October 17, 2007

Sitting Together in Silence

Yesterday, I had my first collective meditative experience.

I'd been considering joining a meditation group for a while. Things kept getting in the way. I figured, when the time was right, the universe would send me an opportunity - so long as I kept my mind open to the possibilities.

In the pursuit of a local yoga class that started early enough in the morning that I could go and come back before my husband left for work, I stumbled upon a zen meditation session. It was being offered during the exact time frame that I hoped to find a yoga class.

So I did the zen meditation instead of yoga. I was cold, it was dark still and it had been many months since I had sat for more than 5 minutes in a row. I fidgeted, and I had an itchy nose.

But I sat. And sat and sat. For 30 min. Then we did a 5 min. walking meditation. And then chanted the heart sutra.

I didn't feel miraculously better afterwards. Or like I was suddenly transplanted to another plan of calmness. But it felt... right. Like I belonged there. I immediately got along with everyone. And I can see how doing this on a regular basis will be good practice for me. It will reinforce my habit for mindfulness and peace. And give me a place to practice my sitting where I don't have to wrench time from my family.

I think the hardest part of being patient is letting go of the value of time. There is only now. I'm just starting to really understand what that means, after years of believing it and saying it and trying to live it. It's a lesson I'm learning slowly. But I am learning. I don't know if I'll ever stop learning.

No comments: