Two Meditation Surprises

Yesterday I was muttering to a close friend that I was struggling to find a regular 15 minutes a day to spend reading on what might be called professional development.

“Morning’s are out, that’s my prime writing time,” I moaned. “Afternoons seem to be taken up with more writing, marketing, and the stuff of life… by the time evening rolls around I’m totally unwilling to do work stuff.”

She knows I spend the first hour ever morning making coffee, feeding the cat, reading whatever spiritual book I’m reading at the moment (right now its Together We Are One: Honoring Our Diversity, Celebrating Our Connection) and then sitting in meditation for about 25 minutes.

“How about doing the professional reading during that hour in the morning?”

“No!” I responded, way more loudly than either of us expected.

Both she and I were surprised at my vehemency. I hadn’t realized just how important that morning meditation time is to me until she made her innocent suggestion.

I remember so clearly the seemingly infinite number of times I tried to do a meditation practice and couldn’t get beyond five or 10 minutes of sitting.  And during most of that time I was waiting impatiently for the time to pass so I could get on with other things.

Then Rev. Kevin Bucy of the Universal Spirit Center invited me and other classmates to simply read for a few minutes then spend a few minutes thinking about what we’d read that I was able to maintain any sort of a regular practice.

My next “step” if you will was the opportunity to practice daily with a Zen Buddhist Sangha. I’d moved to the Sweetwater Zen Center looking not for meditation, but for community.  That almost daily sitting with sometimes just one other person and sometimes several began to really anchor my practice, and I’ve been able to maintain a practice even after I left the center.

This morning I noticed something else. Sitting I was antsy, as I have been the last several days. I’ve got some financial insecurity running at the moment and part of me wants to rush to my computer to work.

I had the insight that when I’m most reluctant to sit is probably when I need it the most. Even though my mind is darting here, there and everywhere, the simple act of sitting and coming back to the breath over and over again is exactly what I need.

I’m far from the first person to notice this or have this insight. In fact I’m sure I’ve heard it taught and read it many times. But this morning that realization became mine, at least for now. I now understand that my inability to establish a practice before was my own impatience and my own wrong notion of how it should be. No blame, but had I been able/willing or known that what I needed to do was sit, just sit, just simply sit and be willing to come back to my breath a gillion times, I probably would have been able to continue a practice then.

It turns out it really is simple!

Love and blessings,

Anne Wayman: When Grandmother Speaks

Two ways to get notice of every post:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pj Pittman March 4, 2011 at 2:05 am

Thank you for the reminder of the importance of just breathing. I was meditating 2-3x a day for at least 15min. I just moved in with my 84 year old grandmother so she could be at home instead of in an AFC home. My world has been turned inside out, but she has terminal cancer and deserves to be at home. I left my job of caring for the dually diagnosed mentally disabled creating some financial concerns of my own. I don’t think I have meditated since I got here three weeks ago. Thank you sincerely for sharing and reminding how close peace and stability are… PJ

annew March 4, 2011 at 7:26 pm

You’re more than welcome PJ.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: