I did end up going in to work even though I wasn't feeling very well. I needed to get out of the house and really didn't want to use up a whole sick day if I didn't have to. I felt pretty queasy at work but the afternoon went by fairly quickly. I was able to finish my painting of the forget-me-nots and start on a new one. At the rate I'm going, I'm going to have quite the collection!
I think that painting is actually meditative for me. It relaxes me and as I paint I find the lines between myself and "other" blur. The distinction between the art and the artist seems to disappear. Am I creating the painting or is the painting creating itself? Is there really any difference? I'm sure many schools of Buddhist thought would say no.
I'm also becoming more mindful when walking. I notice that I tend to rush around a lot and when I do notice this, I force myself to slow down and pay attention to walking. When I am rushing, my mind is elsewhere, usually on my destination or thoughts of the past and fantasies of the future. So I slow down my pace and at the same time I find my mind follows suit. Just by being mindful of walking brings my awareness back to the present.
I've definitely been struggling most with the meditation aspect of this experience. I am constantly looking for opportunities to do meditations, like walking as I mentioned already, but also when I'm sitting on the bus or waiting for a call to come in when it's quiet at work. I usually meditate with my eyes open, as I was taught to do when I did my visitation to a Buddhist centre a few weeks ago, but sometimes I'll find it easier to close my eyes because of the distractions around me. My concentration is definitely not good enough yet to be able to ignore the distractions. I am finding that I'm able to sit up straight longer before my back starts to hurt though. I think my posture is also improving. I feel like I'm straighter and taller when I'm walking and sitting. I'm more aware of it when I slouch too, so I think that better posture is something that I'm definitely going to gain from this experience... hopefully not the only thing!