My morning meditation

I am not a morning person.  I don’t wake up bright and shiny and ready to go.  Coffee doesn’t help.

If I had a choice, I’d sleep until 8 am every day and stay up until 11 pm.  That seems to be my natural cycle when I let things go their own way.  However, life has its demands and I have to get up at 6:30 am.

I find that meditating, right after I wake up, is a gentle way to transition into the day.  It lessens the shock to my system (think cold, stinging rain) and soothes my soul (think warm, gentle drizzle).

After setting the timer on my iPhone, I sit on my cushion for 15 minutes.  I leave the lights off.  Sometimes, I wrap a blanket around me to stay warm and cozy.

I watch my thoughts go all over the place.  Work.  Yoga.  Day off.  To do list.  Family.  Worries.  They move in and out quickly.  Sometimes I get caught up in them and start to breathe faster.  When I notice, I go back to watching my inhales and exhales.  It stops me from following along with the story that my mind had conjured up.  I just observe.

Once in a while, time seems to drag on.  Other days, the bell chimes and signals time is up.  I try not to focus on how time passes anymore.  I just observe.

I have a small Moleskin notebook that I use for journaling, after each sit.  It only allows me to write about 4 lines for each weekday.  I prefer black ink.  On the weekends, I have half a page to explore my ideas.  Most of the time, I never re-read my entries.  It’s just another way to observe.

By the end of my meditation, the light filtering through the windows tells me that the sun has risen.

Over the last three years, I’ve found that I look forward to my morning ritual.  I don’t force myself to do it.  There were odd days when I didn’t sit until later or even missed it completely.  It made me a little anxious that my meditation was slipping away.  But then, I let go of this worrisome thought.  I reminded myself that I will start again with my next sitting.  It felt good to give myself permission to release the worry.

I’ve even joined an on-line meditation group via the Veterinary Information Network.  I sit with about 5 or 6 regulars, every Tuesday morning.  It’s satisfying to share the experience with them.  How amazing is cyberspace!

Meditating helps me pace myself during the day.  If my thoughts are racing about, I’ve realized that I’m going to do the same physically.  Knowing this, I’m aware that I need to be more deliberate and slow in my actions.

I continue to meditate daily.  My thanks to those that have helped me on this path.

So each day, I sit.  I breathe.  I just observe.