I'd like to be honest, and confess that I'm in recovery from watching the shopping channels. Many years ago I did shift work and I'd get home from work in the early hours of the morning. The shopping channels were there for me... the presenters always pleased to see me. It was easy viewing.
The nature of addiction means I have relapses. So every so often I will indulge and put the channel on, see how my old friends are getting on, and have my mind blown by the products available to buy.
Like did you know it's a problem to have your batteries in a drawer? It's such a huge issue that a little case has been invented to store all of your batteries (with special compartments for each size) so they're all neat and tidy. I mean who has the money to spend £35 on this battery storage case and then the additional funds to fill it with every type of battery?! I guess Siddhartha would have back in the day. But for those of us who aren't princes, we can only dream.
I admitted this guilty pleasure (can it be called 'guilty' if I don't feel the least bit bad about it?!) to a few friends who expressed a combination of surprise and concern that I'm frittering my money away. And then it dawned on me... I treat this recreational activity as part of my practice and it's an excellent if slightly bizarre metaphor for meditation!
I can see the thing they're advertising, all the phrases designed to excite me, (One Time Special Price, or Available on Three Easy Payments) and... I can choose what I do with their invitations. Sure I could go online and scoop up the deal, but I can also just watch as the offers expire.
I don't advocate watching the shopping channels, but I genuinely think my experience here helps us connect with the nature of the mind; easily distracted, excitable, appreciates simple tasks otherwise it will make up its own activity. When we meditate we learn to watch our thoughts, and become aware enough to choose whether to follow them or not.
And if nothing else, this article has shown that invitations to meditate, exist everywhere!
My next 10 week yoga and meditation course runs Jan 13th - March 17th, there are three ways to practice this course. Click here for details.