Becoming Buddhist

Attempting to Live a More Mindful Life


Taking a Break

Long silence. (Actually I blogged on Christmas, but just found that post saved as a draft. Oops.)

I was with my family in New England for the holidays, and though I managed to meditate the first few days I was there, the practice quickly went out the window. This had to do with logistics, like jet lag, and not much private space, but I think also, mostly, had to do with the culture at my parents’ house, where I grew up.

My folks are lovely, lovely people. They really are. And they are also the type of folks who get up every morning and steep a cup of black tea for 10+ minutes before popping it down the hatch. They have another cup around noon. They bustle about, finding things to do. My dad is prone to periods of hanging out, but my mom seems to always feel that something needs to be done and is not getting done; she’ll invent errands or jobs or projects. When we were there we drove to the store every single day, I’m sure, and every meal was a production (a delicious production, but still).

A couple days in, Lex said to me, “I feel like we’re never going back to Berkeley!” I knew what he meant. I was drinking that strong tea along with everyone else, getting impatient with Marc’s…laid-back ways, and generally feeling the East coaster in me coming out. And I was definitely not meditating.

But I was noticing. I was noticing that I was not blogging and I was noticing that I was not meditating and I was noticing my impatience with a) my husband’s laid-back ways and b) my mother’s moments. Mostly I felt like I was on vacation from the practice. But this morning, back home, I got up for a very stiff yoga session and a brief meditation.

And so I start to build again.

One of my resolutions–and I have addressed the idea of resolutions before–is to work at this practice in January. That resolution goes in the pot with the plan to finish my book; start a fossil-fuels divestment campaign at my alma mater; clean my house to within an inch of its life; and explore my fertile and not-so-fertile self. The biggest resolution is to do it all calmly, mindfully, and in a balanced way. I don’t teach in January, you see. I am so excited for a break.