Saturday morning. What a perfect morning for meditation. I was well rested. I had two coffees. My kids will be sleeping for another two hours. I set the timer to 1 hour and 30 minutes. One intermediate bell after 45 minutes. I sat in a chair. Started the timer. I straightened my back. Closed my eyes.
I didn’t feel any fear. I didn’t feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the perspective of sitting for 90 minutes straight. The longest I’ve ever sat. After a few years of meditation practice I know that “90 minutes” is a made up concept. In reality, it consists of string of single present moments. Each of them harmless and innocent. New and pure. Empty. One after another. So short that almost non-existing.
It is only when I lose my mindfulness when my mind starts to generate the illusion of continuity by inventing ideas and stitching them together in a story. And now I have to deal with time.
It was hard. Much harder on my body than the mind. But I made it through. It was worth doing. When I sit for longer periods of time, there is no lying to myself. It’s either: I’m truly mindful, non-judgmental and present, or I quit. I just wouldn’t be able to sit for 90 minutes thinking about passing time or what other things I could have been doing with it.
Last night after only 10 minutes of sitting I had to stop to go upstairs to check on my crying son. After reading him a bedtime story I went straight to bed and fell asleep within 15 seconds not finishing my evening sitting. So what?