How's your head these days? Are you clear, focused? Light in spirit? Centered?
Yeah, me neither.
My meditation routine had already slipped to the bottom of my priority list before quarantine began. I was trying to get everything done in preparation for going on sabbatical. And on my sabbatical, I would have plenty of time to get back in the routine.
(In retrospect, planning on go on sabbatical beginning April 1 - who does that??? I was just asking the universe to prank me. I mean, a worldwide pandemic seems a little extreme, but then, I did pull a lot of April Fools jokes in my life. Perhaps it was to be expected.)
Best time to meditate? On sabbatical.
Second best time to meditate? While in quarantine for a worldwide sabbatical, the length of which remains undetermined.
My friend M posted a graphic that sums up why all of us -- even non-meditators -- might want to give it a try these days:
I am no expert in meditating, so if you're interested in it in a serious way, join a meditation group where you'll find experienced practitioners. Our church's meditation group is now meeting online, and I bet others are, too.
But meditation is one of those things that you don't have to be great at to get something from it. It's a time to let the constant swirling of your mind settle down. One of the most helpful metaphors I've found was shared with me last summer at "The Point" (Southern UU summer camp for families) by the Rev. Aaron White.
He said to imagine that you've got a jar full of muddy water. You're walking around with that jar all the time, constantly shaking it. (Seriously, this is exactly what my brain feels like these days.) But if you set the jar down on the counter and let it just sit there, still, the mud begins sinking to the bottom. And the water on top grows clear.
Give it a try. Sit somewhere comfortable, maybe set a timer so you don't have to wonder about how long it's been. Start small. 10 minutes. Imagine the jar of water, and the dirt settling to the bottom. Breathe. Your poor brain is working so hard right now, trying to make sense of this, trying to figure out how to keep putting one foot in front of the other. If you're anything like me, you've probably been stuffing information in it, one article after another. And even when you're asleep, it's working, churning.
Give your brain a rest. Try meditation.