Monday, January 7, 2008

Distractions

The holiday season has come and gone once again. I finally have all of the decorations and boxes put away, and the house pretty much back in order. From all outward appearances everything is "normal" again. A good time was had by all and I'm not any more in debt than I was before the whole thing started. Hooray!

But the busyness of the last month or so was a major distraction for me. More accurately, my initial reactions and responses were the true distractions. It was stressful. "Good" stress in many ways, but stress all the same. My daily meditation gradually became more and more abbreviated, relocated, interrupted and postponed...until finally it was just lost in the shuffle. There was a continuous stream of family and friends - and even a few strangers (to me anyway). This sort of traffic doesn't happen very often at my house. I realize that I had, over time, created a bit of a safety bubble around my practice. A comfortable and quiet time and place where I am in control of my own schedule and whims. Suddenly I was feeling very unfocused and scattered - my bubble had been breached! This was not good...

The frustration turned out to be short lived as I fortunately remembered Ajahn Chah's teaching that if we have time to breathe we have time to meditate. And so, instead of where and when and how I wanted, it was wherever, whenever and often only for the time it takes to be with a single breath. Sweet refuge in the midst of a world of distractions.

1 comment:

Dhamma81 said...

"And so, instead of where and when and how I wanted, it was wherever, whenever and often only for the time it takes to be with a single breath."

I know what you mean when meditation practice takes a backseat to other things. Yesterdays observance day was a very high volume mail day for me so I started out trying to be mindful but kept losing it in the self created stress of packages, letters and junk ads. Ocasionly I could come back to the breath and that helped a bit. One thing I have practiced on and off is to stop when I get scattered and count 15 breaths, trying to focus on nothing else. Bhante G. gave this tip in one of his books. I used it on a few occasions and it really helped shift the mind back into place. Thanks for the reminder to breath in this post Kris. I'll have to take it with me today as I navigate the ups and downs of mail delivery. Be well in your practice.