|May 15, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle|
I have no idea what I’m doing.
Those were my thoughts as I entered the pagoda by the Japanese zen garden. It was a cool, misty morning, and the pool’s waterfall filled the soundscape. I sat down on one of the meditation cushions, placing my bright yellow bag on the deck by me. I crossed my legs & relaxed. I looked to my far right. The man already seated there was serenely still, with his eyes closed. With so much beauty in the garden, how could he close his eyes? With that, the steady flow of my inner, perhaps inappropriate questioning began.
“Are you sensitive to incense?”
A gentle, kind-faced woman asked me as she sat to my immediate right. “Not at all”, I responded. Good, I thought. Clearly, she’s the guide for this meditation session. She was a calming presence; I was sure she could talk me into relaxing. Incense lit, I wondered why we wanted to smell that when the dewy country morning air was so sweet. I set that aside. She struck a gong-like chime. Oddly, it brought tears to my eyes, and I thought, “omg?” (Do you think in text talk? Sadly, I do.) Interesting beginning. But then…. silence.
Silence?! I thought this was a guided meditation!
I became uncomfortable. In my peripheral vision I could see that legs were crossed & eyes were closed. There would be no talking. I was on my own. My ego stepped forward. I immediately noticed that I was the only one not wearing Birkenstocks & socks. (If you follow TSP, you know I love a cute shoe. Enough said.) I was the only one not wearing brown & black. I was the only one not shawled under a blanket. God help me, I’m sure I was the only one considering fashion don’ts @ that moment. I was off to a bad, caffeine-deprived start.
My brain scrambled to remember anything about meditation that I’d read or watched.
Ok, so you’re supposed to breathe. Check. You’re supposed to release white-noisy thoughts as they come into your mind. Fail. (I had already judged the Birkis, & now I looked down to consider that maybe that yellow bag was a cry for help.) Ok, try again. Release the thoughts & focus on your breathing, in & out. In & out. Better…..
I couldn’t close my eyes. Why not? What was wrong with me? Arghh….!
I’m a peaceful person. I should be able to do this, damn it. Suddenly, I noticed that the shimmering reflection of a tree in the pond’s gentle ripples was as relaxing as a candle flame. Ego disappeared. And the chatter stopped; what I call my Squirrel!-brain quieted. I noticed that my body was so relaxed that it seemed to somehow be floating below my mind. And then, the writer took over. Big time.
She started writing rapidly, in full & visual sentences, mind you, describing the experience.
I started to kick myself for working while meditating. (Is that a felony or a misdemeanor?) I had silenced the squirrel alert – now I had to deal with an annoying blogger posing as a wanna-be Buddha? Then it dawned on me: this was why I was here. This should not be silenced.
I gave the writer full reign.
After all, amongst its many benefits, meditation is supposed to enhance creativity. So be it! I’ll write this post in my head before I get home. Unfinished, the writer quieted. It was eerily still in my head. (Where’s that when I’m trying to get to sleep @ night?) Then, I heard that familiar voice from within. She’s calm, still & wise. She has saved my life, and she guides me daily now. I deeply respect her. She’s Intuition. She said: “Patience. You have never been patient with yourself.“
Finally, I closed my eyes with ease. Amidst the water’s soothing cascade, I could hear birds, frogs & the town waking up. I didn’t want to leave. And – apparently, neither did my entire left leg. It had fallen sound to sleep, from my toes to my hip! Great. So much for zen. I had to move my leg, or I wouldn’t be able to stand up when this was done. (When was this supposed to end, anyway?) I lifted my leg to uncross it, and gracefully hit the deck rail with my foot. As jarring pins & needles traveled up & down my entire leg, the sound seemed to echo through the entire garden. I’m such a dork. Oh, look – there were cows on the hillside. When did they arrive? Squirrel!!
And the silence was broken. What I thought was a half hour had actually been an hour well spent. I walked back to the car, grateful for permission to be patient with myself. I have infinite patience with animals. I have patience with their humans. But with myself? I’m trying. Rusty is infinitely patient with me, and he has a Squirrel!-brain. He seems to know what he’s doing. I’ll learn from my Birki-free poodle Buddha.
Boy, do I have questions for you!
Do you have meditation tips for a newbie like me? What have you learned about yourself through meditation? Are you patient with yourself? Did your pets teach you patience? How did that lesson present itself? Please share! xxoo ~Ruth & Rusty~
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