In order for us to develop a relationship with our innermost self, we need quiet time. Many of my patients laugh when I suggest that they get up early enough to try meditating consistently. “Getting and staying quiet is impossible,” the ego says. To begin, set an egg-timer for five minutes of sitting in silence, noticing breath, noticing where we hold tension, where we are bracing ourselves for the onslaught of the day. If we get even a few days of consistency, we will develop new ways of being, we will awaken within us our wise and observing self. Try the old adage of meditating “one day at a time,” instead of a pursuit that you will do forever and always fail at.
Finding Time to Meditate
Impossible! There is rarely (never?) enough time. As long as we believe there is not enough time, we will always have an abundance of suffering, especially of the self-inflicted, velocity-addicted type. After all, we go Fast which gets in the way of Sitting Still. Meditation teaches us to find the stillness within us, the Jizo-Self within us, so that we may face the velocity of the day with equanimity instead of reactivity. The Jizo-self is equivalent to an Earth Mother within us. One of Jizo’s names when translated from the Sanskrit “Ksitigarbha”is Earth Womb. In this womb we can learn to trust. We can feel safe.
Jizo Holds Us in Safety
Until we notice where we are tight, we cannot release. Our tense bodies are begging us for change. As we sit to meditate, we stand at the door to the unconscious. Without our permission, the ego kicks into gear, bracing us and scattering parts of us here and there. Thoughts race and a hopelessness rushes in, a feeling that we will never SUCCEED at meditating. If we can sit past this initial fragmentation, we can call upon the Jizo within us to hold us safely in stillness. Then, with each breath, we may ask where we are tight and where are we soft and grounded? We can then turn our focus to the softening. We can teach the mind to focus on what is balanced, on what is natural. This is a lifetime’s practice, not an event. We are a product-driven culture and meditation is a process-driven journey.
Bracing is natural when we are stressed, not on the way to the inner Self. But this physical-mind that cannot rest will likely prevent the changes we hope for. Awareness of this comes first. Not judging its seemingly relentless repetition is helpful, too. Imagining the E.G.O.’s erroneous mission to “Edge Goodness Out” when it perceives change. This may be helpful, as we ought not malign the ego for doing its job. So, when you arrive each morning at Square One, my wish for you is to have respect and gratitude for the opportunity to begin again at Square One. When doing business with our inner universe, Square One is a fine place to live.