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Feb 3: Grateful for the Breath March 3, 2012

Posted by Living Abundance in Uncategorized.
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Overall, I found it difficult to get concentrated on the body and the breath today. My thoughts seemed to be particularly strong, and I noticed this for much of the morning.

At the beginning of the sitting, an image came to my mind that seemed to describe my experience. I’m familiar with the comparison of the mind as a jar of muddy water that becomes settled with time to create a layer of mud at the bottom and clear water on top. Today, I felt like I was one of those jars, being shaken and agitated every few moments with thoughts, and I was determined to keep returning to the breath to become still again.

There was one instance in my sitting where planning thoughts took over completely (“I have to meet with my professor to prepare for next week’s seminar!”). It actually felt like a noticeable relief to come back to the breath and calm this suddenly tense, tight, agitated body. Am I ever grateful for the breath!

I have to admit I was a bit pleased when I realized I had made it through the sitting for a total of 39 minutes, but this was a total fluke because I set my timer wrong by mistake. It is common for meditators to have the worry that the time is up but the timer is not working, so we are stuck sitting here for what seems like an endless amount of time. In some cases it actually happens that the timer won’t go off!

Outside of my sitting practice, I noticed I was absorbed in thought most of the morning with a conversation that happened the night before. Late last night I got into a debate with my dad about some controversial issues, and spent a great deal of time today rehearsing rebuttals and counter-arguments in my mind. I found it quite difficult to be mindful of my surroundings while these thoughts were going on. A typical scenario for someone who often gets absorbed in deep, abstract thought…

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