Guidelines for Meditation When You Live with Two Kids, Three Dogs, Two Cats and One Spouse
1. Go away, far away, to some quiet isolated spot with no phone or internet service, preferably an undisclosed location.
2. Realize Plan A is impossible. Embrace Plan B.
1. Remind yourself it is essential to get dogs inside prior to beginning your session so as not to be interrupted by barking.
2. Immediately ignore The Dog Location Rule and leave one or more dogs outside.
3. If your kids are home, inform them you’ll be meditating for the next 20 minutes. Close the bedroom door.
4. Sit down, settle yourself into your seat, take a few breaths and start to sink in.
5. Within 2.23 minutes of sitting down, the dog you allowed to stay outside will start to bark. Notice your ire rise—with the dog and with yourself for blatantly ignoring the Dog Rule.
6. Take a few deep breaths to calm yourself. As you’re kicking yourself for ignoring the Dog Rule, remind yourself this practice is about non-judgement and acceptance. Try to accept the failings of yourself and your dog.
7. Walk calmly to the door to let in the dog who is just doing what dogs do. Or stomp towards the door because you’ve not yet reached nirvana with barking dogs.
8. Return to your seat. Notice the cat has magically appeared. Allow him to get settled on your lap. Breathe and notice the vibration of his purr and the warmth of his body in your lap.
9. Breathe. Feel your mind start to settle.
10. The bedroom door opens and your husband comes in. Open one eye and look at him. He tiptoes past. The shower starts running. Ignore this distraction.
11. Sometime between minute five and seven, hear a knock on your door.
12. Say, “Yes????” through gritted teeth.
13. Hear your fourteen your old son inform you he needs more hair gel. Nod at him and close your eyes again. Feel him stand there and stare at you for 30 seconds before hearing the door bang shut.
14. Wonder why he never wants to talk to you in the car, while you are in the kitchen cooking or any other time you are obviously available. Wonder why he still feels the burning need to tell you things when you are meditating or on the phone. Wonder if this ever changes. Realize you are very distracted from your meditation.
15. Hear a dog paw at the door wanting in. Amend the Dog Location Rule: all dogs should to only be inside the house but also inside the bedroom.
16. Hear the door open. Your husband goes out and the dog comes in. Hear the jingle of tags and feel the shake of the bed as the dog joins the cat in helping you meditate.
17. Focus on your breathing and settle in again.
18. Your meditation timer goes off. Realize the twenty minutes you had available to you for meditating has disappeared while you managed children, dogs, cats, husbands and need for hair gel.
19. Wonder if you should stop announcing you’ll be meditating.
20. Wonder if you should start meditating in the car or some other place away from home.
21. Resolve to try again later. Imagine the perfect scenario for your meditation—no one is home, all dogs are well exercised and in the house and you have twenty minutes to yourself. Wonder if this miraculous confluence of events will ever occur. Realize this sounds a lot like Plan A.
22. Once again, embrace Plan B.