Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sitting practice

On Sunday morning Gary and I went to a half day meditation retreat. Before I went I had been obsessing for two days about why it is wrong for me to be in my relationship. Sunday was also the four year anniversary of when Gary and I went on our first date. For some people four years doesn't seem like that much time. For me, it is an accomplishment to be in this relationship with a loving man who supports himself financially and supports me emotionally. So, my ego was especially loud this weekend letting me know what a bad idea it is for me to be in an intimate committed relationship with Gary. My ego-voice lets me know that that there is someone out there who I would be much happier with and that I need to dump Gary right now and go find him. My ego is strong and convincing and it is a challenge to me to not believe the story it is telling me and run with it.
Going into the retreat I was agitated and anxious. The retreat was led by vippassana teacher and yoga teacher Terry Ray. She is a heartful person and wise teacher who I feel great love for. We meditated for an hour, then did yoga for 90 minutes, then meditated either sitting or walking for another hour. We ended with a sharing circle about what spiritual practice brings to our lives and what are our obstacles to practicing more in our daily lives. It was a powerful morning for me and the combination of meditation and yoga is joyous. Four hours of practice brought me to a greater place of presence in mind and body. My heart was open to myself and to Gary. I notice that consistent practice gives me the strength to dissern my ego's voice more readily. I can more easily interrupt its story and center myself. I am less reactive to my own ego. I want to recommend beginning a regular spiritual practice. Chose a time to sit and a focus. It could be your breath or a phrase or gazing at a candle. Sit for one minute at first if you want to. The idea is to show up for yourself and honor the source inside of you that you are, with time and energy. Regular practice makes it easier to accept what is without resisting so much. Suffering is caused by resisting what is. If you already practice think about the benefits it brings you in daily life and acknowledge yourself for your practice. If you've practiced before and aren't now think about recommitting. It is often when we want to sit the least that we need it the most. Start with something doable and follow through. I support you in using some of your time to nurture the still small voice within you which reveals itself in silence. Meditation supports presence in a way that nothing else I've found does. I am so grateful to my meditation practice for the insights it brings to me in my daily life, and the support it gives me in being more of all that I am. May it be that for you, too.

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