I found that quiet moments are harder to find when my family is home all the time. Additionally, I had no school this last week and, therefore, was not rising at 4:00 a.m. to study. I need to make a conscious effort to return to this beginning tomorrow. The good thing is that there is a part of me that has missed my times of quiet times cultivating mindfulness.
I have intended to rise early on several mornings, so that I might spend some time in meditation. Up until today, I had not been able to drag myself out of bed, however I got up 30 minutes early this morning and spent that time continuing to hone my skills at mindfulness. Once again I used the body meditation exercise in the book on Buddhist mediation. It was worth it, and hopefully this will motivate me to make this a daily practice. Most mornings I get up at 4:00 am to study, while it is quiet in my house. My wife gets up at six. So I think I will attempt to spend 30 minutes in the latter part of the morning. We’ll see how that goes.
I spent about 10 minutes meditating this morning. I wanted to lay in bed but then thought I’d be better off to spend these few minutes focusing my mind, cultivating mindfulness. So I practiced body meditation, focusing my thought and awareness toward my body beginning at my feet and moving slowly to each area. I found this meditation exercise in a book I bought a few months ago, but have only recently began to read:A Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation by Paramananda. I think I will stick with this exercise for a while, it was very rich and probably a good beginning practice for this novice.
Today I had hoped to rise early and meditate, but I was tired and chose not to get up at a time that provided for those quiet moments. There is so much of our lives that challenge my attempts at mindfulness. Being the novice that I am, I am acutely aware that continuity will be of great benefit. I will try tomorrow, even if it is only for 10 minutes. Like anything worth anything, this is going to take dedication and it will be work.
Over the last few weeks I have resumed practicing (as best I understand it) meditation. I have some books to help me and I have listened to some teachings about it. Some might think it an easy practice to develop, but it is not easy to clear and focus your mind. My mind has a restlessness that I never noticed until I began this practice. However, I believe it will be a practice that will greatly benefit me; I should be present in my body, aware of my body and able to focus my mind. I can understand why some have told me to expect it to take years and years to gain such control. For now I plan on continuing and hopefully gaining more control as I regularly stop and practice mindfulness.
One thing I appreciate about meditation is that it is not merely a mental activity but one that is rooted in our body and present in the moment. So much of my days are about what I just finished or what I am preparing to do. It is a refreshing change to be present, to be aware of myself, my body, my feelings and my thoughts. I try to do this at least 2 – 3 times a week, wishing that I could find more time.
I am increasingly impressed with many concepts and ideas found in the Buddhist and other Eastern faiths. I was reading an article on the Huffington post and ran across a fantastic quote. I thought I’d share it with whomever might be reading. It has stimulated some care in my thoughts, words and deeds.
“The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into the habit;
Habit hardens into the character;
Character gives birth to the destiny
So, watch your thoughts with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of respect for all beings…”