Wednesday 7th July 2010
One year ago.
I’ve been meditating.
For the last few nights, I’ve been sitting in a room, with my eyes closed.
Trying to go blank.
I don’t really know what I’m doing, but that’s okay. I’ll just keep going.
* * * * *
I started last week. Suse has been meditating intermittently for years. And then with increasing frequency over the last few weeks. I’ve noticed a considerable improvement in her mood; more relaxed, less easily upset.
So I figured I’d give it a go. I’ve been blessed with something Buddhists describe as Monkey Mind – a restlessness and, at times, indecisive nature. I feel most comfortable when in lost in my thoughts, when I’m buried in busyness. It wasn’t until a few weeks back that I even understood that my consciousness is separate from what I think.
“There are people out there,” my coach said to me, laughing slightly, “who don’t even realise that they are more than their thoughts.”
“What do you mean?” I replied.
I wasn’t even trying to be funny.
If you don’t get it, that’s okay. Just quietly, I think I may have forgotten by now too. Just go and buy a copy of ‘The Power of Now’. It may make you more earth-aware, and if not, it’ll send you to sleep in under a minute.
* * * * *
Letting go of my ego, of the belief that I am what I think, is a huge leap. Consequently, the concept of stilling my mind until there are no thoughts left pretty damn confronting.
What will be there if there aren’t thoughts? Do I even want to find out?
The answer is yes. It always is. If I have resistance to something, then undoubtedly I should try it. It mightn’t be for everyone, but for me, if I don’t want to do something, it’s the first sign that I should.
Just like the time I shot up heroin and killed those forty innocent goats.
Did I just say that?
I must be tired.
* * * * *
“I think I should meditate with you tonight,” I said, sighing as I looked at Suse.
Her face filled with joy.
So we retired to the bedroom. She sat on her buckwheat pillow, legs folded in Lotus position.
I sat on a chair.
I’ve never been any good at crossing my legs. I vividly remember being in Grade One, sitting on the floor, looking around at all of the other kids and thinking, “Why are you all doing this to yourselves? How can you even concentrate on the story while your legs are folded in this excruciating way?”
So I shot up heroin and killed those goats.
This time, I just sat on a chair.
“You just have to keep your back straight, for a free flow of energy,” Suse said. “Any time you notice a thought, just return to your breathing.”
I looked across, not really understanding.
“How long do we do it for?”
“How do we know when we’re done?”
“You just know.”
“Do you set an alarm?”
She laughed, before stopping herself. “No, you don’t set an alarm.”
She closed her eyes, and turned away. So I did the same. I sat there, and I kept my back straight, and I concentrated on my breathing. Each time a thought came into my head, I returned to my breathing. I got restless legs, and an itch on my arm, but I tried to ignore them. And I returned to my breathing. I noticed myself thinking about the washing, and the next-door neighbour’s gate, and I returned to my breathing.
At about the fifteen-minute mark, I felt a strange heaviness behind my eyes. I noticed my breathing rate rise, and I felt a buzzing in my torso. It kind of ascended, gradually entering my head. And then I started wondering what it was, and it disappeared in an instant. As if swatted away by thought. It disappeared much quicker than it came, my Monkey Mind acting like DDT.
The following night, we did the same. This time, my legs ached. My feet wanted to move. I found that I was focusing so much on not moving my right leg that I felt like, well, shooting up heroin and killing some goats. My leg was there, just there, attached to my body, screaming out to me: “Move, me! Move me, just a little bit! Just fucking move me a skerrick!”
There was no buzz.
There was no rising up.
There was nothing.
* * * * *
Same thing the next night. This time, when it was over, I was mighty relieved. Like it was the end of a long sentence.
In the days since that first time, I’ve not got the buzz back. But I just keep going. Most of the time it sucks, and I don’t want to do it. But that’s okay.
I don’t want to eats my greens either, but I do.
And that’s the main thing.
* * * * *