When I talk to family, friends, and clients about my meditation practice I know how they see me. Serenely sitting criss cross applesauce, with my hands palm up in my lap, a look of bliss settled on my face. Ok, I can admit it, I love meditating. I look forward to it, I crave it, I yearn for it even! I wait for the moment(s) when I can close my eyes looking inward at my breath while I am magically transported to a land of peace, understanding and connectivity with all living beings.
Sounds great right? Well keep reading and I will let you in on my secret. I have sittings like that, and they keep me coming back, but I also have many others that are more like this: I am sitting with my legs crossed, palms up in my lap, with a crinkle between my brow as my thoughts jump from one to another. I wonder things like how much more time? My back hurts how long have I been sitting here? Or, wow I am hungry, what will I make for dinner? And this used to be followed by thoughts of oh no, I am thinking! I am not breathing! I am a meditation failure! Whoops!
Presently, I have good days of practice and days that remind me that it is indeed a practice. Days where I have to return to my breath over and over again, followed by days that I drift into that perfect space of peace. My practice teaches me to be humble, to be patient, to be loving, kind and especially compassionate. As we practice these skills with ourselves it becomes easier to express them to others. And in the moments where I hit a pure state of awareness I feel clearly the lack of separation between myself and others- and that is what keeps me coming back again and again.
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