Dear fellow sitters: it has almost been a week since the kick-off our commit-to-sit daily meditation goal for the month of February. How is everyone doing? I began this month-long venture with the goal of sitting down on my purple zafu every morning. This has happened only once, and I find myself asking why. It isn't that the idea of sitting is incredibly daunting, or that I just can't make time to sit—it's the notion of forcing a specific time period and location into my schedule that causes a panic. The entire week I've spent practicing in my commutes to work, and they have been incredibly rewarding. Still, I raise a question regarding the sitting itself. Does the location matter?
Maybe we can ask the Meditation Doctor about this? Brad Warner has been giving great advice to those folks asking questions, and I'm sure he would have something insightful to say regarding the importance of location when meditating.
To extend this thought of location and strict regiment a little further, I refer to Jason Siff's article 'The Problem with Meditation Instructions'.He provides an interesting take on the instructional aspect of meditation, and describes a common cause for meditation impasses: "adopting rules that prohibit certain experiences." Here is his advice for dealing with impasses:
"Although we are not often taught this, the most skillful way through an impasse in meditation is to become aware of it and of what holds it together and keeps it running. To do this, you need to keep doing the meditation instructions that have gotten you to this point, but instead of following them “harder,” try approaching them in a softer, gentler manner. Do them loosely, and don’t do them all of the time."
With these words in mind,perhaps I will loosen my idea of needing a specific place, and focus more on the breathing aspect of my practice.
-Eric Wetzel Tricycle magazine