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Why I meditate on the loo…

Finding space in small surroundings

For over three weeks, my mother has been staying with my sister and I in our London one bedroom flat. Earlier this year, my sister moved in with me so she could save some money. Early next year we will move to a larger, roomier two bedroom flat. However that is not now. Not today. 

As I write this, my mother is sitting in the living room watching something on tv and I am sitting working in the kitchen. My mother and I have had a rocky relationship, so the close quarters of my flat have felt very small. I’ve had moments of anxiety, explosions of anger and just the frustration of wanting space. Lots and lots of space. But that has not been possible. I have also wanted her to enjoy her trip as much as possible and the fact that I work from home and my bedroom (where she is sleeping) fits a small double bed, a bed side table and chest of drawers has probably felt very small for her as well. It’s cold outside, so there is no where to go and just sit. Each day is filled with work or social outings. There has been few silent moments. Which as someone who meditates to maintain my balance, has been difficult. 

So, when the first couple of days saw me filled with frustration, I realised I wouldn’t be able to go a month without meditating. In fact I needed to meditate more than ever! So, when I realised that the only place I had privacy and could sit without someone calling my name or asking me a question was the loo. I started to take longer showers and even longer to get dressed. But really I was sitting on the loo and meditating. Just short five minute sessions that have allowed me to keep my sanity and ensure my mother has a lovely trip.

Even in small surrounds I can find a place to breathe and meditate. Just. 

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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