It’s amazing how you can never be short of distractions when you sit down to meditate. When there’s not something outside trying to engage your brain your mind creates all sorts of things to get your attention.
Today I had a nice simple case of stomach rumbling to deal with. Part of the problem with night shifts is your get up at 3pm after about six hours kip and your body is all confused. It wants breakfast because it just got up, but it’s the middle of the afternoon. Is it snack time or time for a full on meal?
And really there’s no answer (except get a proper job). You can’t eat until you’ve exercised, as you don’t want to make yourself sick. Or if you do eat you have to wait two hours for everything to work it’s way through a bit. So you either get on with it or you decide to put it off ’til later.
I got on with it. After yesterday’s ‘forgetting’ I wanted it done in good time. But that meant I had the stomach rumblings to deal with, and as distractions go they’re a doozie. I think it’s no coincidence that the day Buddha became enlightened he’d just had a small meal of rice pudding before he sat down. That just underlines the ethos of the Middle Way for me. No point going hungry if you don’t have to. There’s nothing to be gained by it.
And it underlines the need for regular practice too. If your body knows it’ll get fed an hour or two after you’ve got up it doesn’t worry about it, provided you get up at about the same time each day. If you get up when it expects to be fed, well…