Monday, May 6, 2013

I'm right here.

Meditating wasn't all bad.  Here I am after a 5 a.m. hike and morning "satsang," near Neyyar Dam, India.
"I'm right here," she said.  And she said it over and over again until I was saying it, too.

I'm not a big fan of meditation.  Not that I'm against it or anything, but there was a time in my life that I practiced it, and for some reasons* more than others**, that time is not now.  But I do always have this lingering feeling that I need to focus on the present.  And that's not all that meditation is about, but that is always the part that has drawn me to the practice.

So real talk: My fourth resolution of this year (she says with head hanging) is to be more present.  No checking my phone every seven seconds, no glancing through emails at lunch, and no texting while driving (oh gosh, I'm so utterly guilty).  But not just on the technology front.  My initial plan was to be more present in every aspect of my life.  So put down the phone, yes, but also appreciate what I'm doing right now, and stop wishing that it were an hour, or a day, or a year later.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I've not exactly done it.  To the contrary; I've been really 100 percent terrible about staying in the moment.  Like, 100 percent.  But tonight something cool happened.  My new yoga teacher told us all to be present.  Wait!  I hear what you're saying.  Yoga teachers are always saying "be present."  It's, like, their Number One Piece of Advice, to the point where I basically tune it out.  I almost laugh when they say it (just kidding... I think).

But tonight!  Instead of saying "Be present," what she really said was, "Tell yourself, 'I'm right here.'" And then she said it again.  And again.  And again.  And every time she said it, I'd say it.  And something about that -- something about a little sentence as literal and bare as that -- really clicked for me.

I'm right here.  I'm right here!  I'm right here.  :)

*My childhood bedroom has been converted by my mom into "the meditation hall."  I do not find the Tibetan bell or zafu particularly inviting.

**The last time I practiced meditation was at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in Southern India.  While I loved the ashram and hours of yoga we practiced each day, I really could have done without the mandatory two hours of meditation.  Rather than calmed down and focused, I'd find myself wound up and exasperated.  I was really hard on myself about it until I came the the conclusion that some things just aren't for everyone.

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