I can’t get comfortable this morning. Too hot by the radiator in that chair. Too squishy in this one. The book keeps sliding off of my lap and the notebook that rests on top of that keeps sliding around as well. On top of that the notebook won’t stay open. It keeps trying to flap itself closed. If I move my arm my hand goes flying off the page in the wrong direction. How do I usually do this? My butt must be in the wrong spot on the chair? Somehow how I sat down all akimbo and now I’m stuck in this spot.
This is how my life feels now. Like I woke up one day and my butt was in a wrong spot on a chair. Sort of at an angle or off to one side weighted on one hip and off kilter so nothing is comfortable. It’s somewhat baffling. I have tried my Buddhist teacher’s suggestions to sit in my discomfort. This is a profound practice. I have been practicing for some twenty five years. My brain has connected with my lungs that feed oxygen to my body in such a way that I can quite comfortably sit…in my discomfort…most of the time. This is what practice is for. It’s for later. I have learned to carry breath awareness as a matter of naturally being in life.
At first it seems ridiculous. I know how to breathe, I say to myself. As the practice starts I realize that I haven’t a clue and that this is darn frustrating. As the years go by more and more things that seemed insurmountable are just simply arriving, passing through. I can remain calm in the face of life’s obstacles.
The thing that I’m noticing as time goes on, as I age is that allowing the new groove to form is key. Sit in this spot until it becomes comfortable. The practice is essentially to wait it out. Like when I quit smoking. I used this method to get from one moment to the next. It’s only a moment and the moment will pass, it’s only a moment and the moment will pass. That was my mantra in those days.
My favorite quote from Martha Graham is about practice. Something like, “we practice in the face of all obstacles” & how we become athletes of god by our practice. This is our prayer that we send up…. whether as dancers or chefs or readers or meditators, we practice to perfect our practice. We get the gift of an additional pirouette or a high soufflé or another day of gratitude and the universe smiles.