- Jaime Goldstein
Why I Sit
Why I sit.
I’m in the middle of moving apartments during what seems like a really impractical week to be moving. Doesn’t that always seem the case with moving? There are boxes everywhere, I can’t find things, and it just feels like chaos as I look at the sea of disorganization around me. Ugh, and so many things to arrange and coordinate. It feels like I don’t have the time to dedicate towards the move right now with so many work things going on, which I’m so grateful for because I love this work. My mind keeps on wondering, “How will it all get done?”
I was just at the point of overwhelm and shut down about an hour ago. You know, like wanting to lay face down on the floor amongst all the boxes and scream (or cry or sleep or all the above). So I set my timer for 30 minutes and sat down in my meditation corner that I’ve left untouched so I can have a little corner of oasis amongst the mess.
I found my breath, like I do with my meditation practice. As I followed my breath, my thoughts would chime in with tasks that need to be done “right now.” I even considered jumping up before the timer a few times to get to them because, “Do I really need to sit here for 30 minutes?” Yes, yes I did.
Like I do with my practice, every time my attention would get lost in the thought stream, I would bring my attention back to my breath. And that’s where I found it, that sweet spot within my breath, where it feels like I’ve stepped out of space and time. I love this spot. My body softens. I’m flooded with waves of relaxation. My mind is still. There it is. It feels like floating in water.
And I’m only “there” for a moment or two before I go right back to, “I should get up now.” “I need to get things done.” “There’s so much to do.” And that’s ok. I just watched with curiosity as thoughts would flow into my awareness and lovingly brought my attention back to my breath. I would find that sweet spot. And it would be gone. I would find it again. And then it would slip away. And that’s all ok. Mindfulness teaches us the impermanence of it all, which gives me a reverence for every moment.
Now that I’ve sat through my 30 minute meditation practice, I feel much more capable of tackling things one moment at a time. Yes, I still feel stressed, but the meditation sit shifted me out of feeling shut down where nothing would get done in that space. It’s all just one moment at a time.
This is why I sit. The more time we carve out for meditation, this state of “non-dong,” the more we are able to “do” more effectively and efficiently within our lives. We actually receive the time back multiplied.
This is why I sit. This is why I teach meditation.