Guidelines For Meditators

Appendix A
List of Approved Reasons For Interrupting A Sitting

The beginning meditator may find it difficult to commit to sitting without giving in to distractions. While it is ideal to sit without interruption for the prescribed period, there are a few situations in which a brief interruption or suspension of the session may be permitted. In order to relieve the beginner of the burden of attempting to determine which situations qualify, a list has been compiled and is included here. Review of this list is recommended immediately prior to one's first twenty (20) sittings, after which one should keep this page available for easy reference.

1. Fire

2. Flood
    A. waters 3" or higher, and rising
    B. your cushion is on the floor, in which case you may move it to a bench

3. Earthquake
    A. you may relocate your cushion under a doorway
       (1) in the event your doorway has collapsed, you may attempt to leave

4. Tornado, hurricane, or tsunami
    A. you may pause to:
       (1) close the window
       (2) hammer plywood across the window
       (3) run

5. Someone nearby calls for help
    A. at least twice, if you're not sure the first time

6. You left a burner on (see 1. Fire, above)

7. You left the water running (see 2. Flood, above)

8. You forgot to put your phone on vibrate

9. It's possible you've left the door unlocked all night

10. An insect you find impossible to ignore is buzzing at the window
   A. if the insect is inside the room, you may capture it in your bowl and release it outside
   B. if the insect is outside, you may close the window, taking care not to trap it between the glass
           and the screen

11. The dog will not stop whining until you let it out

12. Come to think of it, you have to go, and it really can't wait

13. A text notification sounds
    A. only if you're pretty sure it's from someone you really miss

14. You remember an email you actually really do have to send right now
    A. or a text

15. You can't stop thinking about the last piece of cake in the kitchen
    A. have you had cake yet today?
    B. how likely is it someone will take it if you don't get it first?

16. It would probably be good to make the shopping list now, before you forget

17. You notice the bedspread is hanging longer on one side

18. A "Kung Fu" rerun is on
    A. only if you haven't seen the episode they're showing
        (1) or not within the last six months

19. A really insistent poem
    A. extreme caution is advised: some days, everything sounds like a poem.

by Andrea Wolper

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Widely known as a singer and songwriter working in jazz and experimental music, Andrea Wolper is also a writer whose published work includes journalism, poetry, and two non-fiction books (Routledge; Watson-Guptill). www.AndreaWolper.com