While I do practice meditation every day, today I have had numerous things happening early in the morning that have so far prevented me from doing my typical sitting time. And also, being Saturday, it is the normal day that I attend the weekly meditation service at the Blue Lotus Temple. But that’s not happening either.
The combination of this has left me observing my physical and mental reaction to the absence of my practice. And there is some definite discomfort in all areas. My muscles and chest feel tight and uneasy. My mind feels like there is a headache coming on, with pressure on the top of my head. Even a slight shortness of breath is happening. Weak and uneasy would be a good way to sum up my overall sense of being.
But I think this is very beneficial to observe how I react to all of these things, and observe how meditation has become an integral part of my well-being. While at the same time, I am trying to be aware that my actual practice is composed of far more than just 30 minutes on a cushion.
Is it possible to cultivate all the wholesome and beneficial qualities without doing meditation? And has meditation just become another attachment and clinging?
It would seem the answer is yes and no. As I do still need this time to settle my thoughts, bring my mind to the present moment, and offer that little bit of time to love the self. And it is also time to send loving kindness and compassion to my Family, friends and the World. To be mindful and aware of the connectedness, the suffering, and the joy that we all experience.
Yet I see that there is an attachment to this, and a feeling of need associated with my meditation. And this is not conducive to my freedom or liberation.
So is it time to let go of meditation and just live a good life? Or as Bhante Sujatha has taught me, we can meditate at anytime, any place, and while doing any thing. Admittedly, I have learned to practice this, but still do not gain the same benefit that I get from doing sitting meditation. Which only serves to expose my lack of development. Just like a young child first learning to walk, our meditation offers us the assistance to avoid falling down quite so often. It’s a gentle helping hand on our path to understanding and acceptance. And I can clearly see why I have such gratitude for this time and practice. Grateful for the teachings and the teachers.
The day is still young, so perhaps I will still find the time to sit. And I can see that this is good for me, and important to my life. Important not just for myself, but for all those around me as well.
So while I am pleased that I had this opportunity to be mindful of the experience, I also see that I need some time on the cushion today. And the only thing that will stop me is my own delusional excuses.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.