"This is nothing. Right now we are just practicing..." --Bajante Sujatha, Buddhist monk, Blue Lotus Temple.
I attended another installment of the meditation class at Lazy Dog Studio in nearby Roscoe. I hope to make it every month; while I can get myself into a comfortable seated position and hold it for a half a hour, I can barely keep my mind focused for five minutes. Definitely something I need to work on.
I was frustrated this week because, once we began the meditation, I was all over the place. I may have even fallen asleep a few times, because my head tipped forward violently in that way it used to during a boring university lecture. Shades of History of the Renaissance. I tried to exude loving-kindness, but I was off my mindfulness game. However, that frustration dissolved during the discussion after.
Sujatha was talking about how you choose whether to be happy or unhappy about a situation you find yourself in. You can get mad that your airline gate has been changed three times (holiday travel theme), or you can be grateful for a bit of exercise. You have to wait and wander no matter what, but you control your reaction to the disorganization. He reminded us that the most important thing about meditation was being able to apply your mindfulness to the outside world--in class there is nothing to make you angry and you can focus your thoughts without distraction, it's outside the studio where it is really work.
I thought that had a nice to parallel to yoga. Of course, we love the stretch and the strengthening of class, but it is all just "practice" for our real lives. Yamas and Niyamas and all that. Your real yoga is how you live your life and let that stress relief and centering carry over into the times when you'd rather be tense and grouchy. Drop those shoulders. Take a deep breath.
So, I have to work on those fluctuations while meditating, but I feel pretty good about my ability to pull out the quiet mind when I need it. Just not in class...and, therefore, I have to practice.