meditation for lent ~ or, a piazza in my mind.

it’s really hard for me to start anything new.  i’m only assuming it’s hard for everyone, right?  and it’s not like meditation is a completely new thing to me ~ i’ve been reading about it for years, talking about it, doing it from time to time, and there was a short period of my life, while living in new york, that it literally sustained me.  i was in a volatile relationship, had no job, and found myself in one of the most peace-free environments on earth.  i took to meditation on the R train, to be exact, and it got me through.

also, as a young person, i was involved in a monday morning prayer breakfast with my youth group.  i started every week in high school with this 6:30 meeting, and some of my fondest memories of that experience (other than the cinnamon rolls) were the times when i ran out of things to pray.  i sat in my little secluded corner of the church i had chosen, looking at my watch, wondering what else to say to god.  20 more minutes and i had nothing.  i had nothing because i had everything.  i had already thanked him for it all, asked for wisdom, courage and peace for the one millionth time, and now what.

that is when the real healing and learning began.  those quiet few moments, the deafening silence ringing in my busy ears ~ that’s where i really learned what “centered” felt like.  only to be thrown completely off-center by the cinnamon rolls, no doubt.  ha ha ha!

but true!  sugar and meditation ~ should we really put those together?

so for lent this season, i decided to add meditation to my life.  and it has been difficult for me to work it into my routine each day.  and i don’t mean that i don’t have time for it ~ we ALL HAVE TIME FOR IT.  what i mean is:  it’s hard for me to whirl around my day, then all of a sudden, drop down and decide to do 20 (minutes of meditation ~ not push-ups, but i should probably do both).  i’m big on flow ~ my day needs to flow from one thing organically to the next, like scenes in a play.  it’s embarrassing that i am that way, but i don’t think i’ll ever change.

so this morning i did a great yoga video on hulu, and then, while i was still on the mat, i just did it.  10 minutes of absolute silence in the mind.  and here i am, coffee in hand, writing you, and i can’t believe how i feel.  every time i try this meditation thing, i am more and more amazed.  i think it really helps to do some yoga first, though.  just a few sun salutations, then sit on your mat, soften your eyes, and smile.  set a timer if you need to.

i feel like all the pluck has been taken out of me.  this is something i always thought i needed if i was going to make it through the day.  but i’m not so sure anymore.  i just need to be present, moving fluidly from one thing to the next.  i really don’t need to do or be any more than that.

some beautiful friends of mine are headed to rome next week for spring break.  we could have gone with them if we hadn’t bought our sweet little house (small sacrifice ~ totally worth it) so we will be living vicariously through them next week!  my goal is to go there in my mind, for at least 10 minutes a day.  hopefully more.  i know they’ll be toasting us from the piazza navona, so i will put that in my mind and see where i takes me!

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