Time and Space. (Whoa.)

This week’s blog weaves back to the mundane, but curiously potent subject of how to get going meditating.  Mundane, because it’s about conveying some information that informs but doesn’t generate passion.  Potent, because said information may help keep a newbie to meditating from face planting and quitting a few strides out of the starting blocks.  Chapters 3 and 4 in PM walk through this in greater detail, but here are some cues.

Mundanity #1 (of 2):  let’s talk about time.  When should you plan to meditate?

The short, sweet answer is a question:  what works best?   Attitude-setting morning sittings work for some, even if that means rising a little earlier than usual.  Post-kids-to-bed or email-to-clear evenings can work as an easing into the night, a mindful capper to whatever the day wrought.

Pick a time, but then ride it a bit and see if it sticks, feels fruitful; if not, fiddle with your day, your other to-do’s, but don’t give up.  Especially in navigating the early struggles of grooving in a sitting practice,  finding a regular time, one that promotes repetition and ultimately a conditioned, “it’s sitting time,” is optimal.

Mundanity #2:  Where?  This one should be obvious in concept, but isn’t always in the implementing.  The easy answer is “a place of minimum distraction.”  So a quiet, secluded  back of a hallway may be more practical than an elaborately set up sitting space near the kids’ bathroom.  This decision obviously also leaks into mundanity #1 – a certain space may be a zone of calm at 7 am but a sensory Grand Central  Station at 7:30.

I personally opt for simplicity over complexity in terms of the accoutrements around me in the setting: a bare wall or stretch of carpet in front of me to rest my view on reduces my squirrelly tendency to look around, without having to close the eyes and battle snooziness. (spellcheck just corrected that word to “snazziness”, then “snootiness”… a ghost in the machine!)  If some article helps your practice, whether secular (i.e. a candle) or not (a spiritually-reinforcing item), go for it – but take care that your setup doesn’t force a battle for your attention-building with the scenery.

Above all, be curious and flexible about what works in time and space.  ake care and stay safe, friends.  GCS

#practical #mindfulness #meditation #physician #nocrystalsandgranola