Saturday, May 1, 2010

Meditation: Day Two - Success At Last!

Yes!  It was a great day.   After last night, I was more than a bit worried about how today's meditation classes would go.  While everyone was still schmoozing at the continental breakfast.  I grabbed a set of cushions in the back row and began the process of figuring out how to sit on them.  The downside to that was that I hadn't eaten and that became quite obvious during silent meditation time.  It's kind of hard to relax your muscles as they suggest AND squeeze stomach muscles to squelch the constant rumbling.  Fortunately the stomach settled down after about a half hour. 

Sitting meditation went well.  I learned that if you don't scratch the itch, it usually just goes away.  I also learned that the Shambhala way of keeping the eyes open and cast down works better for me.  With closed eyes, I tend to start falling asleep.

Shambhala standing meditation is a faster walk than Zen standing meditation and slower than the usual way of walking.  Sounds easy, doesn't it?  Somehow it makes me feel a bit unsteady.  Just when I felt stable, I realized that I was not actually meditating but, rather, taking in all the things in the room.  By day's end, however, I was feeling pretty good about it.  I could probably draw a near perfect picture of the room and everything in it.  Still, there was progress. 

Staff and other participants were all kind and helpful.  There were a few readings from Shambhala:  The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chogyam Trungpa that were so meaningful and helpful to me I wanted to get the book.  How nice that we each received a copy as a gift just before leaving.

So, tomorrow morning we have another go at practicing before I branch out on my own.  Fortunately, the center has numbers of things going on.  I'm sure I will be stopping in often.

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