As of today, I’ve meditated for 16 days in a row.
By now, I expected I’d be floating on waves of peace and bliss all day long – that the power of my meditation practice would quell the storms of my mind and transform me into a more serene version of myself. So far, no dice.
In fact, sometimes the exact opposite feelings arise. My time in meditation is peaceful and still. Then, I get up from my cushion. No sooner have I left my practice than something happens: I burn the toast; I stub my toe; I snap at my husband. The memory of my practice vanishes in a flash and I’m left with my impatience or my stubbornness. Isn’t this meditation business supposed to help keep these reactions at bay?
One meditation technique I’ve been exploring is focusing on the space between breaths. This practice challenges me deeply. The space between an inhale and an exhale feels infinitesimal. Similarly, the space between a minor irritation and my reaction seems minute. Something happens and my reaction follows in milliseconds.
How does this dynamic change? With practice. With patience. With compassion. Each day that I meditate, I take one step closer into the space between my thoughts. Often, the steps are so small that I can barely sense any movement or progress at all. But, I’m choosing to take a step. That’s what matters.
How are you trying to expand the space between?