Sunday was my Women’s Buddhist Meditation Day, and the group’s facilitator
Yoda Carol began by shutting the door on any latecomers.
‘If you arrive late next time ladies, you will have to wait outside for 45 minutes while we finish our introductions and first Meditation circle,’ she cautioned.
The group of 20 women shifted on their cushions, and glanced round the room, calculating who may be missing.
‘Oh, have I made you uncomfortable? It’s simply too disruptive to admit latecomers; we must each just plan to arrive on time.’
More rustling and looking.
‘We all have families, partners, children, pets, or jobs that may make us run late to Meditation, but that’s not the point. We close the door at 9.30am sharp, and that’s the boundary. I’m setting it, and happy to. If you’re uncomfortable with that, sit with it. Boundaries are not always easy, to set or receive, and especially for women. We are so trained to be ‘nice’, to be ‘good’, to not make a fuss or upset anyone… But boundaries are healthy, so accept the discomfort.’
She grinned her 70+ years grin, and so did I.
I must have missed the memo about boundary-related unease, or perhaps it’s my feisty French socialisation as a child? Whatever I owe it to, I’m incredibly grateful, and by now at the ripe old age of 53, I have no problem in expressing my personal preferred guidelines.
Which includes prompt time-keeping, thank you
I’d driven myself home early from the previous night’s party, had resisted any intoxications or even too much sugar, and was primed to dive into our first group meditation: bring it on.
The ring of the Buddhist bowl signalled the start of the session, and my brain began to sink into itself as I focussed on my breath, leaving the chattering of my thoughts behind… for at least 5 seconds anyway.
It’s hard, this meditating business. I want to get better at it, but it’s hard.
So the least we can do is start on time.
Have you ever meditated? Would you like to try? Part 2 follows soon.
In gratitude for sitting cushions and punctuality, G xO