Don't strain. Don't force anything or make grand, exaggerated efforts. Meditation is not aggressive. There is no place or need for violent striving. Just let your effort be relaxed and steady. Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain EnglishI think this such a lovely thought . . . to accept things as they are, without resistance. Obviously easier said than done but I admit that meditation has helped me greatly in moving towards a more steady and relaxed experience of living. When I sit in meditation, it is my goal to stop those random thoughts from distracting me as I focus only on my breath. Assuming for a moment that I ever manage this perfect stillness of thought, inevitably something beyond me distracts me. Romanov shifts from one position to another. A bird starts fighting with another bird. Or even the slight squeek of the fan overhead, a sound I had been effetively ignoring, becomes louder in my hearing. There is so much beyond my control . . . even my own thoughts which I think are in my control. Each time I rise from my meditation with a feeling of more or less success . . . but never frustration. Whether I perceive the experience as a less successful one, I still walk away from my meditation with a very real sense of peace. Or, as the quote says, feeling "relaxed and steady." And the best part is that I know, from the myriad of thoughts and external distractions which interrupted my perfect meditative experience, that this sense of peace, this feeling of relaxation and steadiness, is no more permanent than the distraction of a fan squeeking overhead. It all depends on how well focused I am in each and every moment.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
In Which I Anticipate a Quiet Weekend Ahead Last night Rob and I went out on a date. Today he has a gig that starts at 10am and won't end until tomorrow around 4am . . . I am hoping he has the sense to not stick around after the gig to clean up, just locks things down and leaves the clean up for the next day. But this leaves me with a lovely quiet day ahead of me. Not so lovely has been the stifling heat which, even with the a/c on, makes the temperature in our house rise to 90F. By afternoon I am lethargic to the point of collapse. So I hope to get some cleaning done in the morning, while it is still bearably cool. Then, when afternoon arrives and temperatures become unbearable, I will settle down to a little television. All this talk lately about Excalibur (on one of the message boards to which I have long belonged) has me in the mood to watch that so I probably will begin there and who knows where I will turn next. A little cross stitching, listening to an audio book (A Year to Live), and reading some other books (including my decision to read Write Now! so I can get that book removed from my collection) promises to make today a quiet one. Tomorrow will probably be quiet as well because Rob will want/need to sleep in and that will leave me to find quiet things to do around the house so as not to disturb him. Perhaps I'll organize my thoughts re. that writing project I have in mind. Perhaps not. But today I am having a bad vertigo day so it is enough that I am up and typing a blog entry when really my body is screaming for me to lie down and stop. Weekly Quote