For decades I've known that it'd be a really good idea for me to meditate. It would probably help with focusing. It might even help with feeling good enough in my own skin that I'd stop looking 'out there' for everything... answers, affirmation and that elusive *self-confidence*. For something so potentially powerful, of course I wanted to get it right.
And so I read books and even took a course at East West. The most help came from talking with my friend Bernadette who had meditated daily for seventeen years while she lived in an ashram in India. She told me that meditation is more than anything like slipping into an old t-shirt. She also suggested that I read Meditate by Swami Muktananda, a very thin and simple book which I loved.
And so, with this guidance and encouragement, I've actually had some success with meditating. Occasionally. The problem is keeping at it. I forget how beneficial it is and let complacency and real world pressures eventually push it to the back burner and then out the back door. The idea of setting aside ten or fifteen or even five minutes to just, what, sit there?? This has been the hardest part. Who has time for that? Not me. Not usually. Not unless I'm out of my head frantic or otherwise in trouble do I risk just sitting there.
And then the other day, listening to The Power of Less (in audiobook) by our old friend Leo Babauta, I heard and decided to try the suggestion to cool it with the multi-tasking. "Don't read when you're eating. Don't watch television or even listen to the radio when you're eating. Just eat. Pay attention to the act of eating." (quote is approximate)
My efficiency maniac within had a hard time with the first five minutes of this, but to my surprise, I've very quickly come to love 'just eating'. The peace of it seems to expand out beyond the length of a meal. I feel LUXURIOUS. It even makes me feel important. And here's the most amazing thing: it's actually a form of meditation to just focus on tasting and chewing. For someone who loves to eat, this almost feels like cheating. And best of all, it's built into the day! Yes I know you're supposed to Never Eat Alone. But how about one meal a day?
It's easy to overlook powerful simple things all around if you don't have that stillness that comes from meditating.
Special Thanks to Victoria Trestrail for my copy of the audiobook "The Power of Less".