Friday, May 22, 2009

If today is Friday,

then it must be time for a relaxing day, a day to rest and regroup after the frenzy of Theme Thursday.

Over the past few years, I've discovered that for me, the best way to relax is to sit in silence and meditate.

Let me rephrase that. The best way for me to relax is to sit in silence. The sitting is the meditation. Although some people find it helpful to look at an image - perhaps a candle or a mandala -

or listen to music - especially music like this - I don't. I enjoy the music, but I don't find it useful for meditation.

When I'm faithful to my meditation practice, every other part of my life seems a little easier to deal with. When I neglect it, I manage for a while, but little by little, the chaos takes over. It may be weeks or months before the situation reaches critical mass. Then I slap the side of my head in that universal gesture that means "Duh!" and I start meditating again. I start with five minutes, first thing in the morning, and I work my way up to half an hour.

I set this post to publish itself at 4:00 a.m. PDT, so when I get up, instead of heading here to see what's going on in the Land of Blog, I'll sit down, wrap a shawl around my legs for warmth, and stay there for five minutes. Baby steps.

I haven't had any moments of mystical transport, no visions. I don't expect I will. What will happen is that every morning, for as long as my resolve holds, I will sit still for a few minutes, eyes half-closed, and notice my breath come in, notice it go out.

Then I'll come here to see what's happening in the Land of Blog.


John Hayes said...

A great poem for the day by Merton, & some valuable observations about sitting in stillness--important to do, hard to remember!

Sandra Leigh said...

I remembered, I did. Five minutes. That's Day 1.

Debbie said...

Maybe when the kids are all out of the house, I will try that 5 minutes idea. For now, that just doesn't fit in with my house!

Sandra Leigh said...

Yes, Debbie,I imagine you would have to schedule it for 3 a.m., when you probably have something else scheduled (like that 3 hours of sleep you've been meaning to get). ;>) I remember.

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