Term Student has begun! Last Tuesday I stood in front of the sangha in the Buddha Hall and pledged to increase my sitting time: attending sittings at the centre Tuesday and Thursday nights and Sunday mornings, and sitting for a half-hour morning and evening any time I’m not at the Centre, except for Saturday mornings. I figured I’d have a better chance of succeeding if I left myself one morning to sleep in and laze around, although I have a feeling I might add Saturday morning whenever-I-get-up sittings to the rotation just for consistency.
The main thing I’ve noticed after one week of this is that a half hour goes by much, much faster than it used to. Still plenty of monkey mind, but the apparent passage of time is faster.
I’ve also noticed that sitting in the morning at home is a lot harder than any other time, even including Sunday mornings at the centre. Usually my weekday mornings involve getting up, showering, getting dressed and heading out the door, and then I fully wake up on the commute in and have breakfast at my desk. But sitting in the morning at home means I have something to concentrate on before I leave. I’m sure it’ll come with time. That said, I think after term student is over I might spend those morning sittings doing metta practice instead of zazen. I think morning metta would set up my mind to stay skillful throughout the workday. But for now I’ve pledged zazen, and zazen it is.
One requirement of the term student program is weekly meetings in which all the participants (and Sensei when he’s there — but for the next two he’s in sesshin in Costa Rica) talk about how their intensified practice is going. I figure right here is a good place for me to keep notes on that, so for the next little while I think I’ll try to keep track of some of the details here.
But now work calls.