I keep trying to stuff my meditation into a time slot. On a zen tuffet. While decked out in pristine white yoga-wear.

I don’t even own yoga-wear.

No wonder it’s been so difficult.

Then this morning, as a nineteen year-old cat stretched on the rug and I in my bathrobe rubbed her tummy while Gregorian monks chanted on the stereo and a beeswax candle flickered on the mantle and the darkness outside was so dark I couldn’t even see the BBQ… I thought: this is meditation.

And so is making soup. Or spaghetti sauce. Curry. Anything with much chopping and stirring.

Even toast. There’s an art to it… it’s about the butter and jam ratio, honey if you’ve got it. It’s about thinking where that honey came from.

Changing the sheets, smelling that fresh-off-the-line smell in your bedroom [or fresh from anywhere smell is good too]. That crisp feeling when you get in under them. With a book. Early enough so you don’t fall asleep in five minutes. This is meditation.

Walking. With a letter to mail, or just to get a paper, a few lemons. Around the block. With a dog or alone. There’s ways of doing it like a chore, but what’s the point in that?

Walking through an art gallery.


Staring just a moment longer than usual at a painting, a squirrel, a plane passing by.

Cleaning. Chucking out the bits that no longer serve a purpose.

Conversation. Snow shovelling, weeding, sketching, collecting beach glass. Doing a crossword. Drinking tea, really drinking it, tasting it; doing nothing else for a moment but drinking tea… [I wouldn’t know, but this may also work with coffee]

Writing a letter, with a pen. Or a crayon.

Breathing. Just that, done well… this is meditation.

Looking up.

Paying attention.

Eyes open, or closed.

“The more I read, the more I meditate, and the more knowledge I acquire, the more I am enabled to affirm that I know nothing.” – Voltaire

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14 thoughts on “this

  1. Beautifully expressed, Carin, and a moving reminder to us all, perhaps especially in the holiday season, that it’s the moments, the simple pleasures, that count. Mindfulness can bring so much to our lives, our souls, our writing. This post got me thinking about the things I stop and pay attention to … and how there could be more. And now there will be. Here’s to taking time to breathe. Thank you.

  2. These are beautiful thoughts, Carin. Would it be zen to tweak them into a poem and send off to a broader audience? They need big, big sharing.

    1. Ha! Good question. What is zen? Tweaking, broader audience… I’ll have to check the manual.
      But thank you so very much for saying that about big sharing. Means a lot.

  3. I had no idea I’ve been meditating all this time, but I think I get it, Carin. I would add stirring cream into my coffee, walking through the forest, watching the snowflakes drift. Sigh …

    1. More than ever, today makes me think how important it is to at least try to pay attention… to say the sweet stuff, to not withhold hugs…

      Thanks for your kind words, Fran. :)

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