yellow rose close-up
Ideas Presented in Chapter 3

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[500 words]

Idea #10: Natural Meditation Looks Natural

Before going further in describing the interior of Natural Meditation, it might be fun to paint a verbal picture of what this meditation looks like on the outside.  Since this method does not promote a particular cultural or religious worldview, it does not require special postures or rituals.  It looks quite unremarkable, actually.  It can be done in almost any place that feels safe or conducive to meditation. Two sittings per day is ideal for active life. The time for these sittings must be determined by the daily patterns of waking, eating and sleeping. Sittings last a predetermined period, between 15 and 25 minutes. This is timed with a clock or watch. A typical schedule is: Once upon rising for the day, after waking and washing up and once before the last meal of the day.

The following word picture gives a sense of this. It depicts a woman’s morning meditation at home. The outer actions are minimal with respect to meditative formalities.

line drawing women's meditating face

She wakes up at six o’clock before her child and husband; washes up, goes downstairs to the couch and drapes a shawl over her shoulders.  She kicks off her slippers to fold her feet on the couch, a comfortable position for a February morning.  She notes the clock on the wall: 6:22.  She puts her glasses on the bookshelf and closes her eyes.  The house falls silent.

Minutes pass.  A snowplow rumbles the windowpane.

6:30, upstairs an alarm buzzes her husband awake; he wakens their son.  Upstairs gets busy.  TV news, drawers, the shower, feet on floors.  

She hears or does not hear, attentive to something else, as if wrapped in a book.

6:32, a gentle softening of her shoulders; her breathing too shallow to show beneath her sweater; head tipped slightly…

6:43, she opens her eyes, puts on her glasses, checks the clock.  It has been 21 minutes.  She stretches her legs and sits back, eyes closed.  Her husband walks by.  "Good morning."  

In a minute she will go upstairs, a little slowly and then dress for work.

6:56, in full motion now, she looks like all morning mothers with a workday and a kid.

This woman has avoided the family morning rush hour a bit by getting up early, but she does not mind some overlap with her husband and child running around. She meditates as casually and openly as eating breakfast. She sits on the couch, wrapped in her shawl as the world whirls around her. On another day, she may choose to meditate in a spare bedroom with the door closed and will read a prayer book that belonged to her grandmother. This may not make the sitting more potent, but it will help her keep alive a meaningful orientation to her practice.

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