Apologies for my unexpected hiatus. Over the last month a lot has changed, but now I feel like I’m starting to get into a new rhythm. Although I haven’t really found the time to write about my practice it has still been a really important part of my day to day life. I’m still taking at least 10 minutes a day most days to sit and meditate.
Most people refer to formal practice when they sit in meditation. I try not to think about it in those terms because the word formal has some negative ideas around it for me, it goes back to the idea of being told to do things in a very specific way. Recently I read Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, the author was again advising a very specific position in which to meditate, but he then went on to say that people who struggle more with some aspects of meditation will then get the most out of it. Like a lot of books on the subject, it seemed to contradict itself. In the case of this book, it seemed so full of contradictions that I felt I wasn’t able to gain much from reading it. The thing I always come back to is that meditation should be about practice rather than following a specific set of instructions.
As well as spending time doing ‘formal practice’ I have been trying to bring mindfulness into my day-to-day life whenever possible. Particularly when I’m waiting for something or travelling. I travel by public transport and I think that getting a few minutes of meditation in this environment can be really good practice when it comes to not letting sounds disturb your practice. I am slowly learning that this doesn’t mean trying to block everything out but rather just letting the sounds wash over you and not getting involved in them.
Overall I still remain unsure whether my practice is improving but I still feel like I can see it making a difference. Even if I feel likeI can’t always bring mindfulness to a situation when I need it most I think it helps me get back to a better place quicker than previously.