Meditation: The Anti-Bedtime Story

Around our hose we’re re-vamping ritual and routine as I settle into my daytime schedule and more yoga teaching and trekking. Last night we meditated together for 20 minutes right before crawling into the sack and I realized it was the ultimate anti-bedtime story.

Now, you may have children or remember your own bedtime story experiences fondly – I know I do. It seemed stories were a ticket to dreamland back then. But I was a much less accomplished multi-tasker back then, and the stories seemed somehow closer to my normal life. My imagination was so free and so rich and I had so little figured out about how the physical world worked that stories almost felt like an escape: everything got explained, everything had a trajectory and a place, everyone had a character – someone to be. It was comforting, and my Dad’s voice made it seem so stable and real.

The stories I tell my grownup self are not so comforting, and reading a book doesn’t interrupt them as completely – probably because my stories are about the details of my everyday life, and I think I have so much figured out about its underpinnings – certainly more than a 8 year old girl who still wonders who decides on floor tile patterns and if they mean anything and whether I can decode it by squinting my eyes just right.

Or do I? Meditation was the perfect anti-bedtime story. I didn’t have to listen to anyone else’s voice (NPR podcasts are a favorite of mine for being lulled to sleep. Not because I find them boring, but like my childhood stories they are neat and delivered in soothing voices…) or to my own endless internal chatter.

While meditation is a bit strenuous on its own, all that awareness and breathing can wear a girl out!, I snuggled into bed, the stream already diverted, the feeling of sheets on my body and feet on my feet absorbing my being. The anti-story: Meditation. Try it… and let me know what you find.

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