On Meditation

When I was a single mother, I set up a corner of my bedroom as a place to write and meditate.   It consisted of a chair and table nestled in the corner of my bedroom where two windows met.  The windows overlooked bird-filled trees and a creek in the backyard.  On the table, I kept a journal and pencils (my preferred writing instrument), an incense burner, a candle, whatever books I was currently reading, and some flowers.  I also kept a guitar nearby.  Even with four kids at home, this was my refuge.

When I remarried, I wanted to replicate my little haven in my new home.  There is a window in the corner of the bedroom, so I placed a chair and table there.  This table consists of books, a candle, a couple of horse figurines that had belonged to my dad, and a pile of dimes (another post).  Nearby is monitor and microphone.  I used this area mostly for meditation and a place to focus when I am on a conference call or doing some other task requiring concentration or quiet.

When I was single, I could go to my corner any time and often meditated first thing in the morning.  I was a very early riser, usually up before anyone else and often by 4:00 A.M.  As it turns out, my husband is an early riser as well, a very light sleeper, and NOT one to meditates.  I began to feel self-conscious during my sitting practice, thinking about him waking up and seeing me meditating… which of course defeats the purpose.  So, I began retreating to the living room for my morning sitting while my husband showered.

One morning, as I sat cross-legged on the couch, with the lights off and a blanket wrapped around my shoulders to keep out the early morning draught, I heard our bedroom door open.  I tried to turn my attention back to my breath, but I could hear him coming closer.  I did not move, hoping he might be heading to the kitchen.  A moment later I felt him plop down on the couch right beside me.  He placed his head on my shoulder and looked up at me.  In the perky sing-song tone of a little child, he asked, “Whatcha doin’?”

Stifling a laugh, I responded, “I WAS meditating.”

Clearly embarrassed, he immediately got up, apologized, and left the room.  I remained in my sitting position and finished my meditation.  Afterward I had a laugh with my husband.  As awkward as this was, it wasn’t the last incident.

A few weeks later, thinking my husband wouldn’t look for me in my son’s bedroom, I slipped off for some sitting practice.  I left the light off and the door cracked slightly open.  A few minutes into my meditation, I heard him opening doors in the house one at a time, even opening the front door and stepping outside for a moment.  He was looking for me.  I giggled to myself and continued sitting.  Eventually, I could sense him peeking into my sons room and then gingerly walking away.

My husband and I have had many laughs over this story, and we have both learned some lessons.  I, for one, have learned to be more direct… simply tell my husband that I am going to be meditating.  I think my husband has learned that if I am sitting in the dark with my eyes closed, I am probably meditating.

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