Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Two years ago I was at a Vipassana meditation site in Illinois for ten days. We listened to the teacher's recorded voice saying those words over and over again; "Patiently. Persistently." as we sat in posture for eight or nine hours a day, observing.
I have grown to love these words, as they have slowly seeped in during the course of the last couple of years. They spoke of a quality of forgiveness. They spoke of an attitude of gentleness towards myself as I worked through all the ways I thought I was "doing it wrong." (Oh, my mind is wandering again. I'm not really, actually meditating, I'm just "trying" to meditate. My back hurts. I want to stop this...on and on. ) They also spoke of a tenaciousness at the same time. (Keep going. Don't quit. From the top of the head to the tip of the toes and back again, observe sensation: observe tingling, itching, aches, pains, cool, warm...whatever it is. When the mind wanders, simply go back to the place where you left off. Begin again from there.)
I hope I haven't been rambling too much, but do you see where I'm going with this?
I've been trying to apply this same principle in my life; this very same spirit of forgiveness and tenacity, to other things...to making my marriage work, to maintaining and improving my health, to my personal campaign (lately) to do small things differently, just to see how it goes...see how it feels. (Pick up the phone, for instance, CONNECT with someone. Stop putting some little thing off...move TOWARD it instead of away. ) Most of all, when I slip, begin again where I left off. No biggie.
I'm feeling on a little shakey ground yet with all of this, yet. It's nothing exactly concrete. Paul Simon has a song with a line I love: "Before you set your sails," he sings, "drift in the wind." I'm drifting a little in the wind right now.
Maybe more later :)