"Mindfulness and Meditation allow us to open our hearts, relax our bodies, and clear our minds enough to experience the vast, mysterious, sacred reality of life directly. With Practice we come to know for ourselves that eternity is available in each moment.

Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call:
Musings on Life and Practice
by a Longtime Student of Meditation

Friday, June 21, 2013

Why Bother?

Don't Just Do Something, Sit There!
--the title of a book by Mindfulness Teacher Sylvia Boorstein

Each Monday the alarm goes off at 4:20 AM or so and Betsy and I begin the process that takes me to a 6:15 bus in Orange.  With any luck at all, I'm at the door to Community Yoga, key in hand, at 7 AM to begin Monday Morning Mindfulness.  Although there have been a few regulars, and a few irregulars, on and off over the past year for that first hour of MMM, I've often sat alone in the early morning quiet of downtown Greenfield.  Sometimes in the past year I'd sat alone for the entire 3 hours.

Any number of times as I sat there,
I would watch a bevy of unpleasant thoughts and feelings emerge.  Feeling tired, doubtful, foolish, I'd sometimes questioned my own sanity for dragging myself (and my partner) out of bed at that ungodly hour to glug a cup of coffee, jump in a car to drive 25 minutes to jump on a bus for an hour to then hustle, sometimes through rain or snow, uphill from the bus station to the studio--and then sit by myself in an empty room. It certainly didn't seem like a reasonable thing to do.

Why bother?

That, of course, is an essential question.  It's probably useful to ask it before we dangle our foot over the edge of the bed to start each day, to examine the nature of our essential commitment.  Taking it to to heart over the course of many years, I don't know that there is a "reasonable" answer.  And yet.......

In the first session of the Introduction to Meditation class three people commented that they had found that their lives seemed to be "better" when they meditated, yet they found it difficult to sustain a regular practice.   That seems to be a common condition.  I think it can be explained pretty readily as a function of our conditioning.  We are deeply propelled to "do" by the prevailing values and norms of our materialistic society.  Sitting still, isn't our strong suit.

Yet, now there are a few of us are sitting fairly regularly--at least each Monday morning. 

Why do we bother?

It might be interesting to compare notes on why we have chosen to do that--don't you think?

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