states of mind

It’s amazing to me how different the mind can be from day to day, moment to moment.  Yesterday when I sat for 20 minutes in the morning, which is starting to become my routine, I had a relatively calm and fruitful sitting – nothing profound, just the usual breathing, mind wandering with a gentle returning.  When my timer went off I was actually surprised; time had flown.  Today, on the other hand, was like the garbage compactor scene in Star Wars.  What a mess. I was almost embarrassed to dedicate my practice at the end to all beings, everywhere. 

New thoughts were firing off from all corners of my mind in quick succession. Some easy to let go, others pulling me down. That’s pretty normal but the volume and pace of it was shocking. My mind seemed darker somehow, if there was a color to speak of. My breath felt shallow and irregular. My eyes were tearing up and my back hurt. Then I got sleepy so I opened my eyes just a little. I then became aware of tension in my jaw so I relaxed that only to start drooling. What is going on today?!  It almost felt like someone – read: another part of me – was purposely working against me.  “C’mon you don’t really want to do this.” (Yes, I do, actually!)

It WAS good practice in coming back though. And I did, eventually, over again and again. AND I was able to side step the notion that I hadn’t accomplished anything, as I’ve grown accustomed to thinking. In fact, I didn’t get that upset by the seeming one step forward, two steps back feeling that often accompanies this kind of experience. It was even a little funny.  Maybe part of the trick is to not take it all so seriously.

I’m really looking forward to sitting again.  Even thought about a second sitting later today.  And not because I’m gonna get it right this time, which is the old habitual perfectionist thread speaking. But rather because it’s another opportunity to practice, to be curious and be more lighter hearted with myself.

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