This house is very quiet. The meditations for this week have been to do 8 minutes of focussing on the breath and then the body followed by 8 minutes of focussing on the sounds I can hear and then noticing my thoughts. A lot of the time all I could hear was the sound of silence – a sort of high pitched noise in my ears. Not tinnitus, thankfully. There have been a couple of birds singing in the garden and the occasional noise from the hot water system. I would shuffle my feet or fidget just to make a sound to hear. Noticing my thoughts was OK. Not much going on most of the time while doing the other meditations as I was able to bring myself back if I did wander into thinking about something. But when I got to this stage of the meditation I realised that there weren’t any thoughts until I thought about what thoughts I might have and then I thought about what I might write here. Weird. There were a few times that all my thoughts were around the tasks I had to do, like a mental to do list.
I also had to do the 3 minute breath and body meditation twice a day. I managed to do it a few times at noon before my mid-day prayer and then every day I did it at 5pm before praying the examen. The instructions for the week were that we should do it at any point in the day when we felt particularly in need of calming down. It has been quite a stressful week and so on one occasion I did do it, and it helped. I have also noticed I am more able to notice that I am getting stressed and take a moment to calm down. This mindfulness is definitely helping.
The course this week suggests a habit releaser of going to the cinema at a set time with a friend and just seeing whatever film takes you fancy. However, our local cinema is not huge and so today I looked at the listings and thought I might take myself this afternoon. I didn’t as there was only one film I fancied watching and that wasn’t playing in the afternoon. So I watched an episode of the drama I started following last week instead.
When I started doing this course I took Sunday as day 1. However, as Friday is my day off and I have more time to do personal stuff like reading this book, I think I will shift to using Friday as the day I make sure I have read up on the coming week and then start a fresh week of the course on a Saturday. Although the course says to do the meditations on 6 out of the 7 days, I am already in the habit of having a quiet time every day so I will continue to meditate as I go into prayer. There will be days when I miss a session of the 3 minute ones. But I don’t worry about it.