I set out to sit cross-legged on a chair under a thatched umbrella this morning. Maybe just ten minutes. Better to do a short session than none at all.
I resist these sessions. I excuse the lack of sitting by telling myself I am doing the work in my yoga classes. Twice a day we sit and breathe. In and out, in the moment.
But, I feel I get more out of this practice if I sit again during the day. Oh! But, I'm busy! Too many people to talk to, then there's work and meals and more chats with friends and another session of work and another meal and maybe a walk and oh! I’m too tired to sit.
But, for me, one of the values of meditating is seeing how clearly this struggle dominates my life. Busy, busy, busy and what if I stop? What is there under the projects, the writing, the laughter with friends, the plans, the worry? I’m afraid that there is nothing.
Nothing and that I am nothing? Something like that. Wonder if meditating takes me straight to that nothingness? People talk about stillness and calm and centeredness. It sounds good. And maybe I am experiencing it, but I also experience this fear.
Okay. Maybe that's what I am supposed to be experiencing--inner demons, fear of being alone, isolated. These fears are why I resist sitting with myself.
Ah, I sat. The water crashes again and again into the rocks. Pelicans call. Seaweed smells of iodine. The wind blows off the ocean and onto my chest. Relentlessly, ceaselessly as those waves. Over and over. I say a whispered OM. I am quiet because I am on a public beach and dread bringing more attention to myself. Already the men who rake the kelp away each morning stare. But I keep going. I gird myself against this tiny flame of fear too, fear of ridicule, fear of being noticed as peculiar. Judged.
So I set out too sit for ten minutes but wanted to see how it felt to keep going.
I kept at it. What do I have to lose? Thirty minutes of sitting.