Last spring I met a man on a ship who, when we were discussing parenting, said, “If I could give my children two things, it would be to teach them meditation and speedreading. That way they could never sleep and learn everything.”
I’ve thought about it a lot. I am a seeker of knowledge. At one time this winter I was listening to Coursera lectures on Modern Mysticism in Europe, Morality in Everyday Life , Emotional Intelligence in Leadership and the beginning of a class on Soul Beliefs. At the same time, I was trying to catch up on some old Psychology lectures from the fall.
I get what I have done to myself. I have changed my daily walks from a time of contemplation to minutes and hours filled with distraction…albeit good information. What I notice is that after years of walking without earbuds, I am a bit thrown off if I don’t have anything that entertains me. My already busy mind has taken on new dimensions.
I realize that it is my personality* to want to do it all. It is difficult for me to make priority decisions because everything is captivating. I hate missing out. F.O.M.S. (Fear of Missing Something) is my middle name.
At this time in my life my best learning is probably not from college professors. And I may not need that stack of books by my bed. What I need is to practice what I have already learned. I need to practice love, thoughtfulness, tolerance, compassion, empathy,
What I need is stillness. Perhaps if I learned that well, I could share it with my children.
*Couple a Gemini with an Enneagram 7 and you have a peripatetic ball of activity.
There are so many lessons in life that I struggle against. I want to feel that it is someone else’s job to study…not mine. “They”should change what I cannot accept.
Do I think I can escape the lesson if I resist it? Not really. I realize by now that if I dodge what is put before me, it will appear in another way at another time. Life is good at pop quizzes.
And I have such peace when I relinquish the struggle and am still. I am learning this along the way. To live my life, be mindful, and wait.
It is a waste of my mind to let it travel down the same roads over and over, looking for an answer that is evident if I stop searching for a way out and begin learning.
The answer always comes.
“Look to yourself,” it says.
I wrote this on December 31st of last year.
“I speak without thinking and say things that require backing down or apologizing. I move without planning, getting myself committed to things I don’t want to do and bruising myself on whatever door I left open (dishwasher?) in order to dash to my next tsetse fly moment.
Yet, because of my particular problems with ADD, I have put on my calendar to meditate each morning. Otherwise I just jump into my day without thought. Meditation doesn’t always quiet my mind, but it quiets my body for a little. I have set aside (on said calendar) 20 minutes to step into silence and stillness.”
As I scroll through past drafts and read my unfinished thoughts, sometimes I am puzzled. Where was I going? What was my point?
On this one I am laughing.
I have been true to my intention to meditate at least once a day. I needn’t look at my calendar to remind me.
Yet I still speak and move without thinking.
But what the heck… for twenty minutes or more each day, I’m not hurting anyone.