This morning I passed the 9 1/2 meditation hour mark. Six weeks of daily quiet. With the exception of the occasional day missed I have begun to weave this practice into my daily life. I feel its absence when it is not there. I notice the impact of a day made naked without the protective blanket that meditation has begun to wrap me. I no longer practice because I know it is good for me. I practice because I can no longer not practice.
I am beginning to rest more firmly into my intuition. I feel more confident in my own skin and in my own path. Because the air is clearer between my ears I can listen more easily to my gut and notice more readily my emotions and interactions with the world. I feel like I am standing on a stronger foundation and the beginnings of a formidable oak tree is taking root at my base and slowly but surely growing upward forming a firm but flexible inner core.
After 9 1/2 hours of quiet I have begun to recognize how many distractions and emotions clutter my brain from day to day. How little in control I had been previously of the ever buzzing din of my life and the broken roller coaster of my emotional architecture. I had the fantastic illusion of being in control before and now I realize that although I still am without control I have learned to be aware.
Aware of waking up with a grumpy outlook on the day, alert to the binging and poking of social media, email, office door knocks, and phone calls, wary of a quick rise to anger or hurt, and conscious of how my presence and energy infuses those around me. I am aware of how I am spending my time, how I would like to spend my time, and the variance between the two.
Enlightened I am not. I do believe I have found the holy grail of a better life. I am however realistic about the slow and incremental impression this will have on my deeply ingrained patterns of being. I am encouraged by the incredibly peaceful calm that is infusing itself, like fresh chamomile in hot water, into the way I am walking in this world.
I still get distracted and overwhelmed. I frequently lose myself to anger and frustration. Many times I get caught in negative thought patterns and judgement. Now though I catch myself. Sometimes after the fact. When I have already hit the ground so to speak with bruised face and ego. Sometimes in the middle with a stumble, but a course correction all the same. Very occasionally though, and more and more often, I catch myself before I even falter. Without skipping a beat I see the previously unconscious reaction to an external stimulus and decide in advance to walk in an entirely different direction.
Each time I choose the new direction I am carving a new path in my brain that eventually will become the automatic response. I am like a child learning to walk. I have to think about every step. It is hard and sometimes exhausting, but I am motivated by the new found freedom. I can see on the horizon the time when I will walk in this new way out of habit and without much difficulty.
I look forward to the continued journey.