Have started taking this 8-week meditation class through Penn Medicine. We meet every Wed. from 6-8:30 and then have daily meditation homework. This week, we're supposed to practice twenty mindful breaths four times a day and do a daily 30 to 45 minute sitting meditation. I can manage the 4 small meditations, but the longer one is more intimidating. The class includes mp3's to guide you through the process, but like yesterday, I had a hard time not peeking at the line signaling how far along we were in the meditation, becuaes I was thinking, Okay, I'm ready to be done now. And then it's easy to get distracted by the nosies of the cats--their nails clicking on the wooden floor as they do their cat things and I feel like I have to look to see what's happening, so that I don't miss Emma Carol licking herself or Henri cowering under the table for the hundreth time. I'm going to try to sit on the floor today when I do it, and I imagine that the cats will be even more present for that one, as they seldom get to see me right down on their level. But one of the things I keep reading/hearing about the practice of meditation is that you shouldn't judge or be critical of the process; that it's not about getting it perfect but at recognizing when you're mind is wandering and acknowledging it. For me, this means that I spend most of the time noticing how often I plan for other things--how I am constantly creating to-do lists or lists of concerns or worries about bad things that might happen. Because, you know, if I anticipate it, I can prevent it from occuring. That's the power I have over the universe.
Don't worry--I won't turn into a flakey-flake. I won't start wearing my hair in braids or buy a prayer shawl or stock up on tofu or "ohm" on the subway. But I do think I could use a little more stillness.