Once a day and twice on Sundays. Yesterday I sat for 20 minutes in the morning and then 20 minutes after I got home from a visit with Mom. It was the first time I’ve done a meditation at night in this go-round. Very interesting to see the differences in the state of the mind between morning and evening. Took me longer to settle down — actually longer to sit. Part of the evening meditation was also about re-settling after a day that involved lots of driving. Re-settling myself into my home and re-sanctifying it.
This morning I began Week Two of the program, which focuses on the body. Specifically, the teaching suggests that I focus on areas of discomfort or pain within my body. Relating how I approach discomfort, pain, not getting what I what, to how I relate to my own body’s pain. It’s a very powerful association but definitely a more challenging kind of meditation. Luckily, the teaching — and my own mind and experience — remind me to continue to be gentle and open. I move back and forth between focusing on my breath and returning to the area of discomfort. First the general area, then gradually honing in on the spot that has the most intensity of pain. Or sensation. This kind of meditation can be exhausting. So I begin, again and again. Return to the breath. Return to the sensation. The teaching even suggests focusing on pleasurable sensations as well — but warns that it is easier to get lost in pleasurable sensations.
I do not think that attempting this challenge by myself would be a good idea if I did not already have some experience practicing meditation with others. It is so easy to become overwhelmed and lost in the mind. But also wonderfully rewarding to peel away the layers and find, finally, the Centered Self. The End of Desire. The bottom of the tackle box.