I’m not sure exactly when things started to slip–maybe with daylight savings time, but probably even a bit before that. This past week, though, has definitely been a struggle to keep to a discipline of simplicity and a commitment to nurturing quietude. I knew things were going downhill when for most of last week, I found myself hitting that snooze button again instead of giving myself time to sit and reflect first thing in the morning.
So for today, my focus was on recommitting to a daily practice. As I wrote in a comment earlier today, the challenge is to return to practice without shame or guilt–in other words, to let go of whatever attachments I have to my “failure” to maintain a practice.
To simply return. So that was my goal today, and I used the last 73 days as my guide.
This morning, I started my day with quiet sitting. After a bit of work in the hotel room, I walked across campus to the conference site, taking time to stop and witness the beauty around me. As I listened to other speakers and shared in conversation, I tried to engage with them as fully as possible.
At the end of the day, I made sure to thank each of the organizers and express my appreciation for the invitation to participate.
On the drive back, my mind kept wandering onto “the next thing” on my plate–but when I noticed this, I reminded myself that at any moment, I could shift my intentions back to the moment.
Toward the end of a long drive, after listening to NPR, and Pandora, and songs in my library, I shut off everything and tried to settle into silence once again.
Don’t get me wrong–sure, I did all of those things listed above, but in between there was all sorts of being-human going on–wandering thoughts, fantasies and fears, distractions and over-attachments, and so on.
But the important thing about today–the thing that I could reaffirm throughout the day–was the sense of happiness I had, feeling that I was recommitting to daily practice.
I plan to relax for the rest of the evening and enjoy being back home with my family. Soon I will be off to bed. Tomorrow will come, and with morning, another opportunity for a discipline of small steps.