Although it sounds silly, I find that noticing these feelings of guilt and going through these conceptual exercises helps me to have a "better" meditation practice (whatever that may be).
It occurred to me it might be fun to describe how meditation plays into the life of us bloggers, who have been trying to "live meditation" for a number of years. So let me describe a typical day.
When we think about meditation, it's easy to think about sitting on a cushion, or in nature and working with our mind, working with our practice. And, to some extent, that's what we need to do when we formally practice. It's through our formal practice that we gain the stability to practice every day, to integrate what we've learned into how we are and who we are in our lives.
What do you do with your mind when you drive? Do you think about what you have to do when you get where you’re going? Do you mull over your problems? Do you sing along with music and lose yourself in the words and a memory of the video clip that goes with it? Are you cursing the idiot in that Porsche up ahead, or getting irritated because the traffic is too slow? If you’re doing any of this, ask yourself if you’re as aware of the road as you could be? Is there a safer, more relaxed way to hold your mind as you drive? Answer – yes.
In July, I asked Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche to share a few words with our WhatMeditationReallyIs.com community. The following seven minute video is what he said.
Sogyal Rinpoche inspires us to begin the day by integrating our practice, even at the breakfast table!
I returned home from my retreat a few days ago. Now is arguably the most interesting time: how do I integrate all that I learned at the retreat in my day-to-day ordinary life? Because that is the real test! Actually sometimes being on retreat is quite safe and easy. Our normal environment is where we get pulled most strongly into our patterns and habits.
1. Before Getting out Of Bed.
As soon as you wake up don’t immediately jump out of bed. Instead, as the first moments of conscious awareness begin to take over from the world of dreams, imagine how you will begin the day with meditation practice and how you will remember meditative awareness, the state of non-distraction during the day. Make an aspiration that the day will be one of mindful awarenesss, not to be completely lost in distraction.
Recently, I've been writing a lot on using meditation within the field of nursing and healthcare. Really, besides the setting, which is important since as a nurse I am interacting with people who are suffering and really need my attention and compassion, there is no time like the present moment - wherever we find ourselves - to work with our mind.
Minding the bedside mindfully, aware, and compassionately comes from realizing the changing nature of our thoughts and from turning and returning the mind inward, transforming the stormy arisings of thoughts, emotions, and feelings and recognizing them to be impermanent phenomena like passing clouds in the sky.
Action for Happiness http://www.actionforhappiness.org is a new mass movement to create a happier society, based in the UK that already attracts 15,000 supporters in 115 countries.
Earlier this year, Action for Happiness partnered with BBC Breakfast in the UK to encourage members of the public to try out these simple actions to improve their happiness, based on the latest scientific research.