April 7, 2014
My daughter Sarah had a beautiful butterfly stroke. She was eight years old and swam with fluidity, strength and desire. I loved sitting in the bleachers watching her swim, marveling at her ease and determination. Sometime that year, her father set up a trampoline in our back yard. The kids were overjoyed and I could feel disaster looming.
One day after school the kids were having a great time on tramp. I was in the kitchen making dinner when I heard Sarah scream. I looked out the window and saw her crumpled on the ground holding her arm and her brother running in to get me. She had fallen off of the trampoline not while jumping, but while trying to sit down on the edge and missing the rim with her outstretched arm, falling to the ground arm straight palm first. She’d fractured her elbow.
What does this have to do with mindfulness or meditation? Lately I’ve been thinking about what brought me to practice, why I practice and what sustains me. Sarah’s elbow fracture was really bad. It took lots and lots of physical therapy and many months to heal. It was the end of that beautiful butterfly stroke.
One day Sarah and I were talking about what sort of activity she thought would be fun and she suggested yoga. Not long after that, she and I took an Introduction to Yoga class series where my meditation practice crept back into my life and really took hold.
So when I think about what brought me to practice, it was my husband buying the trampoline and my daughter falling off of it. I can’t say that I’m grateful for the trampoline accident. We got rid of it not long after, but I am grateful to my daughter for choosing yoga and allowing me to go to class with her.
I was lucky enough to have a yoga teacher who integrated meditation quite naturally into her teaching, and the same teacher for introducing me to a book written by Sylvia Boorstein, who is now one of my primary teachers and mentors.
Why I practice and what sustains me are two sides of the same coin and are mutually supportive. Mindfulness practice both in formal meditation and daily life help me live a kinder, more compassionate and wise life through cultivating clarity and patience.
I don’t always get it right, but practice supports and sustains these intentions, and keeps me on track. And when I do get it right, I know why I practice. It really works.
What brought you to practice?
Why do you practice?
What sustains you?
Why do you read this blog?
“We know what is proper, especially in difficult situations, from the wisdom arising out of contemplation.”