I've always been fascinated by the way our lives come and go in sequences of patterns. At one time you lived in certain place, went to school or work every day along a certain route, sat at certain bus stops every day, and ate at the same few lunch places every day. Then things change, and you have a whole new set of components to your routine. A new home, a new route to work, a new office, seeing different people, etc, etc.
I almost consider these mini-lives. Sometimes when I'm driving I'll pass a certain restaurant or bus stop, and think about how that spot was a part of my life for years. And now it's not. You adapt to changing circumstances, and the new becomes the normal.
In earlier posts I've talked about how I lost my job last year, and because of that I had to move in with relatives for several months before finding a new job and my own place again. I moved four times last year, so I had a lot of daily pattern changes. Different eating habits, different people, different daily routines while I looked for work, etc.
Despite lots of changes, in the last few years there has been one consistent feature in my life: my daily meditation practice. No matter where I was, every morning I woke up, sat on my zafu and did my thirty minutes of practice.
In my old one bed-room apartment I would wake up, shower and shave, then do my practice in my big living room which I had all to myself. When I lost my job I moved in with a sister who has three kids. In order to meditate I had to wake up earlier than everyone, and stealthily move from the sofa to my zafu without making any noise lest one of the munchkins upstairs hear me and come down demanding cereal. When I finally found a job I lived with my mother for a couple of months. This was actually most challenging because of the smallness of her apartment. Now I'm in my own studio apartment again, and practice is much easier.
I deeply appreciate the consistent and unifying aspect that my practice has given my life in the last few years. Change is constant, but there is always my zafu.