- tell yourself you're too busy
- put it off until later in the day
- prioritize your to-do list,
- overcommit to your relationships
- choose other self care
- talk to a friend instead
- excuses etc
The closest I ever got to being off the grid and not talking was at a Lane 8 DJ concert where they took our cell phones and covered the cameras with tape. Nobody was filming and not just that, people had their phones away and were making eye contact. There was human connection happening.
I was pretty pissed about attending a silence meditation retreat as part of my Yoga teacher training. This was something I wouldn’t have chosen yet was obligated to attend as part of my required training. It scared the crap out of me. Mostly I felt there would be a loss or lack of connecting with others and that it would be a lonely experience. In our circle I shared that some of the best gifts in my life are things I would never have chosen for myself.
Sitting in the Zendo at 5am surrounded by others in silence was a polar opposite to being at a loud concert - my preferred way to have a ‘spiritual experience’. Yet we were all there together having a shared experience, inviting the stillness and silence.
There was so much fullness in that silence at the Zendo, very different from the comfort of sitting in silence at home. There was a grounding energy and the sweet sound of the bells they rang, and the waves crashing on the beach miles away. All just a reminder to come back, return, tune in instead of tune out.
Hearing the waves at Zen center taught me that doing guided or bells or using an app etc doesn’t negate the benefits. It all counts.
What does advanced meditation mean ? I’m pretty sure it’s all the same- noticing and focusing , breathing and surrendering.
Coming out of 36 hours of silence, I felt a new tenderness and sense of trust and security within myself. Okay, so I yelled F*•< when then sprinkler hit me during a walk through the farm. That slip-up aside I was committed to the practice of being silent knowing there would be a benefit as a result of my ‘work’. My teacher, Sherri Baptiste has brought me into a deeper understanding of the beneficial outcomes from this personal work, both in the yoga postures and my inner journey as a yogi.
As I hone my discipline and willingness to sit in silence I see how meditation can help me to be okay with the boring tasks of everyday living. I seek silence and stillness instead of chaos. I invite comfort.
Closing your eyes is enough.
Setting a timer is enough.
Closing your mouth is enough.
Sitting in stillness is enough.
Or maybe you have a walking meditation, matching your breathing with your steps.
The only way you fail at meditation is if you don’t try.