Time Between Meditations

When I was a child, as we pulled away from mass on Sunday mornings, I would often hear my father point out the irony in witnessing the less than loving and kind behavior (measured principally through driving) of the very people that just walked out of a sermon on how to be better Christians.  He perceived a disconnect, between our behavior in daily life, and the practices and teachings of our religion.

Similarly, while the practice of meditation is certainly a separate, very intentional activity that has tremendous importance, so too does the time between meditations. We help develop our mindfulness through the practice of meditation, then try to maintain that mindfulness between meditations.  

While a formal seated practice serves as a reboot button of sorts, we aren't fully benefitting from our meditation if we surrender all effort to focus the mind at the end of our sit.  Actually, when we no longer make an effort, then at best we're running in place, or even perhaps setting ourselves backward, for unmindful behavior leads to an even more agitated mind, a mind even more stubborn to tame the next time we sit to face it.

Therefore, meditation can inform our time in between, and our time in between, for better or worse, certainly informs our meditation.

So when we use this word "practice", I encourage broadening the scope to instead consider that our moment to moment existence itself becomes our practice.  While we can measure our meditation by minutes and hours, our practice is 24/7/365, and we can measure its efficacy by the healthy changes in the mental habits of our daily lives.