Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Meditation? Who has time?

Om, Om, Om. Meditation. Breathe. Relax. Ah,what would I do without it? I could describe the last six plus months and that would give you a pretty good idea.

The thing about meditation is, I need to make time for it.

When I don't meditate, I am a little snappy (not the good snappy as in 'chic' or 'snappy wit') but more like snapping turtle...not good. But who has twenty minutes twice a day, make that once a day, to meditate? I mean really. I have more important things to do than to be a slave to something that inspires grace, compassion and patience after I do it, don't I?

Why would I take time meditate when it pretty much guarantees my day will at least start out well, even if it begins to swirl and crumble during the middle of it????

In her book "One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers", Gail Sher says, "Before his enlightenment, Buddha was also tempted to extremes. Afterwards he taught the middle way." I love that, don't you? I am no Buddha, but I am tempted by extremes --

To paraphrase Sher, the 'middle way' isn't the easy way out, it's not being rigid or lax, but living in the middle. For example, if you want to eat a box of candy, you allow yourself a few pieces. You're not depriving yourself of all of it (rigid) nor eating the whole box (lax) (and yum).

I decided to apply the 'middle way' principle to my meditation practice. What would happen if I meditated for ten minutes instead of a whole twenty? Would it work just as well? Would I have the illusive calm-compassion-grace I can only find with a twenty minute meditation?

Having had this love/hate relationship with meditation for years, I thought it would be interesting to try. Twenty minutes straight is hard. While it does works, it is torturous for me to sit that long. I get antsy. I get alligator eyes and must peek. I need to know how many more minutes do I need to endure this and then TIME IS the meditation. (the fact that the timer is set doesn't count ... ahem)

So I've been doing it, this sitting for ten minutes, my own personal 'middle way'. And it works. Yay!

Frank Sinatra sang (he was never one of my favorites but that's another story) ... "I Did It My Way". And doing it my way works -- for me that is.

Now I'm wondering where else I can apply the 'middle way' to my life. Yoga? Exercise? Food?

If you're struggling to do something and it isn't working, you might give the 'middle way' a try. After all, You've Got to Please Yourself (Ricky Nelson -- can't help it these things it popped into my head...)


mum4justice said...

Whether it's Gail Sher, Buddha himself, Good Old Blue Eyes or Ricky Nelson...whatever your trigger!!
As long as your doing it and doing it your way is all that matters. Your writing really puts it out there. Thanks for lighting the fire, I too get antsy, I'm thinking "the middle way" is the way to go!! Luv Heidi

Anonymous said...

Good writing Cindy. I'll give your idea a try ---- 10 minutes is better than no minutes.

Cheryl said...

Keep on Penning Cinderella, I love your talent and cannot wait for the book. I love you Chessy