January 19, 2010


Today I sat
I rushed into the room to sit
Just to check it off my to-do list – meditation, check
Like I used to feel driving white-knuckled to go to a yoga class

There is so much else to do
So many other possibilities, responsibilities, distractions
And yet I sat
I was committed to sitting

So I am totally experiencing “monkey mind,” a meditator’s phrase for the wild and crazy stream of thoughts we all can have, especially when we are trying to quiet our minds.
Imagine a swarm of howler monkeys swinging from vine to vine, that is my thought pattern.
Although I attempt not to get engaged with each passing thought, the gamut has gone from the desire to make dinner plans with friends before they leave for a month in FL to the reaction times of those surrounding JFK on the day he was shot.

But I catch myself wandering again and return to focus on my breath
at the tip of my nostrils and the rising and falling of my chest

I listen to the voice of Sharon Salzburg on a meditation CD as she describes the effortless quality of mindfulness
So glad that she offers the reassurance that one will have a torrent of thoughts, plans,images, aches and pains
Because I certainly do

Yet today I am less physically antsy than yesterday and the day before
I sat still in a relatively comfortable position and didn’t fidget for a full 25 minutes
I struggled with thinking and not thinking, with re-learning this process of stopping and being aware, of learning to be patient with myself.
And I am pleased that I was quiet today, I meditated, alone but part of a group of other winter feasters, all creating some peace in our lives.

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