I did it; I took the challenge last night. I put it on my to do list, on my calendar, on the reminder on my phone and I made it happen. I meditated! It was not an easy task the planning alone took time. I had to make sure that I made dinner early and all the kids had baths. I had to call my parents and tell a few friends not to call the house after 9:30 pm. I had to close down the house early get everything ready for the next day and take a shower so I would be completely at peace.
The kids had to clean up all their toys and they asked “Why do we need to clean up the toys if you close your eyes when you meditate?”
I responded “If I happen to open my eyes and see a mess I will want to clean it up. A mess would distract me from the peace.”
My husband of course put his two cents worth into the conversation “Kids, have you ever seen a mad Buddha face before? Clean up the toys.” Laughter obviously ensued.
My kids had lots of questions about meditation. I was like a little kid on Christmas Eve as I tucked them snuggly in their beds, so excited for this new adventure. I told my husband goodnight and tucked him in as well. He said “You may need to do this daily”. He has to get up early every morning and was happy to go to bed so early.
I was running a few minutes ahead of schedule so I watched a short video on how to meditate and then I did it. My watch was set with an alarm to go off at midnight. My attempt was to meditate from 10 pm – midnight.
I settled myself on my downstairs couch with my legs comfortably crossed and my fingers interlaced, closed my eyes and began the process. The video told me that our thoughts are very powerful and we should not shove them out of our minds, rather we should embrace them and think through each thought. So I began thinking about the to do list, tomorrow’s activities and the weekend to come. Then I began to concentrate on the noises around me, the hum of my air conditioner and the almost silent creak of the light bulbs above me, once the silence was so great that I could hear moths or some type of insect hitting the window pane in search of those light bulbs. I began to listen to my breathing. The video advised not taking deep breaths but to listen and be aware of normal breathing patterns. So I listened to my breathing and began to pray and talk with God about what I was in the process of doing. That I wanted to stop talking and listen to His voice this time and feel His presence intensely in the silence and motionless moments. My mind began to wander to relationships with friends and family and how I really feel about different occurrences. I felt so relaxed and still and then I began once more to listen to the lulling hum of the air conditioner. I felt the slightest sensation on my left cheek as though a tiny gnat might be walking across it but I did not move, not even my mouth and it felt as though it walked across the bottom of my eyelid to my nose and then the sensation was gone. I was so relaxed and at peace I nodded off and fell asleep! The weight of my head falling ever so slightly jarred me back to consciousness and I thought “Darn it, I wasn’t suppose to sleep, even for a second!”
Then I began to wonder can a mom meditate at night without falling asleep? Maybe I should do this during the day but I have no time during the day. I steadied my thoughts once more and listened to the air conditioner, became aware of my breathing and relaxed my muscles. The thoughts began to fade a bit and images came to my mind of soft colors and motions and then I nodded off again. This time when I awoke I was still in the same position and thought “In my book the man was able to move into a slightly different position if he needed to do so.” So I put my feet on the ground and relaxed my shoulders opened my eyes only briefly and saw that it was now 10:45. “45 minutes had passed, wow that’s really good!” I tried once more to center myself I wanted to see more than colors, I wanted to reach that point of thoughtlessness completely but I was so relaxed I felt I may fall asleep once more. I listened to the hum of the air conditioner, paid attention to my breathing but felt a little frustrated because that deep feeling of relaxation had lifted when I choose to move my body. I thought to myself maybe 1 hour is enough for starters and gave myself permission to stop.
The book I have been reading Breakfast with Buddha suggested that after meditating in the evening one should not watch TV, read a book or even talk but instead just go straight to bed.
So I slowly moved off the couch and turned off the lights one by one. I checked the children and wrote a brief description of the meditation in my journal and lay down to go to sleep thinking I would fall asleep quickly but my thoughts were invasive and it took awhile. Before I fell asleep I laughed quietly at the fact that I actually fell asleep during my 1st meditation!
I still want to extend the challenge but in retrospect I would suggest that for your first meditation plan to do it for 1 hour not 2, it is more realistic. If possible do it during the day but even then I think most moms will nod off because we just do so much that if we ever stop moving for a moment our bodies think it must be time to sleep. It was still an awesome experience and just the first of many. I plan to try it again and again. Maybe when I saw the colors and motions that was my mind without thought. I did feel extremely relaxed and very at peace not like I normally do in life. When I told my husband about it I had to laugh at myself because I fell asleep but I am very content that I did it and feel that it is just the beginning of a new experience that doesn’t cost a penny, I don’t have to leave my family or my home and it does give me an inner peace. It was worth the challenge.
So take the challenge and let me know how it goes for you. I would love to read and share your stories on your meditations. Please leave your comments so we can all share the experience.