One of the things about a new habit is you don’t know what to expect along the way. The habit I am cultivating is meditating daily at the same time.
Last night, I sat in my usual spot at 11:30 PM. Already, it was half an hour later than I like but I wanted to put the time in. “It’s not a chore,” I told myself. “It’s a pleasure”
I turned on the Insight Timer app on my iPhone and let myself relax, watching my breath. When I found myself spinning off away from my breath, I brought myself back.
I om’d. I shanti’d.
I practiced giving on the outbreath, receiving on the in.
I dozed, felt my legs getting stiff, wondered how much time I had left, telling myself I must be close to finished. The timer read 7:10. I watched it count down the seconds and thought 7 MINUTES TO GO?! I was sure I had meditated for at least 20 minutes.
I took a deep breath and put the timer aside decided I wasn’t going to make it. Not tonight. Not right then. I went to bed. I gave up.
My night’s sleep was restless.
I was up at 530 am. I knew I wasn’t going to fall asleep again, so I figured, let me try now.
So, I went to my meditation spot. It’s a corner on the sofa in the den. A window to my left, a window in front of me. Blinds pulled down.
I sat and took a couple of deep breaths. I started to om and shanti. I tried giving on the out-breath, receiving on the in-breath. Instead, I start looping a song, Consumers by 45 Grave. That’s followed by ZZ Top’s Lagrange.
I find myself watching the main character in the novel I’m working on walking across his lawn. He enters his house. It’s a mess.
I start thinking about the guitar I’d like to buy, then I remember I need to get a new router. I take a deep breath and see myself walking through Costco, picking up it up, then walking to the check-out line. One item in hand. That brings a smile.
I remember, “Oh yeah, I’m here. Be. Here. Now.”
The rest of the meditation continues like that, my mind wandering from one thought to another. I bring it back to the breath when I can. Then the timer rings. It’s over.
As I stand and prepare myself for the morning, I remind myself, it’s going to go that way. It goes that way. The important thing is to show up.