But the point in meditation process is to just begin again. At least once you’re actually doing meditation, that’s really just about the only ‘rule’: if your mind wanders, just bring it gently back to your meditation focus. Which in my case has been objects as different as a pebble, a picture of one of the Buddhist bodhisattvas, a candle, or just my own breath. So when I begin to wonder, while following my breath, if I should make a frittata for dinner, I observe – hmmm…thinking again – and return my attention to in/out, rise/fall. Sounds simple, huh?
My elder son introduced me to something that helps. And yes, there’s an app for that. It’s called Headspace. You can try it for free! N.B.: I get zip for putting this out there in the blogosphere — it’s just something that’s working for me, so I’m sharing.
Apparently I respond well to guided meditation. The time that normally creeps by like a dead ‘possum in the middle of the road suddenly moves swiftly to its conclusion — well, almost swiftly. Swiftly-ish.
I get busy, and the time-crawl factor grows in my head. Until I make up excuses – I’m so busy! There’s so much to do! – to let meditation lapse. Until ‘lapsed’ becomes ‘last month.’ Or longer. And I’m as wound up as ever.
What I’m trying to do these days is just return to the process. And again, doesn’t THAT sound simple?? Wellll, it’s not. At least not for me. (and if it is for you, please share! I’d love to hear!)
So if you’re looking for a way to be a bit calmer, a bit clearer, a bit less frazzled this holiday season, I recommend just sitting down. Focusing on something — whatever that is. Meditation is one of the best ways I know — really the only way I know, truth told — to calm my mind and help me remember that all perspectives matter, even if I disagree w/ them passionately. And when family gets together that can be a good thing to recall!
No one can get to you quite like family. The childhood pecking order, the old taunts & jokes at each other’s expense… But here’s the flip side of that coin: no one else IS family. And they don’t get you the same way.
Maybe this holiday one of your family members will, like my sons often do with me, send you something wonderful. A piece of music. A book. A meditation app. And it may well be just what you need.