Before I began meditating, I spent a large part of my life waiting. I couldn’t “wait” to be a grown up. I couldn’t wait to be out of school. I couldn’t wait until my birthday. Later in life, it became more about waiting for the end of my work day, waiting for the weekend, or waiting for the next vacation. My happiness was dependent upon what the next moment had to offer (and hopefully, it was something good!).
Notice your own experience with waiting. Do you ever find yourself waiting for this moment to pass in hopes of something better in the future? Think about the times you have been stuck in traffic, or had to stand in a long line or wait for someone to pick you up. Are you able to practice acceptance while in these situations, or does your mind start to suffer as you wait for the challenging moment to end? When you are “waiting” in this way, you are not truly accepting of what is in the present moment.
This mindset of “waiting” subsides with the practice of presence. In our meditation practice we sit and become present for whatever arises moment to moment to moment. We practice gentle acceptance when the mind starts to wander and we return our attention back to the breath. We practice patience when our mind starts asking, “When is the timer going to sound?” during our meditation.
On a practical level, we still have to “wait” in traffic, “wait” in line, or “wait” for the next vacation. Or, maybe on a larger scale; wait for test results from a doctor’s visit, wait to hear about whether or not you got the job, the promotion, etc. But, with a regular meditation practice, the concept of waiting softens. “Waiting” just changes to “being” and standing in a long line or waiting in traffic turns into just being in traffic, being in line, just plain old being. There becomes no expectation for a future moment to make you feel better and you start to feel that this moment (whatever is in this moment) is actually fine.
Now is a good moment to start your meditation practice. Don’t “wait” any longer.