Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Year of Doing Nothing (post 1.05)

At Kripalu, they call this path the path of the householder.  As opposed to the path of the spiritual ascetic who spends all of their life immersed in the path, often by the way supported by entire communities of people, the householder blends spiritual practices with the common requirements of living a family life filled with a variety of responsibilities and obligations.  How do we accomplish this?

As if to illustrate my point, mother nature has dumped a winter storm on our doorstep today.  Yesterday, it was my intention to continue working on blending my "shoulds" with my time in spiritual practices, with an aim toward reducing the time spent on "shoulds", but there was a very practical need to prepare for the winter storm.  So most of my day was spent running errands, getting food and supplies, and making chili for my family.  I also had to teach a Yoga class in the evening and possibly needed to pick up my son from an after school event.  It didn't look like it would be a day that I could easily balance.

I decided that my attitude toward my day was of utmost importance.  I could run my errands, feeling frustrated and rushed, and maybe even a little resentful, and try to stuff as much into the day as possible.  Or I could choose to run my errands in as relaxed a state of mind as possible, breathing deeply, and reminding myself as frequently as necessary that any task that didn't get completed was okay.  I repeat:  I reminded myself as frequently as necessary that any task that didn't get completed was okay.  I used the challenge of the day as an opportunity to practice.  I wanted to work on "non-striving", even as I went about my day trying to be as productive as possible.  I was especially conscious about not rushing which has been a bad habit of mine and seems to be a sort of epidemic in our culture.

As a result, I did get my errands done and to my surprise I had time for a one hour meditation/practice session.  I did need to let go of my desire to post a blog, but  I ended the day feeling refreshed instead of depleted.