Mindfully wasting time on a Meditation Retreat

time 2 waste
According to Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

A time to waste?
time to waste 2
Take our little black cat, Lady Lillie Liquorice, here wasting time in an elegant and experienced fashion, soaking up the sun on a lounger in front of the house. Setting the perfect example of intense mindfulness, she can often be found here, wasting time doing less than nothing, in a very accomplished way, for hours on end. Unless an uber-fortunate and very determined guest on one of our Mindful Meditation Retreats beats her onto ‘her’ sun lounger.

time to waste
If anyone dared to accuse her of wasting time, I am sure she would be hugely offended. She would insist that she is by no means wasting time, but that is is mindfully watching the hours roll by. I would have to agree with her on this: I do not think any time spent mindfully could ever be classified as wasted.
Enriching? Yes.
Invigorating? Yes.
Elucidating? Yes.

Wasted? Never.

That is why, once Lillie has taken up residence on the green sun lounger, with her head resting on the thoughtfully provided cushion and her eyes screwed half-shut, in the front garden, no guest, however desperate or deserving, is allowed to disturb her morning meditation. Lillie is convinced that she can instruct guests most effectively on meditation and mindfulness by setting an easy-to-imitate example. Prof Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness and equanimity right here and right now.” From these photos, it looks as if Lillie agrees.

This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Time.

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