It's been hard finding the time for formal practice. Work has not let up, and every day, same questions. What time to set the alarm? How much sleep do I really need? Does time spent meditating make up for loss in sleep? Do I meditate first thing, or wait until I come home, some time late? How long do I sit for? How about breaking into two smaller sittings?
I finally have come up with a plan, and it's been working - sort of . . .
Here it is:
1. Set up my alarm to 6am every morning.
2. Always sit, no matter what. That part never changes day to day.
3. Depending on how early I need to leave, morning sitting practice may be 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes. I always set my timer.
5 or 10 minute practice is simple awareness of breath
15 minute practice is loving kindness meditation
30 minute or more practice is sitting with breath
4. In the case when morning practice is less that 30 minutes, I leave with the redoubled intention of using whichever ensuing activities as mindfulness practices: walking to my car, listening to Ayya Khema's talks while driving, walking from car to work, etc . . . I am also fortunate to incorporate mindfulness into my work, and get to have several 5 minute mindful check ins with the people I work with.
5. I also try to make up at night with some loving kindness or simple sitting practice.
6. I use weekends to boost my practice with longer sittings, 45-60 minutes.
How do you manage to squeeze in some mindfulness into your busy day?
Of course, the real solution lies elsewhere, in a rethinking of one's priorities. Not giving into the craving for more work, being content with less money, less accomplishments. Keeping it more simple . . .