I used to want to be a better meditator. I was full of ideas about “good meditation” and bad. But that seems to have faded away. I remember decades ago hearing some martial arts master say “Just put yourself on the mat.” So … I just sit, sometimes for a short time, sometimes longer, and take whatever comes my way.
Thoughts sure throw themselves at me, and I’ve learned to welcome them. The idea of trying to eliminate them feels silly. My brain is getting quieter but it still spews its output. This morning, while sitting in my cozy chair, I thought about sex, about the wind that was whipping outside, about the sun that started breaking through my eyelids. Later, I fantasized in detail about what will happen on the meditation retreat I’m going on in two weeks. It was so lovely .. and then I noticed what I was doing. My response was “Oops!”, rather than “Bad Bruce.” Just more mind stuff, which is perfectly fine.
I settled back into a rhythm of very quiet breathing, in fact silent breathing. Everything so slow. The wind buffeted my home. The sun peeked in and peeked out. All was well. Strangely, I had no aches and pains as I sat there. And I wasn’t nodding off towards sleep, a usual tendency of mine. I could feel pride settling in, and I smiled. “Hello, pride. Thanks for showing up.” A bit later, it floated away, soon to be replaced by … nothing. Just breathing.
I have a little Tibetan bowl which I hit with a wooden mallet at the end of my sitting. How do I know it’s the end? It just feels right to stop. I tap the bowl three times, letting the sound hang in the air and completely disappear before I do it again. That feels right too.
Today I meditated for 50 minutes – neither good nor bad. I returned to my daily life slow and sweet. Makes me happy.