While meditating this morning, I started to mentally create a to-do list. You may have had a similar experience; in the absence of other stimulation your mind starts to fill up the void with the overflow of your too-busy life. These might take the shape of conversations you had with people which you didn’t finish satisfactorily. Or, tasks that you promised completion of and then didn’t deliver. Or, maybe you just really could use this quiet time to make your grocery list.
In my meditation time, I don’t ruminate over the past as much as I imagine new creative enterprises. In fact, the theme for this post came straight out of sitting for 10 minutes. How handy is that?
Well, not handy at all when the job is to watch my thought-stream from the bank, not to fall in the water and get caught in a current of my brilliant ideas. Fortunately, my meditation includes loving kindness and self-forgiveness, and, after all, it is a practice.
The mystical writer, St. Francis de Sales, outlined a simple attitude for us to take in spiritual practice:
What we need is a cup of understanding, a barrel of love, and an ocean of patience.
And when the mind meanders, St. Francis de Sales further advises us:
Bring yourself back to the point gently. And even if you do nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back a thousand times, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed.