Monday, September 29, 2008

Meditation on the Treadmill

My sister and I both meditate. So after our weight training and it's time to get on the treadmill and do a little cardio, my sister reveals her mind. "I've got more important things to do. I'm tired. I can't stay on this machine. I've got to leave now. Surely that's enough time. I'm only doing 10 minutes." It goes on and on. And it's not a drag to hear her because she says it while she's aware. So I know she knows that it's just her mind doing its thing. And it's funny.

After a while her mind goes quiet. It has nothing left to say and her body just keeps walking on the treadmill. Mine too. We talk, we walk, we do our thing, and we know our minds will complain at the beginning and then they will get comfortable. It's like a dog making its bed. It is all fidgety at the beginning and then it settles down and has a nap.

That's often what happens when you sit down to meditate. The mind comes up with a hundred different better things for you to be doing. All of the to-dos that need to be done right this minute show up. And then discomfort is there too. "I can't do this. My knees are sore." Whatever. And if you know that is just part of the deal and don't buy into the story, you get to sit and meditate peacefully. Or you get to do whatever it is you want to do because the obstacles on the path to meditation or the treadmill or to cleaning your office or starting the project or anything you can think of, have all been well-documented by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras thousands of years ago. People are people and we're all going to not want to do stuff we really want to do or think is good for us to do. The mind comes in and tries to sabotage our efforts. If we recognize the signs, we can pursue our path knowing those thoughts will pass. If we get caught up in those thoughts and believe them, we'll stop our progress and take a diversion for a while. No problem. Eventually we'll come back to the path and try to make progress again until we're stopped. And we'll start again. It's inevitable...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Meditation is SO worth it. :)