, in my throat, in my head. And when I come back to observing my body–noting that the sore hip is a little less sore, that the itch I was sure I had to scratch has disappeared, when I bring my concentration to the physical being sitting on the bolster, the tension has eased.
Obviously, this was a good “sitting.” This past weekend, for the first time since I started my ten minutes, I was unable to finish the 10 minutes. I found myself checking the clock with a minute and a half to go and, I swear, with 20 seconds left, I had to stand up and get off the bolster. Twenty seconds. And that’s okay. That sitting brought me back to yesterday’s sitting which brought me back to today’s sitting.
And all together, they’re adding up to something.