There’s this thing I do off and on called zazen which involves sitting on the floor staring at the wall, trying to concentrate on my breath. If it sounds like watching paint dry, it is. Actually it’s even more boring than that because the paint on the wall is already dry.
It’s also the most effective way of chilling out I know. By just sitting there, trying to come back to my breath whenever I notice my mind wandering off, I’m seeing for myself the transient nature of my thoughts and emotions, and enabling myself to reground during the course of my day. The idea is the more I sit, the more natural this becomes, and the easier my life is to live.
Maintaining regular zazen isn’t easy though. Sometimes I find myself willing to sit, if not positively keen; other times I find myself utterly unwilling. But a dozen years in I see that sitting off and on isn’t enough – at some point I’m going to have to stand up (or, rather, sit down) and say, “This practice I have found, it is good, it is right, and I shall do it every day of my life.”
Am I at that point yet?