Uh! There goes the bell for meditation. Better run. That’s the thing about living in community, there’s structure to the day. There’s a schedule of activities which the community follows and formal meditation is very much on the list. But just how much time is enough time to be sitting in formal meditation each day? People ask that question when they are about to leave after an introductory retreat. And people continue to ask that question, after years of practice. Is spending more time sitting better than less time?
Uh! There goes the bell at the end of meditation! That’s the thing about living in community, the bell is always ringing signalling the end of one activity and the start of another. My dad said he couldn’t live in the monastery, Too much like the army! he said. Too much regimentation, too much imposed discipline I’d imagine. What he and probably most people don’t see or understand is that you don’t stop sitting when the bell rings at the end of the formal meditation period.
Uh! There goes that bell again! It is the one that rings silently, an inner prompting, calling me to the next thing – to get to bed.