Saturday 29 March 2014

Telephone Meditation

    Lately, I've been trying to check in with my pace. I'll note the pace of my day, my schedule, my speech, my movements, my breath, my energy, my attention span, etc. 
Over the last month or so,  I'd say that I've spent my time pretty hyped up. I've been running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. But looking back, there wasn't anything really pressing that would have caused my head to pop off in the first place- it's not like I perform open heart surgery. What was causing my tight wind up was my inability to take rest in between the events. I've been craving more balance and need to put just as much importance on the time spent being "lazy", as the time spent "accomplishing".
    This upcoming month, I'm committed to take more time to sit and stare out the window, to take baths, to play guitar, to be outside, to say no instead of packing my schedule tightly, to writing and playing. Another thing that will bring my pace down a few notches its to not be a slave to the demands of technology. Sometimes, I feel I have to immediately respond to an email or a text in fear of forgetting to reply completely. Anyone else feel me on that one? You can become so trapped under the spell of any demanding thing in your life (schedule, work, relationships, computer, etc) that you don't even realize you've become a slave to it. Begin the ritual of taking care of yourself FIRST. Your pace doesn't have to match the pace of society's, or your co-workers, or your email's. You can still keep up, but in a more present and relaxed manner where all of your needs are being met first. It starts will a deep breath. You always have time to take a few inhales and exhales, which will calm your body and mind. Your conscious breathing will take you from "fight or flight" mode, down to "rest and digest" mode. I believe that those who take on this practice interact with what's in front of them clearly and consciously- missing nothing and taking in everything. Which in the end, would make one more productive, no? ;)

Telephone Meditation
             ~ By Thich Nhat Hanh

    Every time the phone rings, it creates a small vibration in you. There is not true peace-there is a hint of worry: Who is it that's calling? Is this going to be good news or bad news? You cannot hold yourself back and you run immediately to the phone. In Plum Village, we remain where we are and we consider the sound of the telephone to be like the bell of mindfulness. "Breathing in- I am calming myself; breathing out- I am smiling." Then we go to the telephone in the style of walking meditation, but before that we practice mindful breathing.
   In our community, every time we hear a bell, we stop-we stop our thinking, we stop our conversation, we stop our work; and we begin breathing- an inbreath, then an outbreath- and it is the same thing whether it is the telephone ringing or the clock chiming. In this way we have lots of opportunities to return to ourselves, to our true home, here and now, to touch peace. And what we are stopping, in order to be able to be alive, is our thinking.