The Brick Wall

I admit, there is a part of me that envies people who have created an area of their house/apartment exclusively for meditation, complete with a Buddha statue, a cushion (or three), candles, etc. I can almost hear the sound of a koto as I imagine this serene area devoted to the practice of taming the restless mind.

I’m not jealous, mind you; my current living arrangement simply does not allow me to devote such a space solely to meditation. Instead, I go down to my garage and sit on a cushion — my one luxury when it comes to meditation — and face a brick wall. I chose to do this because I thought it would be neutral, without distraction and, frankly, as boring as meditaion can be.

And it is all of those.

I mention the brick wall as an analogy to my practice as of late: for the past few weeks it’s been increasingly difficult to simply observe my restless thoughts, to detach from the emotions that might arise from simply thinking. I find that, in the posture of meditation, I am imagining the day ahead, or replaying an experience from the past. After 30 minutes or so I feel that I’m “not getting anywhere” and surrender to falling into the routine that starts my day.

On the upside, I realize that I’m aware that I’m listening to the chatter of monkey mind, that I know it’s like a child in a playground — jumping from one amusement to the next.

Keep breathing, keep sitting.


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