Do All the Lessons Have to Come on the First Day?

Today started the annual “Winter Feast for the Soul”. The goal is to get as many people on the planet meditating forty minutes a day for forty days in hopes of changing the world. If nothing else, meditating forty minutes a day will certainly alter your perspective on the life your living.

I always get excited because preparing for the feast is as meaningful, for me, as the forty days of meditating. On my day off last week I gathered all the tools I would need for my “stitch” meditation. While at work today I downloaded a new CD of Gregorian Chant music; that’s what I listen do while doing my meditation. I wrote little notes to myself in my journal this morning preparing me for this pilgrimage.

If you’ve ever wondered how do you know if your mind is wandering during meditation has never stuck themselves with a needle while they weren’t paying attention. Lesson one: pay attention. I need to be aware and present otherwise I will cause bodily harm. Aside from the little needle stick, it makes me ask myself, “Why won’t you give yourself forty uninterrupted minutes to do something good for yourself?” It only took me two needle sticks to get myself focused on the actual stitching and not worrying about something no right before me, better than in past years.

The second lesson has to do with “perfection” or “getting it right”. I was stitching a line (needless to say far from perfect) when I thought I might run out of thread. I was making a turn and looking toward the homestretch and started to get anxious about not making it to the edge of the fabric. Fortunately my inner voice stopped me and said, “It’s ok if you don’t make it to the end, and you’ll end where the thread ends.” How simple is that, I’ll end where the thread ends. There wasn’t any judgment or feeling like I was doing it wrong, simply a release of what I believed was the “correct” way of doing the stitch meditation.

I’m well aware that these two lessons were really about giving myself the gift of this meditation. They were a precursor for what is to come and these lessons laid the groundwork for giving myself the space to experience each and every lesson. This is one of the major reasons that art heals. It allows each of us to be exactly where we are and gives us the space to be as complete as we can be in the moment.

One down, thirty-nine to go

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