Wednesday, May 10, 2017

#100daysofwriting: day 37- sitting practice, part I

Like many practitioners of meditation, I have a love/hate relationship with my sitting practice. I go through phases...the hardcore phase and the neglect phase. Recently, I have been in neglect phase. Looking at my cushion and altar every damn day and walking away. Sometimes I stand looking at the cushion with my hands on my hips and take a deep breath. Actually, it's more like a sigh of disappointment, mostly in my self, not my green zafu and statue of Ganesh and my salt lamp. Sitting practice for me is flossing my mind. It keeps my clean, stable, soft, and strong, all at the same time.
Sometimes inspiration wanes, but that's not the point of meditation for me...I don't sit because it's inspiring. I sit so I can know myself better, cultivate self-awareness, get to know my hooks and triggers, and to soften my heart just a wee bit more.

I stumbled upon meditation in my early teens, reading a book my mom had by Tich Naht Hanh about mindfulness. It was then I started sitting in my room, lotus pose and all (I was a heck of a lot more flexible then), closed my eyes, and took deep breaths. I would time myself. It became a game. And then I would go outside and play or head to soccer practice, or do my geometry homework. I wasn't resistant. I was highly curious and playful.

Fast forward to today. I have been neglecting my sitting meditation practice big time. Super resistant. Super uninspired, despite that not being the point. But tonight I sat. I did in fact get some inspiration from a podcast in which Sharon Salzberg was interviewed. She brought up the practice of metta, or loving-kindness meditation. It's about sending loving-kindness to self, others, and all creatures & beings, even creatures you have difficulties with. Over time, one can start to exprience great tenderness, compassion, and love.

For today, it feels accessible. A fifteen minute sit. I am a tad more curious and a little less resistant. Here's what I know though: there is power in just sitting my ass down. And if I give up all my stories around what it's supposed to feel like, look like, and be like, I might just get inspired, even though that's not the point. Ha!

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