Glenda van Koot
davidji Certified Teacher
We have a new puppy in the house. This isn’t unusual for us as it’s a yearly (or less) occurrence. We foster future Dog Guide puppies for the first year of their life and for the first few months it’s like having a baby here.
Xila doesn’t sleep through the night yet, is up early and at this point we’re living in the land of movable baby gates and rolled up carpets. So….it’s been cutting in to my meditation time!
How do you maintain your practice when there’s interference from external factors? It could be anything from puppies to children to work to household duties to vacation time that is putting a crimp in your meditation.
For many years I’ve followed the pattern taught to me by davidji – RPM. Rise, Pee, Meditate. It works perfectly most days when we have a normal routine going on and the puppy is older. But right now? Not so much!
This morning I got a full thirty minutes in an hour or so after the R & P – with only a few interruptions from her barking mother Cider wanting through a baby gate and Xila moving her sleeping spot a few times.
So this is the point of my message. Do what you can!
I can’t tell Xila to be quiet and sit there while I meditate for thirty minutes and you probably can’t always put everything on hold either. But – you do what you can to make it work and continue your practice.
Some early mornings I’ve been lucky to grab ten to fifteen minutes and some mornings I haven’t managed to meditate at all. So as the day progresses I’lI watch for an opportunity to meditate for at least a few minutes.
If you watch for the openings you can make it work. When I’m travelling with others or spending the night somewhere, I’ll rise before everyone is up and meditate. If there’s nowhere to go without disturbing someone I’ll meditate while still in bed.
I’ve grabbed a few minutes of meditation as a passenger in a car and in an airport. Heck, I’ve even meditated while standing in line at Disney World. You just have to close your eyes, do a few rounds of 16 seconds and there you have it.
Is it worth trying to meditate when I can’t have my thirty minutes of uninterrupted peace?
Yes! I’m a much better ‘me’ when I meditate. I need those ‘patience’ benefits that come from meditating when there’s a lot going on like house-breaking puppies and daily routines that are turned upside down.
Any time in meditation is better than no meditation!
One of the biggest challenges I find with new meditators is that they’re so judgemental and hard on themselves – thinking they’re not meditating right, its not quiet enough, or there are too many interruptions.
“Don’t bother me now – I’m trying to meditate!!!” (a head down admittance here – I remember saying that to my daughter.)
You learn to acknowledge the barking dogs and moving puppies and then bring your focus back to following your mantra or your breath.
Carve out the minutes when you can. You may have a preferred time or place for your meditation practice, but when that doesn’t work out don’t quit!
But a word of caution……if you fall off the rails and begin to completely miss a week or more of even a few minutes, it can be more difficult to get back on to your meditation track. And if you’ve been a fairly regular meditator, you will feel the change.
Do what you can, when you can and you will be rewarded! More peace, more patience, more ‘you’!
Meet the author Glenda van Koot