Last night I sat for just 10 minutes. Kitchen. Chair. I suspected that I was getting sick again. I needed bed and rest. I didn’t feel like sitting long. But what I didn’t want even more was to go on even one day without meditation. So I sat down and practiced being aware of my breath, body, and noise in my head. No judging. Just sitting. And it was surprisingly pleasant. Self is such a burden sometimes.
This morning – 20 minutes. 5 AM. Seiza. I’m definitely sick. During meditation, I was aware of all the unpleasant sensations in my throat and limbs and perceived them as something that is happening to this body, not to me. I practiced detachment from the idea that I was my body, my thoughts. In reality, it’s nothing more than my consciousness identifying itself with this biological form (and science can prove it). I also reminded myself that being sick is what ought to happen. I relaxed. I looked at my body with compassion, understanding, and acceptance.
Being sick is not only about physical symptoms. Sickness is the longing for the past when I was rarely sick, dwelling in the feeling of hurt, and worrying about the future and potential inconveniences it may cause. When those three are dropped, how much of the sickness is left?
Yesterday, I discovered that Tori Amos smuggled five notes long sequence from Frederic Chopin’s “Nocturne in Bb Minor” into her song “Yes, Anastasia” (when she sings: Driving on the vine over clothes lines). This is how eventful my life is. Which may explain why I am so persistent in my mediation efforts. Sitting still and staring at the back of my eyelids for 20 minutes at 5 AM on Tuesday morning is sometimes the most exciting part of my day.