Oof, struggle. I sat for an hour this morning found it particularly hard to concentrate on the task at hand — metta for categories of beings. I was running short on sleep, and my attention span felt so short. Just thinking of the categories set off streams of associative thinking — who are “all enlightened beings?” are frogs enlightened? etc. Then I’d come to and try to envision all beings in the ocean. I felt like I was constructing imagery in my head rather than focusing on the intention. I did have some moments of lightness, openness, during the hour, but I spent most of it planning and daydreaming.

I enjoy meditation, but when I zone out for most of the hour, I question how useful it is. I’m feeling impatient with how slowly I seem to be developing concentration skills. Perhaps it’s because I spend the rest of the day attending to instant digital alerts, jumping from one task to the next.

I forgot the metta-for-all-beings theme for most of the day. I got really sucked into computer work, doing anything I could to avoid working on an article I’m supposed to be writing — checking email a hundred times, passively reacting to incoming alerts… Now I’m realizing now how much self-judgment I’m piling onto this day. The tyranny of expecting productivity on paid work — and “progress” in meditation — feels so internalized. Metta for all beings who feel the whip of productivity — may they proceed at their own beautifully inconsistent pace!