I was talking to a new Dharma friend this morning about how I actually go about my practice, and as she seemed pretty interested, I thought I would share what I said with you.

My alarm goes off at 5:30am and I get up and head downstairs to the living room. My house is not big enough for a dedicated meditation room, so I meditate in the living room before everyone else gets up.

The first task is to straighten the room out, put the TV remotes back by the telly, tidy the cushions, pick up my son’s socks and probably his school sweater, and take out dishes and glasses from last night’s activities. I then have a quick scan around for crumbs or other such which I pick up and remove. I don’t mind doing this at all because cleaning the meditation room is one of the preparatory practices. Instead of being a cause of irritation, it is part of my spiritual practice.

I then pop the kettle on and make decent cup of coffee. While it is brewing I set up my little shrine on a nest of tables – Buddha Shakyamuni, and offerings of a tealight and a pinch of rice.

I bring in my coffee and do some prostrations before sitting on my cushion. I have a fleece blanket for when it is cold.

I listen to Heart Jewel on my iPod and when it comes to making offerings, I offer my coffee imagining it to be the essence of all the pure and delightful things in the world, and then drink it. At the end of my session I take down the offerings and put my Buddha Shakyamuni back into the utility room. All I leave is a nice, clean, tidy room.

I usually start at around ten to six and finish at about seven o’clock. I then write up the blog, and get on with my day, trying to put my meditation into practice.

So there you have it.

Best wishes