The alarm goes off at 5 AM, but I’m actually awake a few minutes before it. I paddle around the house in the dark in my pajamas trying, hard, to not do too many things first. The goal is to sit in meditation sooner rather than later. Some days though, the call of e mail and the checking of text messages on my phone finds me walking past my sitting area, candles on my altar unlit.
Maybe I’ll make some tea first and read….no hot chocolate. Hot chocolate! What is the weather? The computer knows. And from there it is a click on Facebook and People.com only to find that 30 minutes or more have already elapsed.
Meditation. Yes...…meditation. I walk back into my room and light two candles Then…my seat? No, I make the bed, pet the dog, brush my teeth, put my contact lenses in, brush my hair and change into gym/walking the dog clothes. More time has passed. How is it that I’ve been awake and up for more than an hour already? How is it that I’ve been so “busy” and it is barely 6 AM? Why is my mind so very equally quick and inquisitive, thoughts running at the speed of a car fast moving on a parkway?
Sit. All you have to do is sit. I oblige, setting the timer for 30 minutes. My back straight, legs crossed in a half lotus pose, fingers in a grounding mudra I begin to breathe, watching my breath go in and out in a long, deep fluid motion . Then I notice it. My head is itchy. My head is so very itchy that it is all I can do to not reach up and smack the top side with high force and great speed. Wait, I’m no longer focused upon my breath…now it is all about the prickly feeling that I simply want to scratch…s-c-r-a-t-c-h…..SCRATCH. I don’t.
I breathe and begin to add mantra to the breath to take my mind off….everything. All else that is rivaling me to lunatic proportions of distraction. Ah, wait….it’s working. Is it working? Am I one with my breath? Has my mind subsided? No, there it is again. What does the day look like? It will be a good one. I look forward to walking the dog. We can go more than two miles today. Troy will like that. What was the temperature? I forget. If it is below 30 degrees I’ll put his lighter coat on him.
Wait…..follow my breath…inhale through my nose. Exhale through my nose. Deep, long, fluid breaths. Ah, there is that itch again. Wait the dog is up. He is standing in front of my face breathing on me. Can I follow his breath? We didn’t brush his teeth last night. We need to do that today. Inhale, two, three, four, five….exhale two, three, four, five….inhale two, three, wait…the timer’s going off? Already? How did 30 minutes go by so very quickly?
I stand. The end. Or, really... the beginning.