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Let’s sit quietly for a really long period of time!

 

Meditation

I often find “themes” happening at certain points in my life. Sometimes it’s a word that keeps popping up or a time in the past that starts resurfacing.

For the past several weeks, India has come up in conversation several times, or people somehow hear that I went there and are curious to know about my experience.

Rob and I went to India for four months in 2011. How we ended up having the time, finances, and opportunity to go to India are things that I can share in another post. It could easily turn this one into a small novel!! I’ll just say that I never expected I would travel to India, and the opportunity to go there really fell into our laps.

The subject of India makes me ponder what messages are there that I’m needing to explore. Why does this “theme” keep coming up?

When I sit with this question, meditation keeps popping up in my head.

It’s something Rob and I started before we went to India, and it was actually the main reason we decided to go to India.

We attended a 10-day silent meditation retreat at the Tushita Mediation Center in Northern India. We wanted to dive into the practice – to challenge ourselves to really see what the experience would be like. What would we learn about ourselves and the world? How would we evolve during the process?

It was at Tushita that we came to understand the importance and power of meditation.

*As a side note: Tushita has a parent monastery in Nepal. With the devastation happening from the earthquake, please take this opportunity to consider donating to one of the numerous organizations helping with relief efforts. With Rob being in medical school, I’ll put in a plug for Doctors Without Borders. I’m going to contribute after I finish this post.*

If you want to read a detailed account (admittedly a little long-winded) of our experience at Tushita, you can visit our old blog. It’s more about the logistics of it rather than what we learned. It’s such a deep, personal experience, that there are really no words to describe it.

So as I reflect back on my time in India and at Tushita, I try to remember all of my “a-ha” moments. I’m realizing that perhaps the reason India keeps coming up, is because that country and that time in my life are like a wisdom treasure chest for me. I need to revisit it from time to time and remember those gems in the midst of normal life. Meditation and self-care are some of those gems.

Meditation is something we’ve strived to make a part of our daily life, and we did for a while, even during my pregnancy. In the summer of 2013, we attended another 10-day silent retreat in Illinois at the Vipassana Meditation Center.

Meditation was something we could fit in…until we added Pookie to the mix.

Now that I’m a parent, meditation seems like a huge challenge. I feel like I rarely have the time (even if it’s only for 10 minutes) or the quiet, for the focused time that I need.

But that’s just it. Those ten days of silence, mediation, and teaching in India and then Illinois, helped me understand that daily life is an incredible opportunity to practice. You can confront things head on, not in a bubble.

So perhaps this is why my time is India is resurfacing. I need to find my way back to practice.

Tonight when I put Pookie to bed, I laid with her for just a few moments, being still and being present with her. Breathing with her and sharing the human bond together. I have to remember that this too is part of the practice.

So, I’m going to see if I can add it into my 4am wakeup routine for just 10 minutes a day. And during the day, I’m going to strive to remember the stillness that is available to me at every moment, and return to it often.

 

*Here’s the link again to Doctor’s Without Borders. 🙂

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