Can you create more time in your day?
“You don’t have time to not do it.”
I was there with the skeptics. I didn’t believe that I could create more time through spending time. But it worked.
Our homework is to meditate 30 minutes (or 41, depending on which CD you use) per day, every day until the next class. Whew, who has an extra 30 minutes per day? Much less 41? Not me. Not anyone.
Can you really get more time out of your day by … spending a little time? Is it like money that you have to spend some to make some?
Diligent student that I am, I did my homework. Ideally before everyone else in the house wakes up. I lie down, press play, and follow the instructions. Focus here, focus there, keep focus. It’s hard! Back to focusing. Keep that focus. Whew, is it over yet? What? 28 minutes to go?
If you focus, you can do it. Just keeping your mind on one simple thing. For example, your breathing. If you focus on it, then that’s what you’re doing, you’re focusing on your breathing and if your mind has the capacity to multi-task, lucky you, but odds are that if you truly spend a little energy on your breathing, your focus will keep you there. If you slip away, just come back. Even if it’s 100 times (and it is), then just come back.
Something like a soup simmering on the stove. But a big soup, a vegetable soup with all kinds of goodies in there: big potato chunks, Brussels sprouts, carrots, but also thinly sliced cabbage and maybe some unidentifiable tidbits of this and that. As the soup simmers, things go to the top and to the bottom, maybe they go round and round. But it gets sorted out a bit. I suppose according to weight, density, heat, I don’t really know. But this is partly what my mind was doing for 30 minutes: simmering chunks of matter in a slow motion rotation.
Eventually, some vegetables settled on the bottom. Maybe we didn’t need those as much, maybe they weren’t as important. Others floated near the top, but maybe dipped down once in a while. Others were pushed down in the middle by the more important pieces at the top. Soon, I forgot about what was at the bottom.
If I had 100 ideas, or worse, To Do items, in my head floating around, when the soup was about done, the important work was at or near the top and there was much less of it. There was a whole lot of stuff at the bottom and some of it was unrecognizable. The meditation served as something of a filter to my random and many thoughts. It helped, just by, oddly, not thinking of them, by pushing them away, to create something of a hierarchy. Because it took a while (half an hour at least), it gave things time to settle, but it also gave time to let come to the top maybe things that I didn’t know belonged there.
This “meditation muscle” is not strong yet, I’m working on it, but I’m looking forward to giving it plenty of exercise to see what else we can do. Or cook up in the pot.