What better place to start off this meditation challenge than at a retreat. I was lucky enough to spend the weekend at the Garrison Institute, an hour outside NYC, with Lily and Jeremy, the Vanaras crew, and Krishna Das. Yoga, kirtan, good people, good talks, good crying, and some meditation.
The setting: An old, peaceful monastery similar in appearance to Hogwarts. A fresh layer of snow covering the ground and all the tree branches. Not a sound at 7 am.
The main character (or at least she thinks she is): A sleepy girl without a magic cloak nor a steady mind.
The practice: Focus the attention on the breath.
The challenge: All the many many thoughts
It was oh so quiet. Not a siren to be heard. It was the perfect setting for a perfect sitting. Woke up early to take advantage of that special time when the raucous is minimal and the energy has yet to build. It’s gonna be great! Gonna tap into some of this monastery peace and get me some quiet mind.
Sat up in bed, set my timer, put a pillow under my butt, crossed my legs, closed my eyes and started the practice.
Found my breath at my nose. Followed the inhale. Followed the exhale. And it was so easy… for one breath. And then the thoughts.
i’m hungry what will i eat at breakfast shouldn’t eat before yoga yeah but that peanut butter looked good do they add water to make peanut butter i should try to make that peanuts can get mold there’s mold in my bathroom might be why i have allergies i didn’t neti pot today
Let it go.
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale.
[crying, crying, crying]
Let it go.
Inhale. Exhale. One breath at a time.
Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, THOUGHTS. SIT WITH YOUR SH*T
It all reminds me of this song.
“And then it’s nice and quiet. But soon again starts another big RIOT!”
Let go of the riot.
Inhale. Exhale, damn it.
Just as I’m starting to settle back and relax into this power play with my mind, the timer goes off and phew. Deal with my sh*t again later.