Yesterday, I did not take the time to sit and meditate. All morning I meant to get to it...especially since we planned a drive to the Valley in the afternoon. And, all morning, one thing came up after another. Little chores, unexpected phone calls, an unsettled stomach--should I eat? Maybe I need to lie down? Then the anxiety of preparing to leave the house: should I fill a water bottle? Bring apples? Oh, maybe I could read this book in the car. A flurry of little anxious spikes.
What I DID do, is take moments throughout the afternoon and focus on my breath. At one point, we were walking in back country, along a narrow dirt road. We were high above the Merced River and on every side were mountains. We walked. Companionable. But, no talking. I breathed. Looked at the expanse of purple blue mountains, one after the other, to the coast. I listened to a bird. Then another. We walked in sync--same rhythm. I looked. l breathed.
On arriving back at the house, I KNEW I should NOT GET Caught in all the choices I could make--but just get the cushion out and sit. But, I was hungry. Sore. Tired. Wanted to play Scrabble. So I let it go. This is an old habit--giving in to the short term satisfaction over the more long-term.
But, I did not let myself make this a BAD thing--something to feel guilty about.
Instead, I again, took a few minutes between activities to concentrate on my breath, to feel my body, to stay focused on my self in this room at this time--not rabbiting toward the next activity, the next plan or going over something that caught my attention from our earlier day.
Okay--it was only a matter of two minutes here, four minutes there...
There is value in the longer focused sit. But, in these little sits were still places, too. They gave me a chance to forgive myself and to go on. Not bad.