Back home after a day out, whether at work or for some other reason. It depends on what sort of day it has been. But for sure the worse it was, the less we want to sit.
And what is it we are coming home to?
So many imponderables. Yet to sit quietly for a while, no matter how hard, can truly re-energise the system. For it is a rare day we arrive back suffused and suffusing calm equanimity. And if we were, we would want to sit and deepen the state.
You may be lucky as I was to take public transport. It does allow you to sit and rest. Instead of looking mindlessly out of the window, we can sit and let the breath calm or energise us. I have to confess I fell asleep most times and on occasion missed my stop. But I always felt the better for it.
If you are returning to a quiet home, then take some refreshment, but make time to sit quietly. It may not be in a formal sitting posture. Let the day run through your mind, from the time you left the house till you arrived back. And see what you have brought home. Is there some anxiety there, some irritation? Was it an overly busy day, but exhilarating and there is lots of restlessness? Disappointing and exhausting? Or do you feel it was a fulfilling day, satisfying?
If you don’t take time for meditation then there is the risk – the near certainty – that whatever you have brought home will strengthen dukkha. Unattended disappointment can so easily spiral downward into depression while exhilaration may fool us into grandiose plans and expectations which will eventually come crashing down in exhaustion. Very sad.
Whatever state you are in, use the techniques you know to level everything off towards equilibrium. Wait till calm equanimity begins to rise.
If you are returning to a busy home, then suggest everyone sit together quietly for a moment. Or if this isn’t possible, then perhaps you could ask to be allowed a few minutes’ meditation and then find a place of quiet for yourself.
And do end with metta no matter how short. It is so important to re-engage with the right attitude. Then make resolutions as to how you will spend the evening skillfully.
The Buddha reminds us, ‘Life is uncertain. Death is certain’ Let’s not waste even a moment.