Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Go hide in the bathroom

The question my students ask me most is how to meditate. There are about 500 million ways to meditate--but my students, particularly those with children--they really want to know where and when and how the heck do I get my children to leave me alone for 5 minutes. My answer is always, "Go hide in the bathroom."

I know this sounds very crazy. Perhaps a little gross. And a wee bit extreme. But, I have a long history of hiding in the bathroom. I hid in the bathroom when I was so tired of being yelled at for screwing up during an elementary school game of volleyball. I hid in a powder room when I was uncomfortable meeting Mike's extended family for the first time. I hid in my parents bathroom when I broke curfew (secretly hoping, they'd give up and fall asleep before grounding me). I hid in the bathroom just last week when the Mormons came knocking.

I also find myself locking the door and taking a hot, long shower and just well, breathing. The children have to fully occupied, but if they stray (because when they want me, Mike is powerless to stop them), the shower is running and the door is locked and well, I can't hear them.

Other times, when the girls are being chaotic and crazy (their natural disposition), I take 30 seconds and hide in the bathroom. I just pause and I breathe. I compose myself. Ask for patience and a kind-heart and then I go back to the fray.

The bathroom is sort of my sacred place. Weird, yes. But it is highly functional. The 5 minutes in the shower or the 30 second pauses--those are like the "thinking before I speak," moments for my soul. I emerge from my bathroom meditation, a little kinder, a lot more patient and a tiny bit closer to bliss.

So, how do you meditate? Just go hide in the bathroom. Everyone has one. No special equipment required.




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