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    Dharma Glimpse by Dave Smith

    I don’t really have a regular routine for my meditation, but when I have the time in the mornings I go down into the garden and sit in the early morning sun. I take my phone with me and set it to “Do not disturb” and then set a timer for twenty minutes. I have a nice gentle ringtone to end my meditation rather than an intrusive beeping sound.  This is something I have been doing for several years now. The other morning I arrived at my usual spot and then realised that I had forgotten my phone. Rather than go all the way back up the steps to get it, I thought I would just sit and meditate without a timer and just see how it went.

    The difference was quite noticeable. One of the many unwanted thoughts that usually pop into my head when meditating is ”I wonder how long I’ve got left?”, or sometimes if I feel like I’ve been sitting there a while “ did I remember to set the timer?”

    This time something felt distinctly different. I hadn’t previously realised it, but having a time limit set for my meditation somehow made it into a task that I had to complete, it had taken away the enjoyment and freedom to a certain extent. This time the anticipation of my alarm going off was not there and I found it easier to relax, there was no pressure to become calm and still within a twenty minute time frame. It was up to me when to stop, not some arbitrary time limit that I had decided to set myself.

    As I began to emerge from my deep stillness, I decided that I wasn’t ready yet and went back to meditating, this happened a number of times until I felt that I had sat long enough. When I finally opened my eyes, I felt so much more refreshed, it was like the difference between waking up in the morning to an alarm clock or waking up gently in your own time.

    This is now the new norm for me and I enjoy and appreciate my morning meditation so much more. I don’t know if I’m sitting for longer or not and it doesn’t really matter. I am sitting for as long as I need to. I have also noticed that since not timing my meditations I seem to be forgetting my phone a lot more during the day which is definitely a good thing

    Namo Amida Bu

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