Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One Breath, One Step

My first reaction when I arrived at the retreat, and saw the daily schedule posted on the outer wall of the meditation hall, was one of dread.

Quick, my mind computed, nine times forty five minutes of sitting, plus six times thirty minutes of walking, make ten and a half hours of meditation every day. Time six, equals sixty three hours of doing nothing else but sit, and walk, continuously, mindfully, for six full days. Of course, I was going to plough through, but still, I noticed the aversion right away.

Thankfully, the first morning, Gil gave an instruction for walking meditation, that helped me view things under a very different light: "Only focus on one length (10-20 steps) at a time. Small intents are a lot easier than big chunks".

Of course, one length . . . that I could manage. Even better, one step. Same with sitting meditation. One breath at a time. 

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