Remember back in September when I committed to a month of mediation for Yoga Month? I never completed a post on the whole thing, but I did stay committed for that whole month…. and nowadays??
Well, now I know the real purpose for my meditation chair:
I bought this beautiful rattan meditation chair in 2008 hoping to inspire a meditation practice but can probably count on both hands the number of times I’ve actually used it.
I committed to a whole month of the practice this year (and other times too) but why why why can’t I keep it going after the “challenge” is over? Clearly I have the tools, the know hows, the books, the tapes, the cushions, everything you could possibly need to start a meditation practice. So why can’t I sit still for the purpose of sitting still?
I’ve just discovered the answer and it’s a simple one. The “sitting down” thing didn’t stick with me because I tried too hard to mold myself into what I thought a meditation practice was suppose to be (i.e. sit cross legged, hands in lap, eyes closed, serene face etc). In the spirit of trying to stay committed to a challenge, I’ve lost sight of the idea that there is more than one way to practice an asana, there is also more than one way to meditate. One size does not fit all.
I think if I didn’t have some sort of meditation during the day, I would go bonkers. Since adopting Marley, meditation has been more frequent when I sit down late at night and snuggle with him or stroke his belly until he falls asleep. Listening to the sounds of the leaves crunching underneath our feet during our afternoon walks or just watching him wrestle with his treat stuffed kong toy is quite a meditative activity… even the kids are reaping the benefits of such simple joys. Other times, I’ve been playing close attention to the pain in my right hip during practice or just plain watching my reactions to my right hip during practice. Watching and observing sounds like two things one would do in a sitting meditation, eh?
During this stage of my life, meditation is not just something I do by setting the timer for 5 or 10 minutes, but it’s a way to experience my life from a different angle and viewing myself through the lens of awareness. When I don’t give in to the distractions of my mind, I am in meditation regardless of the activity I’m doing. Other times when I do choose to sit on a cushion, I practice honing my awareness on moment to moment flow of breath, thoughts, sensations or a mantra that will free my mind of the usual thought patterns. That sure sounds like an asana practice, eh? Well I guess that’s why it’s called a meditation “practice” or a yoga “practice.” We practice. No goals. No right. No wrong. Just experience!