With only a few days left of Winter Feast for the Soul (a 40 day commitment to spiritual practice), I thought I'd share how it's been going for me.
When I committed to the Winter Feast, I did not anticipate being sick, attending a conference, and being out of town for two weeks during the 40 days. If I had anticipated those things, I probably would not have committed to it. It was definitely challenging and at times my commitment was not very strong.
Reflecting on the experience now, I am glad I did it. Life always has a way of getting messy and making a commitment to self care difficult to follow through on. Sticking with this commitment makes me understand that it is possible to do so even when conditions are not ideal. I meditated at off times, while sick, in an airport, in other people's spaces, and with noisy people and/or a TV blaring in the background. These are not the conditions I want for meditation most of the time, but for me part of the purpose of meditation is to bring more space and calm into all of my life - not just the brief periods of time that I am quietly sitting on the cushion. Meditating in less than ideal conditions seems to me a way to begin to bridge the gap between meditation and the rest of my life.
Now I am healthy again, and back in my own space. Barriers to meditation still arise regularly, but they are the more familiar ones - my own hectic mind, scheduling, too much to do, etc. I intend to meditate in my own quiet space on a more regular schedule. But I also plan to keep pushing my comfort zone a bit and continue meditating even when things aren't perfect.
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2 days ago