My garden is bare now. The garlic bulbs are planted for spring fruit and the days are shorter. Darkness comes about 4.30pm but my daughter persists on bouncing the basketball outside well into the evening. She's practicing for the day when she can play again for the day when the travel team meets again, for the day when she can try out for a professional team. She's committed. Despite my persisting hip injury I am still coaching running club on a Monday night and wrapping up what was the strangest-ever season of cross country at the local 'early' college where kids start college classes as young as 14 years old. My cross country runners were/are committed. At least three of them, sometimes five, showed up whatever the weather promptly at 4.30pm and get on with their warm up and never complain about the brutal workout I gave to them every Tuesday and Friday. They traded their Friday night opportunity of going into town for pounding the pavement of campus. My Monday night community runners are committed. They show up every Monday after a long day of work, child-care and whatever other domestic tasks may be on the to-do-list. They do the run. They go home. They come again. They are committed.
...and so I am inspired and so I wish for you to feel inspired too! I'm inspired by my daughter and by my cross country runners to commit. The one thing I've tried to commit to over the last few years is a regular self-guided meditation practice. I was very regular at attending sangha up until Covid-19 got her grip on us all and now that our weekly meeting is on Zoom I can't seem to stomach anymore time on the screen that is absolutely necessary and so I haven't been to sangha in over a year now. I know that my meditation practice provides peace -- both in the moment and carries into my day. My practice grounds me and brings me back to my breath in times of stress. My practice deepens my everyday awareness. I need it, those around me need it, the world needs it...and so I committed. I created a space in my living room and traded my morning routine of checking the weather, updates from my boss and the New York Times morning edition, for 15 minutes on my cushion and it has made all the difference. I invite you dear friends to also commit. Spend a few moments establishing what you need to truly nourish yourself. Create the space. Stop the excuses; commit. You will see the change.