Each morning I wake-up and decide to practice (meditate). This decision is easy some days such as Tuesday mornings when I am responsible for holding and leading a group sit for my community, however most days I practice alone…or so I thought.
Over the weekend I had a unique experience in practice. I was leading a Day of Mindfulness to support the MBSR Online course offered through Sounds True. In many ways this was not all that unusual. Over the years I have lead All Days of practice at the Center for Mindfulness, but this one was different. Instead of sitting with my colleagues in a large conference room in front of about 200 people, I was sitting in front of my computer…alone. However, I soon realized that I was not alone and even more surprising I came to understand that I was never alone. As I sat in front of my computer, scores of students were sitting in front of their computers and we practiced together. I felt and knew I was not alone. As I practiced I supported others practicing and as others practiced they supported my practice.
Intellectually, I have acknowledged that I do not practice alone, but intellectualizing has only brought me so far in knowing about practice and life. There have been times, however, where I have been lucky enough to open up and know down to my bones that I am not separate from all beings across space and time. I know that I am not alone in practice or life…I know that I am with all things. (Words fail to capture this awareness, and instead I encourage all of us to know for ourselves, down to our own bones.) I find it interesting that somehow the same technology that can distract me can also be the vehicle to remind me that I am connected in practice… I am connected in life.
This morning I woke-up and decided to practice. I got out of bed and made my way to my meditation cushion in the other room upstairs. In the early light, I knew the room was already full and I found a spot. I wrapped a blanket around my shoulders and settled in for our sit together. Even though the room is full, I know there is room for more. Would you care to join us, sitting alone together?
By Paul Galvin