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Lions Roar : September 2013
RECENTLY I ATTENDED a nine-day Vipassana meditation retreat. The schedule included small group interviews with the guiding teacher. Seven of us sat in a circle and took turns talking about our experiences at the retreat and our meditation practice at home. We each had different experiences of the retreat, but every one of us told the same basic story about practice at home: no time to meditate. Nora was attending the retreat to pick up her sitting practice after ignoring it for a couple of years. “I don’t know what hap- pened,” she said, “but I haven’t sat much since I last came on retreat. I’d made a special promise to myself then that I would sit every evening for thirty minutes, but once I left here, I just couldn’t find the time. I hope I do better after this retreat.” Each of us reported how we had failed to maintain a regular sitting practice due to lack of time. I was no exception. But the nice thing about group interviews is that there’s always someone you can tag as being worse at finding time than you. For me it was Ralph, the longtime owner of a regional country club. I’ve attended retreats with him for six years. Ralph retired four years ago, specifically to have more time for his practice. Still, he reported, he couldn’t fit in a daily sit. Ralph had come to each of the sits during the retreat so far and promptly fallen asleep. I PHOTOSBYMEGUMIYOSHIDA No Time to Meditate? Maybe time isn’t really the issue. Maybe the problem is that one part of us wants to meditate, while another part wants something else. TINA WELLING on how to be undivided. TINA WELLING is the author of Writing Wild: A Creative Partnership with Nature, which will be published in the spring of 2014. She leads writing and journaling workshops wherever invited. SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2013 17