The Meditation of Life

I’m plugging away at this book. Not that it takes effort to read it, but in my life it takes effort to find the time to read.

But it’s important. Because my peace of mind is still elusive; my emotions still, frankly, a bit of a rollercoaster. I am not mentioning this in order to complain, but because my aim is to find the calm I know is there, just around the corner, and my quest is to discover the means.

I know that one sure-fire way is meditation. And, as I have mentioned before, I have every intention of establishing a regular meditation practice. Indeed, I start, manage a few days and then become aware of the fact that I haven’t meditated for a week. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put 2 and 2 together, and work out that it is since I stopped that my life appears to be more turbulent than it was.

And I chose that word carefully.

“Appears.”

Because it isn’t. It is no more turbulent than it was. But without a rigorous practice of eschewing the onion-like layers of story, we are pulled back in; before we know it we are investing all our time and energies in the peripheral, unimportant stuff. And we have no time or energy left to pursue the important things in life, such as relating to those we love, mindfully. If I am not centred, I am not the mother, or partner, I want to be.

Life is like meditation. Bear with me. 🙂

We have a purpose here. We want to pursue it. But we are distracted along the way, sometimes for a long time. Just as in meditation our aim is to sit peacefully, allowing thoughts to come and go, without judging or evaluating them, or ourselves for having them, in that way we can observe reality from a calm perspective, understand a little better at any given moment what is making us tick, what is driving us, where we are snagging on the fabric of life, what is halting the flow; so in life our aim is to be in control of ourselves, not at the mercy of our thoughts, experiences or anything ‘out there’. Sometimes the ‘out there’ detains our attention for such a long time that we have almost lost ourselves in the process. We become entangled in the web.

I have a fabulous app on my iPod for the purposes of meditation. I can choose the length of the practice, what type of bell I’d like to hear, and how often I’d like to hear it. And I need that bell. I am not yet proficient enough not to be taken on numerous adventures during meditation, as my mind plays out whole movies behind my eyes. And the bell goes, and I’m back in the room, back focusing on the breath, only to be whisked off on another magical mystery tour and rely on the next bell. But it is undeniable that the more I meditate, the longer the periods of calm between bells before the movie starts.

So I need a life bell, something to bring me back to the room. And at this point my ideas become entirely cyclical. Chicken and Egg. I suspect that the bell I need to bring me back to the purpose of my life is meditation. And the more I meditate, the less distracted I will be by the story…

Sheesh!

Through meditation, I can centre my thoughts, steady my emotions, become aware of the snags and thorns, deal with the tough stuff. It is the bell to call me back to my purpose.

Allow me to quote Pema Chodron again:

“We don’t sit in meditation to become good meditators. We sit in meditation so that we’ll be more awake in our lives.”

It would appear that I have just talked myself into finding a quiet place to meditate, and with Teddy asleep, Jem working, and Bertie playing peacefully, I’d better not leave it any longer!

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