My job requires occasional confrontations. Not the pleasant kind that leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy, but the kind that makes you want to close yourself into a quiet room and scream into a pillow. I’ve done a lot to try and curb the “Insta-Rage” that comes along with dealing with rude, sullen, hateful people. My latest idea….meditation.
“Abby,” I said to myself, “you should try to learn how to meditate. Yeah. That’s a GREAT idea. You know, learn to zero in on silencing your mind, quieting your anger, summon some patience.”
Great! Fantastic! It’s an idea, let’s make it happen! So I bought a book.
(This should not surprise you. I’ve mentioned before that I’m an avid reader, and I believe in at least 2 other previous posts I’ve bought a book to solve a problem. The book store is my proverbial therapist.)
So, I’m reading this book…
And I’m learning a lot of stuff. The origin of meditation, who uses it and who doesn’t, what to expect
when expecting the first time you try to quiet your mind, etc. Then I get to the first exercise.
“Sit and relax. Close your eyes and turn your attention inward…Watch the thoughts that pass through your awareness…Don’t judge them, or attempt to hang on to them. Just watch. Notice the nature and content of your thoughts..”
I’ve totally got this. Meditation isn’t so hard. I’m practically a freakin’ guru already. Okie dokie, moving on….
“Notice how one thought leads to another, and how quickly a chain of associations is set up. Notice how these associations sometimes follow a single theme, or go off at a tangent into a quite different set of considerations. Notice how intent your mind seems on distracting your attention…”
Abby’s stream of thoughts, decoded: To set the tone…for some reason the first thought that pops into my head is of that recent Nissan commercial with the polar bear, which always makes me sad. Global warming is not cool…And for that matter, we really need some world peace up in here, too…Hmmm. What should I make for dinner tonight? Maybe a nice grilled chicken with some roasted potatoes. Or B might like some steak caesar….Is my phone ringing? No, wait, I imagined that. I wonder what’s going to happen next on Gilmore Girls? Lorelai just up and left the hunky teacher…but she should really be with Luke anyway. OMG—is today the 16th? It IS…I have a hair appointment with LeeAnn at 5. Shoot. I’ve got to finish up this blog, and fast….What should I blog about tomorrow? Cats? Facebook? Flowers? I like flowers. Man, I could really go for a huge cheeseburger right about now. Ooooh….cheeseburger from Five Guys…NO! No cheeseburgers!! I’m eating healthy, remember!?!?
Wow. That was intense. I mean, I know I think a lot, but how am I supposed to shut my brain up long enough to actually find my “calm and peaceful center?” Well, let’s see what the next step is…the book will tell me what to do.
“Try not to hang on to pleasant thoughts, or push unpleasant ones away. Just watch. Now go one step further and ask yourself, “Who is it who is watching?”
Yep. Ya lost me, Dr. Fontana.
Maybe meditation’s not for me.
*All of today’s quotes were pulled from “Learn to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Self-Discovery and Fulfillment” by David Fontana, PhD. I’m sure he’s totally qualified and knows exactly what he’s talking about, so if you read this, David, don’t sue me for having the opinion that basic meditation philosophy may be lost on me and my cluttered brain.*