sit on a small wooden bench with yourself

This is a meditation trick I learned years ago. It’s simple and sweet. And I revert to it often. You might like it in these noisy, frenetic times we’re having just now.

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Photo by Anne He

I’ve mentioned before how much I struggle with meditation. But every day I sit down and do it. Twice a day. For three years now. I don’t descend or transcend. It’s a war for me. Over time I’ve been able to – briefly, tentatively – touch that still, mind-less, space. Even just for a few seconds. Before I recoil again, back to my cascading thoughts.

Once you’ve gingerly reached out and touched that space, even if only for a few delicate moments, there’s no going back. You need to know it better, you need to go there again. Like tasting salty chocolate.  And, really, there’s no choice. The lid’s been lifted, the scab’s been removed.

At a yoga retreat a few years back – before I learned to meditate in the vedic style – I found a way to hold it a little longer. I arrived at the collection of rambling wooden huts tucked into dense bushland late for a three-day intensive. It’s cold on this side of the mountain and the currawongs are doing that sad, lonely aw-awww. I do these retreats, but I tell you, I arrive kicking and screaming , fidgety and cynical and worried about sharing bunk beds with strangers and doing sing-alongs after dinner.

And constipated. I always, always get constipated. I pass through the gates of the retreat centre and it’s like everything just jams right up, like the kid that’s told to share his bag of lollies and reluctantly holds out his stach, but gripping it from below so only one or two can be picked out.

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