The Meditation Clock

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Another 37, Day 18

Take a deep breath. Feel how the air fills your lungs and expands your chest. It is better to breathe with your abdomen than your chest, but don’t worry about that now. This moment is about awareness. The sensations of your body, and all that you feel and observe around you. Good. Now let the breath out. Don’t try to control it. Just allow it to flow out of you like water. Feel the way you vibrate with the exhalation. If thoughts arise in your mind do not judge them. Just watch them from a distance, uninvolved. Let them pass away.

Good. Now take in the next breath, and let it out. Just like this. Your thoughts will come, but they do not define you. Do not follow them, but do not worry if you have walked a few steps up that path. Just gently return to your center, to your breath. There is only your breath, and there is only this moment. Breathe in, then breathe out.

Good. Now check the time. It’s important to know exactly how much time you have left in the meditation. No, don’t worry about your breath. You can get back to that in a moment. Your breath isn’t going anywhere. Just open your eyes and look. Go ahead. Just check the time. It’ll only take a second.

No, wait, never mind. Don’t do that. It’s not important. There is no time. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed. There is only the moment. Only the breath. Right here, right now. Breathe in, breathe out. This is perfection. It is never far away, only you stand between yourself and the tranquility of emptiness. Take the next breath, then let it out. There is nothing but the next breath. No you, no self, no time. Good.

Speaking of time, you’d probably better take a look and see how much time has passed. It won’t take more than a second. Less than that, even. Light moves so quickly, and the optical systems in your brain are very fast. Just flit your eyes open for a fraction of a moment. Your phone and its timer app are right there. You won’t need to worry about it for very long, then you can get back to the breath thing, which is what is really important. Listen, you are not going to stop thinking about this until you do it. Just take a look. What can it hurt? You’re won’t be able to meditate proper until you do it. You know this. You might as well give in.

No, no, no, that’s no good. This is a willpower exercise as much as anything. What does it say if you can’t make it through just a few minutes without consulting a clock? Okay, that helps. Good, good. Now back to breathing. Let the breath in, feel how it suffuses your being. How you are the breath, and the breath is everything, and the breath is nothing.

What if the timer already went off but it didn’t make a sound? It’s happened before. It’s a cell phone app. It’s unreliable. Dammit, you shouldn’t have thought that. It works 99.99% of the time. Why did you have to go and think that? Now you have to open your eyes. You have to check. You’d feel like a jackass if you just sat there meditating for too long. Wait, no you wouldn’t. That would be fine. Just have a little faith. You always do this. You always worry about the time and it’s always fine. Just let it go. Just take a breath. Breath in, breath out. Good.

Okay, you’re not going to stop thinking about this. You only got two breaths in, that time. It’s getting worse. You’re going to have to give in pretty soon. You already know this. Look, you’ve put up a good fight. You’re no Shaolin master, here, but you’re on your way. Isn’t that half the reason you meditate, anyway? You think it’s going to give you superpowers? But a journey has to start somewhere, and you’re paying your dues. But you’re only human. For the moment. So just do it. Just open your eyes. Take a peek. Okay, you are doing it. You’re going to just do it. Right in, right out, get it over with. Are you doing this? Yes, you’re doing this. You’re just going to do it.

Oh holy Christmas in July, that feels so much better! That wasn’t such a big deal, was it? Now you know. It’s over and now you know.  You have five minutes and forty three seconds left. That’s not so bad. Now you don’t have to worry about the time anymore. You get to focus on your breath again, just like Buddha would probably tell if you if you were listening to one of his guided meditation videos. Breathe in the universe, breathe out the fickle illusion of your transient. Less than six minutes left. There’s no chance you’re going to worry about the time again. Not very much chance at all. Feel the way the air floods into your lungs, as if that is where it desires to be. Don’t worry about the time. You’ve totally got this. Just focus on your breath. There, just like that. Just like that. Good.

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