Friday, August 29, 2008

Meditating with Ajahn Brahm

Ajahn Brahm is like my best friend. It turns out that he has all the right things to say that address almost exactly how I'm feeling.

Today I'm feeling a little yucky, for no apparent reason other than that I'm trying to get my husband's cold. Nothing is good for me, everything feels bad. I don't want to do much of anything and I'm not interested in anything going on in my life right now.

One of the books I'm reading now is called Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond by Brahm. It's a book about meditation and I'm just at the beginning. I'm reading the book because I want to get good at meditating again. I used to be good, and now I just sit around and feel itchy and distracted when I meditate. Brahm says that there is no such thing as a bad meditation; I try to believe that, but I feel really ineffectual at it. I want it to come right now and be really deep and meaningful. I want to drop my brain into a deep meditative state and realize answers to all my problems. He's got a funny story about meditation and the struggle with instant gratification: he talks about the person who goes to work on Monday, works real hard all day and goes home without a paycheck. Tuesday he gets up and does the same thing, working and working but not getting any money. He does this all week, until Friday. Then he works hard and gets a paycheck at the end of the day, paying him for the previous days' worth of work. Meditation is like that sometimes, lots of hard work at it for seemingly no pay-off, until the day we have perfect meditations and get exactly what we want out of it. I'm still waiting for my big pay-off.

Something else he says struck a nerve in me, especially today:

In meditation, experiences come one by one through the doors of our senses into the mind. If you greet one experience with mindfulness and then start a conversation with it, you will miss the next experience following right behind.

And I realized that I've been going about this day all sideways. I've been looking for the next experience, and the next and so on. And I feel like I have nothing to experience at all, nothing to make me happy, nothing to make sense to me. I'm floundering in all this non-experience, and that's something to experience all on its own.

I don't know what this means to me yet, but for the first time today my mind is a little bit more focused and I feel just a little bit less floundery about myself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This reminds me a little of something I did yesterday. I had bought a set of Goddess amulets and I've been slowly working my way through one of the readings called the Spiral Journey. Yesterday, the amulet I drew for my 6th step in the journey talked about how we might not see immediate rewards, but our efforts change our environment. My favorite part was when it said, You can't plant a tree and expect it to bear fruit in the same day. All of these things have a gestation period, and if we were to be given everything we wanted all at once, we'd be overwhelmed and would inevitably sabotage ourselves.

I took a lot of comfort in this, and it was kind of one of those lightbulb moments for me. :) Keep on truckin' with the meditation and trust you'll get there.

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