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.