It’s not necessary to sit for hours on end. I shoot for about 20 minutes on the meditation cushion, an interval manageable for both my schedule and my lumbar spine. At their best, those minutes are a glorious time-out from time, in which each inward breath is as cool and sweet as vanilla ice cream. Even in the not-so-great sessions, when I can’t or won’t focus and my muscles complain, the time feels well spent. Failure is the same as success in vipassana; the only requirement is to show up and give it your best shot.
The mere act of focusing my attention, breath by breath, changes the texture of my day. After I meditate, time seems to expand. I see myself more clearly. I notice the way I habitually push and scold myself—and realize that’s a pretty silly way to live a perfectly lovely life. If only for a moment, I can let myself be as I am: Right here. Right now.
MARCIA MENTER is the author of a self-help book, The Office Sutras: Exercises for Your Soul at Work, and a poetry collection, The Longing Machine (HappenStance Press).
Photo courtesy of AISPIX by Image Source/Shutterstock.com
Related stories: A Loophole in Time, by Diane Ackerman
Reflections on 30 Years of Meditating, by Susan Stiffelman
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