“Whatever you are doing, be aware of it”
The title of this post is not a reference to the movie Fight Club. It’s derived from a post by lori at Project-Based Homeschooling around new year’s eve about using the time you can find to get things done, rather than waiting for ideal working conditions to get started. Working from home with a toddler as an officemate is not what I would describe as optimal work conditions for a so-called academic. But, over the past few years, I have learned to work under less than ideal circumstances. I traded in my study carrel at the OSU Fine Arts library for a spot on the kitchen floor, the driver’s seat of the carpool van, an the elliptical machine at the gym…
I was reminded of lori’s message as I read about Dipa Ma, a Buddhist teacher my sister Rebecca introduced me to a few years ago. I should say she tried to introduce me, since I didn’t have time to read the book she gave me 5 years ago about Dipa Ma’s life and teachings until last week. Again, I should say I didn’t make time. According to Dipa Ma, there is always enough time.
Dipa Ma was a homemaker who learned to meditate and shared her practice with others like her. I think her work has a great deal to offer women like me who are trying to carve out time for ourselves, inside our heads, as we work from home surrounded by our children and obligations to others. Dipa Ma didn’t accept excuses from her disciples for why they couldn’t meditate. Instead, she offered suggestions for new ways to approach meditation. Wake up early. Go to bed late. Use the five minutes you have while the children are entertaining themselves. Meditate as you tie your child’s shoes, do the laundry, walk the dog…
I’m not interested in meditation, per se. But I am interested in making the most of the moments I find to complete the work that I want and need to get done done. I want to make the most of my time at work and with my family and friends. I want to enjoy my work. So, I’m going to read more of Dipa Ma’s teachings to see how I might become more appreciative of the pockets of time I find to work, rather than angry about the time I don’t have.
[Note: Today was Rebecca’s birthday. Hope you enjoy this post baby sister. May you find all the time you want and need to sit or stand or do whatever on this earth you want to do.]