To say that I am not a morning person would be an understatement approximately equivalent to saying that Voldemort has some anger issues. I’m the kid who never took an 8am class in college or grad school, because I knew I’d never pass it. When we were looking at kindergarten options for the Hatchling, I immediately ruled out any school with a start time earlier than 8:30, because we would be tardy Every. Single. Day. My natural schedule would see me going to bed around 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning, and sleeping until 10:30. I yearn for the days when I have surly teenagers who sleep until 1 pm so I can go back to sleeping in myself. I’m also a person who a) needs a lot of sleep and b) looooooves sleeping. Some people can function on 5-6 hours of sleep per day; I am not one of those people. If I don’t get 7 or 8 hours a night, I’m an irritable, edgy, semi-functioning mess. I find sleep almost perfectly satisfying, whether it’s in the form of a mid-morning catnap or a luxurious weekend lie-in.
However. I am thinking that I may need to start getting up … argh … before my children do, ack, because I have not been finding regular meditation time, and it is making me cranky.
Meditation is a key element of Buddhism, some would say THE key element. The Buddha said, “Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.” Buddha taught that meditation leads to both serenity and insight, which are the “swift pair of messengers” that bring nirvana. I dunno about you, but I certainly could use more serenity and insight in my life. At a practical level, meditation makes me a much more patient parent, makes it far easier for me to weather the ups and downs of life, and dramatically reduces my urgent desire for mood-altering substances like cocktails and all-expenses-paid cruises to the Mediterranean. So, for many reasons, I need to find regular time to do it. During the school year, I was managing to meditate while the Hatchling was in school and the Sprout was napping, but that’s no longer our schedule. I could do it after the girls go to bed, but y’all: I am fucking TIRED at the end of the day. All I wanna do after the girls go to bed is sit on the sofa and watch Glee. (While checking on my online class and surfing Facebook. Ahem.) So I think mornings are going to have to be the time.
At any rate, for the next two weeks I’m going to try to get up before anyone else and do some zazen. Surely even *I* can do two weeks of early rising, right? I’ll keep you posted.