For the last few years, I’ve struggled to develop a regular spiritual practice. Intellectually, I’m quite drawn to meditation, but I’ve not successfully integrated it into my daily life. I have the usual excuses — lack of time, fatigue, two kids who are continually present when I’m conscious, but deep down I know the issue is priorities. I’m loathe to wake at 5:00 a.m., although I know I’d be uninterrupted at that hour, and I’m pretty beat at the end of the day. I guess that leaves all that time in between… Hmm.
This week, I’ve returned to the strand of prayer beads I made last winter. I was raised Catholic, among other things, and while rosaries weren’t in use in my home, I knew how they facilitated prayer and focus on the divine by adding some structure and repetition to a contemplative time. Some online searching brought me to a page on ideas for UU prayer bead use. (http://www.uua.org/religiouseducation/curricula/tapestryfaith/spiritpractice/workshop2/workshopplan/handouts/59197.shtml). A trip to the craft store, a painstakingly long examination of the beading materials, and another trip to google “making prayer beads” and I was on my way.
Creating the strand was prayer in itself, and for awhile, I was using the beads as a meditative tool, sometimes based on the structure delineated at the above UUA site, sometimes just holding them during meditation. Over a few weeks, my attempts at quiet prayer time dwindled and faded. I’ve spent time on my cushion here and there over the last year, but mostly it waits faithfully by my dresser, calling quietly, while my beads sat a few feet away on the dresser, beckoning gently.
This week, I’m back on the cushion, beads in hand, quiet time with my breath between more “cognitive” meditation. I’m making it my own, finding time because it’s important. I like it, and, for now, it’s just right. Present moment, only moment…