So, How Do You Waste Your Time?

This question was asked of me at my meditation group this week. It made me think about what we consider to be wasted time in our lives, and if, in fact, such a thing exists.

The gentleman leading our meditation on that day had expected quite bland responses I think – such as watching TV, or sleeping in, or things such as those. He did not get what he expected from his question. People thought about their responses far more than he had envisaged or was prepared for. It was an interesting question for sure, and one I gave a lot of thought to as it came toward my turn to answer.

In the end I challenged the premise.Read More »

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So What, You Just Sit There?

So what, you just sit there?
That is correct
But why?
Energy
How do you mean?

It is a bit like being a self-drive electric car
That goes in to this room once a week
To plug into the mains and get charged back up

And what does the energy give you
‘Me’ness
Don’t you have that already?
I do. But I use it up
I get tired
It needs topping up
By just sitting?
By just sitting

But what do you do?
Nothing
You don’t ‘Do’
You just ‘Be’

What do you think about?
The idea is to step back from your thoughts
Well how on earth do you do that?
By observing them with warm curiosity
And then letting them continue on their way
Like waves that you choose not to surf

That sounds too hard
Well, it isn’t easy

What does the energy feel like?
Shimmering
But not just mine
A mutual fizz
That everyone in the room is party to
A person could see it effervesce on the building’s exterior walls
If they only had the eyes to know how to look

That all sounds weird
It is a little odd that is true

So you just sit?
Correct
Don’t you get fidgety?
Sometimes
So what do you do then?
Don’t fidget
How!?
It is one of the disciplines
To look at what comes up with curiosity
And then let it move on past
I couldn’t do it
You’d be surprised

But what is the point?
Energy
Couldn’t you get that from something else?
Maybe exercise?
Perhaps, to a point
Slightly different sorts of energy though

How so?
This is not just that blue sort of energy
That you feel in your body, in your muscles
No? Then what else?
Green energy
Why green?
I don’t know
Is it always green?
No
Then why green today?
Because today it was green

So how do you feel once you’ve done it?
Light
Is that it?
Not entirely
Warm
Inside?
Yes, but also to all things outside
All things?
Yes, all people
All structures
All natural features
ALL

That sounds quite nice
It is the essence of quite niceness
From just sitting
Yes
And breathing
And being

Hmmm …

It’s still a bit of an odd thing to do though right?
Yes, it is a bit unusual

I still don’t think I could do it
Nobody does
Until they are doing it

Hmmm …

So, green you say?


Copyright © 2017 · Forty and Everything After

The 4 ‘E’s of Every Day Tranquillity

I haven’t been able to go to my meditation group for a few weeks, primarily because I am back at work. And, though that fact has been a great reducer of stress in itself, I do miss my weekly appointment with absolutely nothing but me and my breathing and my body. Those saved spaces smooth out the rough edges of any given week and send a more softly surfaced, tranquil human being back out into the world.

The last time I attended (and before the session began) we had a short discussion about what makes it hard to meditate in our every day lives. A friend of mine who was present that day noted she was once told she should never worry about “Not doing it right” or often enough, or for the right length of time, or any of those other little qualms people who meditate might inflict upon themselves. This spiritual guide suggested to her that our every breath, every day, our every movement on this earth is a meditation, our every gesture and every thought a prayer, and we should not get so hung up on all the other shoulds of what we might perceive “proper” meditation is meant to look and feel like.

I am just as guilty of this as anyone. I do sometimes think “I’m not doing it right!” I get frustrated when the calm I managed to achieve the last time is not forthcoming this time. I get cross at the thoughts that bubble up in my mind and tell them …

“Shush! You are not meant to be here! You are ruining everything!”

I feel grave disappointment that I cannot sit on the floor cross legged for any length of time and hold my hands serenely like I’ve seen other people do in pictures and films. (Incidentally, I should point out, our meditation group is nothing whatsoever like this. We sit in chairs, and people do shuffle, and I tell them off in my head for doing so and distracting me. And then have to berate myself some more for my lack of compassion toward those around me).

Anyway, on this particular day, following our discussion, our group leader guided us to get into a comfortable position so we wouldn’t feel the need to fidget (Grrrrr!), to close our eyes, to start to focus on our breath, perhaps count our breaths if that was helpful … And so began our meditation …Read More »

Today I Am Grateful For …

I have spent the last few days at my best friends house. Circumstances had sadly prevented me from visiting for a while, so I am especially delighted to be here now. I’ve been having lots of fun with her two sons who are full of cuddles and “I Love You!!”s. I can soak that kind of stuff up all day long. Who wouldn’t enjoy such squishy salutation every half an hour or so?

In a quiet moment (which to be fair come few and far between in a house that contains young boisterous boys) I thought I would share a little practice I took up a few years ago, which helps me to capture such smile inducing moments as these, as well as giving me a space to consider the gifts that the harder days in life may have to offer.Read More »

Poison Ivy & Ninja Skills

It is the darndest thing. When you have a mind that, for whatever perverse reason, would rather see you suffer than be at peace. It looks for things to worry about. It looks for things that will hurt you. And, if it cannot find them readily, it will invent them. And my God is it good at that!

I have such a mind.

As I wrote in my last post, some good things have happened for me of late. They had been a long time in coming. Prior to their arrival, I was battling hard to keep on top of the anxiety monsters that were growling and growing in my stomach. Though winning most rounds in this bare-knuckle fight, some days it was a very close run thing. There were many days I had to talk myself down from a full-blown panic attack.

Then these good things came along all of a sudden. And my anxiety got really confused, and not a little angry. And ever since, it has been trying its damnedest to find new things to trouble me with. Read More »

And Then The Whole Jigsaw Landed On My Head

This has been quite a week in the life of me. Things had been pretty difficult lately. Despite my best efforts I didn’t seem to be able to catch a break. That was causing some considerable stress, not only for me, but also for those closest to me. That all changed this week. And all thanks to taking one big decision. To sign up for a course I have been toying with for the longest time.

Having teetered on the brink of an anxiety cliff for too long, starting to despair at the failure of each attempt to move life forward, I finally decided enough was enough. I can either stand here waiting for panic to run at me with all its force and take us both over the edge, or I can say “Screw It!” and jump of my own accord.Read More »

Lessons Learned Log: My mind is not a sausage machine

Some of the best advice I was ever given was by a friend of mine who knew I was wrestling with a particular problem, and making myself sick trying to force the answer to emerge. She bought me a greeting card and gave it to me, a few days before I took myself off on my first ever silent retreat, to try and figure out what on earth I was going to do next with my life.

The card shared the following words from Rainer Maria Rilke:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves”

These words (taken from a letter written by Rilke in 1903) continued ….Read More »