Ever seen the movie ‘Groundhog Day?’ The one where Bill Murray keeps waking up in the same day over and over again? This week as my 5.20am alarm jolts me awake I trudge wearily to meditation with that very concept in my head. Different day, same struggle!
Nearly three weeks into my training, sitting still with just my barrage of thoughts for company is not getting any easier. Heck, the other day I even carried the pillow off my bed to add to my variety of ‘props.’ Short of making a sofa out of them all, I settled for stuffing it underneath my sitbones in the hope of avoiding the numb butt feeling after half an hour.
It didn’t work…
“Let go off any thoughts of monotomy and boredom. Today is another day, a new day and a fresh practice.” I am beginning to think our teacher Rose has physic powers. Could she tell I had been thinking it felt like ‘Groundhog Day’ today? During meditation I struggle to stay awake, so to keep my overactive mind occupied I start to plan my reunion with the hubby. I visualise myself rocking up at Dubai Airport, a floaty little number draped over my newly tanned and uber toned self, complete with dangly earrings, mala beads and a general air of yogic greatness…
Cut to the present moment. Is any of this actually helping me? I felt like that day on my mat was a bit of a turning point for me. I realised that I was expending so much energy dreaming of the future or reliving the past, that I was spending very little time in the ‘here and now.’ If I did not start checking into the present pretty soon, the five weeks of training would be over!
That evening I took a sundown stroll through the padi fields to an organic restaurant that is high on Tripadvisor’s Ubud ‘to do’ list. Just 20 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the town, the scenery unfolds into picture postcard perfect Bali. Rolling rice fields in a sea of endless green, dotted with workers, effortlessly balancing baskets of crops on their heads. Here I am striding out through this amazing place – fully awake and enjoying every moment. An Eat,Pray,Love style, Julia Roberts’ moment, minus the wide mouth and floppy hat.
“Don’t dwell on the past, don’t dream of the future, but rest your mind on the present moment.” Wise words from good old Buddha, and a simple reminder for us to stop and smell the roses. Think about how often we go from A to B on autopilot, and then wonder how we even arrived at our destination? Our journey is a blur because we have been too busy rehashing old events or conjuring up future scenarios!
So with two weeks to go I have made a pact with myself to try to enjoy the present (with just a few detours along the way.) Our training is building up to our last week of silent retreat, where we will be sitting in meditation for up to 7 hours a day, so I will need to start tuning in! No talking, no hugging, no eye contact, no writing, no reading, no facebook… Just me, my mind and I.
I’ll let you know how we get on.
“Be mindful of this moment because it will pass…
and if your mind is somewhere else, you will not have lived it.”