Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Meditation Procrastination

Before Christmas I wrote about making a commitment to focus part of my day on self-care. Here is the schedule I set for myself:

9:00-9:30 yoga stretches
9:30-10:00 meditation
10:00-11:00 plan food for the day, cook, juice
11:00-12:00 walk (or some other form of exercise)

I’ve been good at planning my food (although I’ve abandoned the juicing for now) and I try to get some form of exercise every day (today I walked for 40 minutes). The stretching has been hit-and-miss.

Where I’ve really dropped the ball is meditation. I know that it is one of the best things I can do for myself. In addition to the benefits to your mental health, many experts claim that meditation can play an important role in cancer recovery. It enhances the immune system and increases the activity of ‘natural-killer cells’, which kill cancer cells.

So why do I procrastinate and go for days without doing it? (There are lots of websites on the net that offer meditations for procrastination, but of course you have to get to the meditation first. See my dilemma?)

I think it needs to become a habit, just like brushing your teeth. Tomorrow I’m going to try meditating before I go downstairs for breakfast. If anyone has any other suggestions, I’d welcome them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris,
Welcome to the world of meditation. The first thing you need to know is that A LOT of meditators--people who have done long retreats, people who have been meditating for years, people who claim to be REALLY keen, have trouble sometimes sitting down on the cushion. It seems the easiest thing to neglect to do. I was reading an article just yesterday from a magazine called "Buddhadharma" written by a Tibetan lama who was talking about how hard it is for people to include meditation in their daily routine. Its often the first thing to go.
THAT being said. I think we're all, often, WAY too hard on ourselves about it. Because we make it have to be this solemn ritual--which it doesn't necessarily have to be. I've meditated in all kinds of situations, and although the most restful or calm meditation practice can be while sitting on the cushion, sometimes its only about intent. And so if I'm waiting in line somewhere, or waiting anywhere, its okay to meditate. If your meditation means you're watching your breathing, then easy-peasy...it doesn't matter that you're in a line up or waiting in the doctor's office, or waiting for a friend to show up. What counts is that you've taken the time, energy, to be present exactly where you are.
The ritual--the daily sit--IS wonderful. But the real trick, or so it seems to this being, is making many moments meditation. So if you miss the morning sit, then perhaps there's the afternoon apres nap, or pre-nap, or during the bath. Or whatever.

Does that help?

Sending lots of love.