I started meditating and doing a lot of yoga over the Summer. It was wonderful and I felt better than I have in years. Moving really threw that routine I had for a loop. All of a sudden the here and nowness of everything was so pressing and I lost touch with a lot of my internal workings as life became one big reaction to external circumstance. Then all of a sudden here I am again, snapping at the boys and letting my mind go on the way our minds like to go on. An endless loop of fears about what was or what might be.
Thank God we finally headed to the library. The library here in Sheridan is gorgeous. Chalk up another reason I absolutely love it here and know that this move was the right thing for us. While the kids headed to the kid wing, I bee-lined for the self-help section. There I found The Not So Big Life, by Sarah Susanka. Yeah, the architect lady. I loved her Not So Big House, and I really enjoyed what she had to say in this book as well. She's a wise woman, that one. Among other things, she reminded me that meditation is simply an essential part of life. Most meaningful for me was how she connected meditation with Albert Einstein's famous quote:
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
My mind can chew away at a problem all day long, and it does, but it's not going to get me anywhere but harried. When I meditate, I turn those problems over to my higher self. It's a delegating of issues to an awareness that is much more capable of dealing with them than my conscious mind, at least at this point in my life.
Now, meditating. It ain't easy. I struggle to not feel upset with myself or disappointed that I have such a hard time finding those fleeting moments of nothingness beyond the constant chattering of my mind. I know I will get there. For now I just sit and observe the remarkable stream of consciousness that spews forth. It's good, I remind myself, to confront the craziness that goes on inside our minds, lest we take it EVER seriously. As Susanka wisely asks us to remind ourselves: "I am not that thought".
When meditating, Susanka tells her readers to let the thoughts float out and away, not to consider them or worry about them, and that eventually the brain will give up trying to distract us and embroil us once again in what she calls the waking dream. The last couple of times I sat, I expanded on that visual, letting the thoughts bubble up and out of every pore and pocket of disfunction, and like an underwater body expelling air, I felt myself go deeper. The thoughts rose and popped on the surface, where the waking dream was playing out, but I sank deeper. I saw myself sinking into the dark abyss, the place where the line between myself and the universe becomes indistinct, where I had no use for air, no use for thoughts....
Well, the timer went off. I didn't get there, but I feel sure I'm on my way.
In line with my reacquainting myself with all things spiritual, I found this great looking FREE online course in mindfulness and meditation: https://sites.google.com/site/mindfulnessonlinecourse/
I am all enrolled for the session starting September 2nd, and will report back after I start. I also stumbled across the Sheridan Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. A church organization I'd never heard of. I'm thinking of attending next Sunday. Couldn't hurt!