First the good news. I have just completed a full month of meditation at ZCOC, woohoo! Some people may not think this a major achievement, but for me, someone who struggles with sitting quietly while not letting my thoughts take full control of me, this is a very proud moment.
I think I posted something about ZCOC earlier this month and I had mentioned my on again off again relationship with meditation and my thoughts. I realized that I very much need a place where I sit in silence, especially since I don’t have the discipline yet to create that environment for myself at home.
Last night was the last Zen meditation of 2010. I would love to say that in the past month I managed to gain some sense of control over my restless mind, and while some practice days proved better than others, last night’s was a challenge.
There I was, adjusting my posture in my seat and taking in the quiet stillness of the room. I almost felt it wrapping it’s arms around me like a warm embrace as I closed my eyes. I even allowed myself a chance to think, tonight is going to be good. And it was, for about 15 minutes. That’s around the time I slowly began losing control. It started with my imagination coming up with these bizarre images. One particular thought, and really the only one I can remember now, involved a sort of white fence to my right surrounded by different plants and flowers and then this delicate arm reaching out through the fence and dangling these beautiful sparkling ornaments infront of me. I just about reached out my hand to hold one. I know, I have no idea where that came from.
From that point I usually follow the same inevitable pattern. I begin to quietly fidget, ever so slightly of course, in the hopes that the poor person sitting next to me won’t pick up on my un-zen vibe. I think this is why my husband prefers not to sit next to me 😉 lol. This is usually followed by the slow curling of my toes inward and then releasing, I usually repeat this a few times but not consecutively. Eventually this all leads up to my heart beginning to pound a little more with each passing minute, until I truly believe my heart is now sitting at the bottom of my throat. Sigh. The good thing is I was fully aware of all these sensations, which is what I was told I need to do, and then I tried concentrating on my breathing until I heard that beautiful soft chime signaling that our time was complete. Bliss.
The evening did end on a great note though. Our Dharma study was beautiful. It was all about realizing that our personal growth evolves in a circular pattern and that we are always growing and challenging ourselves. I like being aware of all these sensations and practicing meditation, and knowing that I am not the only one battling with a restless mind, that’s why we’re all there, we are all facing some sort of challenge. And everyone there is so nice and has such an interesting story to share, it makes me realize that although we are there for different individual reasons, we are all giving each other support.