Returning to the Breath, Returning to the Blog
It’s been awhile.
When I set up my website as a blog, I actually had the intention of keeping the content current and fresh. I haven’t been able to do that. There are many reasons for this, including being the father of a new baby, a very active toddler, and a boy coming into his teenaged years and high school, as well as running my own private practice. But I am feeling the pull to write more often (recently published an academic paper here ), and figured this post was a good way to get the blogging restarted.
I used a guided meditation this morning at home by senior teacher Gil Fronsdal. I was reminded in my practice of the importance in my daily meditation practice of returning. Before I got into meditation, I had this mistaken idea that a “successful” meditation meant Not Thinking. But as my teacher Noah Levine often says, “meditation is not a lobotomy.”
Meditation, to me, is very much a relational practice. It can transform how we relate to the body, the mind, our community, to the world around us. So distraction is part of this training, it’s not separate. We sit down with the intention, for instance, to rest attention in the sensations of the body. But our conditioned minds have other plans – lots of them! So we’ll drift off and get involved in a plan, or a memory, or a judgment about our ability to meditate.
But then there’s this opportunity to pause, name what is happening, and invite (not command) the attention back to the breath. This sense of kindness infused in the process is something that I have found to be very important, especially as a Westerner trained up in the dominant ideas of perfectionism.
So I’m seeing a connection with this blog – I got distracted, I got caught up in some other things, I can’t do anything about that in this moment, but I can return. So here I am. There doesn’t need to be judgment or a set of “shoulds” attached to it. I’m inviting my attention back to my blog, back to writing.
I’ve got plans for wriiting – another academic article has been submitted with my colleague Barbara Baumgartner, more blog postings ideas, and I’ve been invited to write for a major website for men, I’ll keep you posted on that. Promise.
Thanks for listening – deep bows: