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New Year’s Resolution

Posted by tinako on December 31, 2012

I’m usually pretty good at sticking to things.  I don’t often make my resolutions exactly at New Year’s but I guess I make them reasonable, because whatever time of year I make them, they usually keep.  Past successes:

  1. Vegetarianism (20 years)
  2. Flossing daily (going about 8 years now I think)
  3. Running 2 miles 3x per week (5 years now)
  4. Veganism (4 years)
  5. Strength training 3x per week (3 years ago.  OK, after two years I settled on 2x per week)
  6. Getting back into Tai Chi after a year off (I stopped taking classes again this spring, but I still do it alone 1x per week)
  7. Wasting less time on the computer (1 or 2 years)

But I’m nervous about this year’s resolution, even though I know it’s important:

Meditation.  Sitting there a minimum of 10 minutes every morning when I want to do something else.

I used to do it, and the results were great.  I could feel that my brain worked differently, different thoughts tended to arise, and when I slipped out of the habit I could feel wisdom flee, and old patterns return.

I’m an introvert very comfortable with silence and stillness, I feel competent at meditating, know a variety of ways to settle in, know how to stay awake, I even have the time to do it: I’m a stay-at-home mom and artist, having deliberately chosen these paths to reduce stress.  I put on my workout clothes when I get up early to see the kids off to school.  Then I exercise, have breakfast reading the paper, and… have plenty of time to meditate before I go take a shower.  But the pull of my day and the things I want to do is too strong.  Ten minutes, can’t my day wait ten minutes?  And yet I find I’d rather do laundry and clean the kitchen than sit.

Ah, my old nemesis Patience, I will face you tomorrow.

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One Response to “New Year’s Resolution”

  1. I’ve found the same as you: when I sit, life seems to make more sense. When I let life get in the way of sitting, life makes less sense.

    Among many other things zazen can be a time of confrontation – when we focus on those deep-rooted things that really bother us. It’s not always peaceful or pleasant, and this may have made it easier for me to let life get in the way. But by acknowledging those unpleasant emotions while safely facing things during zazen we may move one step closer to the understanding we seek.

    That ten minutes feels like an eternity, doesn’t it? You get distracted by thoughts that the zazen timer hasn’t chimed yet, and look down to make sure it’s working. Oh, it is working, and two minutes to go! But after several days or weeks you realize that something has changed, and that ten minutes now goes by too quickly. Then the zazen timer has to be reset for more time, and we find things turned around – at one time we were giving up sitting for “stuff,” and now we find ourselves giving up “stuff” for sitting. Internet time is an easy give-up… the more you sit, the more you understand that we’re all interconnected anyway – no keyboard required 🙂

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