365 Challenge Day 41 – Informal Practice

3 Jul

I haven’t had a daily meditation practice in while. I still sit in silent meditation at least a couple of times a week, but for the most part I have decided to use my practice. After all, if it doesn’t help you live a better life, what good is it?

Today I went to the dentist for a cleaning, something I dislike as much as the next person. This is a perfect example of something that you can’t really get away from. People often ask me why meditation is better for relaxation than, say, reading, or playing tennis, or playing video games. Well, all those things are great, but won’t help you much on the dentist chair!!

I spent the entire cleaning coming back to my breath, and relaxing my body. I couldn’t think of anything else to do! I kept noticing my body tensing up, or my mouth unconsciously closing, so I would relax and open my mouth wider. And I would notice a relaxed breath, over and over. It was pretty hard to drift off into planning or a fantasy because the scraping on my teeth kept bringing me back!! In the end it wasn’t that bad, and the time went fairly quickly.

I don’t really know how other people are at the dentist, but I have often had dental hygienists stop and ask me if I’m okay. Do they usually do this? I wonder if they get nervous because I am so quiet. Maybe most people react more in some way, grimace or at least look around the room. I always imagine that they think I’ve gone into shock or something : ) Anyway, I was happy to have my practice to turn to, it’s always there when I need it.

On a more exciting topic, I managed to produce something out of my very own kitchen today!! I made some homemade vegan pesto, put it on brown rice pasta, and mixed it in a salad with tofu and capers. It was great! I even packed some for lunch tomorrow!!

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