Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How Long to Sit?

Quickly dropping into depth where thinking mind has no hold. Feeling my way through semi-darkness, in between two worlds, outer and inner. Body no longer relevant. Only heaviness, and lightness. And breath, and white noise from heater. For a long time. Until I feel hard blow in stomach. Breathing the pain, with effortless effort. Becoming one with the searing, the leaded weight. Body struggling for some release, attempts to massage pain with a series of yawns, and swallows, and sighs. Each one, resounding large within otherwise stillness. The pain lessens, and makes its way to the throat . . . Bell ring interrupts.

I wonder. Should I have ignored the bell, and continued to sit with powerful presence? This is not my first encounter, and every time, 45' seems to be just enough time to get acquainted. What would happen if I sat for several hours straight? Would 'it' reveal itself some more? This is a question I need to ask Gil next time I meet with him.


  1. As someone who sits sometimes ten minutes before one or the other young child comes in to tell, to ask, to cuddle, sitting for 45 minutes (and beyond) sounds absolutely exquisite!

    But then I sit with that desire, and I come back to now and I sit and meditate on my children's voices as they play in the other room. Then, hours later, in the kitchen when I think their voices are "too loud," I call upon that image of me sitting there, attentive and open, ready but not reactive, and I am deeply grateful for those few minutes.

    I've been enjoying your blog immensely. I have loved the writing I've read of Gil Fronsdal, and it is wonderful to share in your practice with him.

  2. Oh! Stacy, thank you for the gift of that image of you meditating to the sound of your children's voices. How beautiful . . . And then the strength you get from those few minutes of sitting, in dealing with the inevitable challenges of mothering. Fortunate children they are to have a mom who practices mindfulness.

    What a lovely way it is for me to finish the evening.

    Deep bow,