If you've been following the blog for awhile, you may know that on Fridays I get together with a group of friends. We usually light a candle and sit together in a circle for twenty minutes--it's our version of meditation practice. Recently, we've connected with some other friends who want to share in this exploration, who want to find out for themselves what meditation is and how it might have a place in their lives. And so, starting a couple of Fridays from now, we'll be sitting together again.
I'm really looking forward to it, but I'm also finding myself feeling shaky and wondering how to proceed. I've had a practice for a long time, but sharing it is much newer. I feel shy. I feel uncomfortable, and sometimes afraid. I find myself asking the question that I've asked myself many, many times before, "Am I doing this right?"
For better or for worse, this seems to be a learned mantra that swarms incessantly around me and people I know. It's useful to a point, but after that point, this question can become a kind of bizarre, ubiquitous, shaming background noise that is around us so much we barely notice it. Until we sit our butts down on a cushion, and sure enough, there it is, predictable in its ubiquity. Right up front, one of the first things that flies by the observing mind.
So what do I make of this question...well, I could think a lot of things about it, but for now, today, I think I will hear the question like the chime of a meditation bell, indicating that something new has begun. Nothing more, nothing less, just the habit my mind falls into when I encounter something new.
Am I doing this right?
The session begins...