Hot and Cold
By my bedside I keep a very small book called “Mindfulness on the Go; Simple Meditation Practices You Can do Anywhere” by Jan Chozen Bays. In it she describes 25 very small practices that one could choose to do daily or even several times in a day. She says that these practices came from Zen monasteries. Generally, the monks choose one practice to focus on for a week.
This one really stood out for me – because I am one of those folks who is more or less constantly “too cold” and complaining about that! I wear warm socks to bed and sometimes gloves. Left to my own devices I would surely have the indoor temperature be at least 72 degrees. This is a lifelong irritant between my husband and me! So, this little practice was meant for me. Let me just say I’ve tried it and it is not as easy as one might think! But perhaps you’ll want to try it out if, along about now, you are getting tired of winter!!
The author says; “Pay attention this week to the sensations of heat and cold. Notice any physical or emotional reaction to temperature or temperature changes. Practice being at ease no matter what the temperature is. When your mind says “too hot” or “too cold”, don’t believe it. Just investigate how your body receives the air around it and where exactly and how does your body feel…. You may even discover that not ALL of your body is cold, what percent is actually cold?
While doing this, we are allowed to see how we are more or less constantly trying to make ourselves more comfortable in lots of ways. We cross and uncross our legs when in a chair. We clear our throat. We salt our food before we taste it and on and on. When we are “too cold” there is an assumption that somehow this shouldn’t be so. The sun and the wind and the air have conspired to make us uncomfortable. I remember visiting the state of Washington once when it rained for 23 straight days. And I was miserable for those 23 days. But I did notice that others were just going about their business as usual – without complaining about the rain and cold. Some with umbrellas, some without. I wondered what it would be like if I just stopped complaining about the rain. Not only was it raining, but I was insisting that this was “wrong” and somehow should stop! What would it be like to simply accept what is?
It is impossible to always be comfortable and the nature of things is to change. Could I practice seeing “too cold” or “too hot” as simply a fact. If I could open myself to this, maybe I could begin to learn how to open myself to whatever life brings.
I also hope you’ll check out this sweet little book. Find it by clicking here;