When I first began meditating, I lived in a studio apartment in New York City. The only space that was truly quiet was the bathroom or the closet. The open living space had stuff, clutter, and two cats. So I would close the bathroom door, light a candle, close my eyes, and sit quietly.
At the time, I had no instruction. I had yet to seek out guidance on how to meditate. I just did what I thought meditators do, sit quietly. I’d soon realize it was more than that and just that.
I thought I was doing it all wrong in an inappropriate space so I moved my meditation seat next to the bed. I’d roll off my bed and onto my cushion in the mornings. The cats and clutter and stuff were behind me and around me. Sometimes my cat Puddy would sit on top of me or the cats would brawl in the living room or there would be sounds of construction coming from the building going up next door.
Eventually I sought formal instruction. I realized that the conditions to meditate would never be perfect. That as much as I attempted to situate myself in an ideal setting, it would never be just so. If I waited for the perfect conditions to arise, I’d likely never meditate.
What I knew was that I had an innate desire to meditate. I craved the opportunity to sit in silence. That desire was stronger than any of the distractions or obstacles that surrounded me at the time. While there has been an ebb and flow in my practice and varying degrees of intensity, the desire is always there like a flame that never goes out.
Today I meditated in union with thousands of others as part of the Real Happiness 28 day challenge guided by Sharon Salzberg. Salzberg says, “if you are breathing, you can meditate.”
I hope you’ll consider joining in and meditate wherever you are.