Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Discourse with Self, or Why I Don't Meditate

The thought in my mind this morning, planted there by reading Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, is that following our impulses is not real freedom. In fact, we can become slaves to them.  Now, in my case I will point to a really homely little thing, not hanging up my clothes.  It is related to changing outfits under the press of time and throwing things on the bed.  Or deciding I'm too tired at night and draping them over the brass rail thing beside the bed.  And that's what it's for.  So as I write it is occurring to me to take that incitement to disorder out of there. 

Anyway, this standing mess has led me to declare that my New Habit of the Week is hanging up my clothes or putting them in the hamper.  You see how this is not a matter of discipline vs. freedom? More discipline leading to freedom, the freedom of being able to find clean clothes without cursing your way through a heap.

And then there is meditating every day.  You'd be surprised the explanations I came up with yesterday just meandering, talking with my PT guy while he pulled my arm, breaking up lesions in the frozen shoulder.  It is good to talk while he does that, it takes my mind off the pain.  

But I am aware that talking about the reasons I don't do what I actually want to do is not very helpful. There's lots of Why.  In some quarters, explaining why you can't is called excuses, excuses.  I can imagine a dialogue with my higher self:

me: Ummmm
self:  Go ahead.
me:  Well, I was going to explain how it came to pass that I got out of the discipline of sitting every day.
self:  You were going to do that instead of meditate.
me:  Ummm.........  Anyway, they're not excuses.  They're, like, reasons. Cause and effect. Karma. Like how I'm on narcotics, and sick all the time. And the moodswings from the steroids. And this irregular schedule. I could go on all day.  It makes sense.  Really.  I have a lot of reasons.
self:  Uh-huh
me:  So anyway.  Guess I'll go meditate and get a little more friendly with you, this self that seems a little wiser than me. (Though I would like to explain how when the creative impulse hits, you have to go with it.  An artist's life is very messy.  Well, the unsuccessful artists, at least.   And all these medical appointments........
self: So you have lots of good reasons why you don't do what you really want to do.
me:  [struck silent]  

p.s. I did take the brass rail thing (a quilt rack) downstairs. I did meditate.


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  2. So familiar... :)

  3. Yes, also familiar. Housholder practice is also, as TNH points out, washing the dishes to be washing the dishes, or as I always tried to remind myself, changing the diaper to be changing the diaper.

    1. And not to get through with it? It's been quite a while since I changed a diaper, and as one immunosuppressed, I'm not supposed to without max and gloves. That's not a problem. I do scrape a litterbox. What do you do with your aversion?

  4. Is your aversion based on a fear of finding out that what you hold so dear will come up, like feeling ok? Just relax into meditation. And it doesn't have to be on the floor. While you are searching the net, stop.. turn it off, and your phone off, and just sit there in pure awareness for 10 minutes and feel your bodily sensations and you will find the fear is based on the stories you carry in your head and not your body. Don't plan so much as it will give you time to make excuses as why not....right now is not a good time.
    Surprise yourself!