I’ve started a formal meditation practice again after a long absence, and it is both humbling and illuminating at the same time. I’m starting small — just 20 minutes. It seems like an eternity.
How did I let my practice get away from me? And why have I waited so long to begin again?
Ah, begin again, there’s the rub. After all, I am a long-time meditator. I even wrote a book about it. Why am I here sitting with my legs hurting, starting over?
It’s a long story, not one for the telling right now. The point is, I am back on my cushion and today I watched my mind frantically grasp one thought after another for 20 excruciatingly long minutes. This made me smile, and then it made me laugh out loud.
All these years I have encouraged, begged, pleaded with people — telling them to do this?
Good grief, why would anyone want to do this?
I’ll tell you why . . .
Because during those twenty minutes I became my own best friend.
I watched my mind with compassion, and, as Pema Chodron says in her new book on How to Meditate, I began again the practice of open awareness. As she describes it: “Feeling the tightness, the urgency, and letting it go — again, and again, and again.”
This, my friends, is courage. And I don’t know about you, but I am sorely in need of courage these days.
So here I am again, encouraging you to begin a meditation practice.
I mean, why should I be the only one who knows how to find courage simply by sitting on my butt?
Choosing To Be: Lessons in Living from a Feline Zen Master, by Kat Tansey
“A delightful, uplifting book about healing, laughter and transformation… an engaging way to introduce the complex art [of meditation] . . . a sincere guide to breathing with divine wisdom and finding one’s way out of darkness.” —Guideposts Magazine