A couple of months ago I lost my job. I was lucky enough to have a sister who lived relatively nearby with an extra room, so I've moved in with her for a bit. She also has two kids, and our father happens to be visiting for a few weeks/months also. What does all this mean? It means my meditation practice has been dashed on the rocks of erratic sleep schedules, late night tv, and crying toddlers.
But where challenges exist, there is also opportunity. In my new living situation, I am forced to put up or shut up when it comes to living the dharma. We all grew up in families, so you know how it is. When dealing with parents, siblings, and children... it is easy to fall back into the same patterns of behavior of frustration, defensiveness, anger, etc. But instead I'm trying to see it as a chance to seriously practice patience and understanding.
It's more of an experiment really. But one that I am committed to.
And so far so good. One part of this dharma practice is something I picked up from the writer Thich Nhat Hanh. And that is... drum roll please... simply smiling more. It works, on myself and on others.
How is your practice going? Whatever form it is currently taking, good luck with it.