Thursday, October 8, 2009

Meditation, not magic!

It's not easy being green. Sorry, just had to say that with my blog's new look. That is one of the best songs ever by the Sesame Street, oops Muppet, gang (thanks, CAROL), and I feel such a strong psychic connection with Kermit. Hope I'm spelling the little guy's name right!

Speaking of psychic connections, do you ever get those with your family? Here's how Andrew & I thought alike last evening at the middle school intro to its sex ed class. Every student who attended was asked to stand up at the end, and say one reason to wait to have sex (there were lots of examples posted overhead). They all did really well and had lost some of their shyness through some good role-playing and interactive activities. So Andrew said one of the reasons that were posted. But then he whispered to me, "I was really thinking that I want to save myself for that special person." I did a little dance, because that's exactly what was going through my mind at that moment. He got it!

I meditated yesterday in the truck, in the humid heat of downtown Floresville, while waiting for the kids. Waiting, waiting, waiting; Carol wrote a post about how that is a parent's life! This was an example of an unpleasant meditative experience, as I had rolled down the windows a bit and found myself attacked by countless mosquitoes, inside my truck. Sorry, I am not a monk, and I cannot ignore the feeling of being stung, although that's what a good Buddhist would do.

So that was an annoying interruption. Just like so much of life is. It was all just a series of annoying interruptions, and then I died. Put it on my tombstone!

So tonight I was indoors to do my 25-minute meditation, but it was still stiflingly hot and still and damp. That feeling before the really strong storms arrive and the strong, cold air, the dead stillness that precedes the violence. I found my mind was just bouncing around, and I could not keep it still. It was an anxious, active mind. I know you find that impossible to believe, but work with me here.

I find that my eyelids constantly waver when I try to close them while awake, and they mimic my mind. If I can get my eyelids to finally calm down, then my mind does the same. Perhaps this goes back to a scary story I remember reading as a child. There was a murderer in the house, and he was canvassing the bedrooms of each child. Somehow, the children were not a threat to him so long as they were truly asleep; but if they were awake, they would get it. He got to the child who was narrating the story, who was pretending to be asleep in bed. The murderer hovered over the child, watching him, for the longest, longest time, before deciding he was really sleeping and moving on.

See, if it were me, I would have been a goner. That's what I thought when I read that story, and it's still true today. If some murderer ever approaches my bedside to see if I'm asleep and I am not, they'll kill me for sure because my eyes will be flickering like crazy. (Unless I am wearing my eyeshades. Yes!)

It took me a while to become aware of this flickering-eye habit when I was meditating, which I consider progress. So now I have an easy focus: calm my eyes.

Tonight, I added this thought to still my mind. Wait. Wait. Waaaaaaaaiiiit. I should be used to that concept by now, being a parent and all.

This is how it is also a powerful thought, one that can connect us to the great beyond. John Milton, in his poem "On His Blindness," says,

"They also serve who only stand and wait."

This is an apt description of meditation, though Milton did not intend that meaning.

This was before Milton wrote "Paradise Lost," but he knew he was supposed to be doing a great service for the Lord. "'Does God demand day labor, light denied?' I fondly ask. But" ... I forget the rest, but it's one of the poems I carry with me always. It makes me a better person for having read this poem and loved it. Great poetry is transformative like that.

I know this entry bounced as much as my mind, tonight. My apologies to the reader.


  1. A) Kermit was a Muppet - was he on Sesame Street, too?
    B) What the heck kind of a children's book were you reading with the roaming child murderer??
    C) Thanks for your post!!! I read each and every one!

  2. A) Details, details. Now I need to fix my post so someone else isn't offended.
    B) There are lots of scary kids' books out there ... just because you don't have any in your house!
    C) Thank you.
    D) How is your dad? (You'll probably never see this but I was just thinking about him again.)


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