My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 5 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.Thanks for your help, Eric!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Progress is approaching

I jumped right in and took the Meditating in Everyday Life course at the Shambhala Centre in December. I’m still a bit hit-and-miss on this meditation thing. See, now I should be meditating, but I’m writing instead.

I’ve made two important discoveries as I sit still (every second day) and struggle through five minutes of solitude.

I like to:
  1. Stay very, very busy…
  2. To run away from writing about stuff I care about because investing yourself in writing is scary.
Just ask Penelope Trunk, who uses squirm-inducing honesty about her personal life--marriage, parenthood, divorce, dating, pending marriage, end of the relationship--and links that to career advice--risk-taking, Asperger’s at work, family businesses.

As part of this meditation course, we’re encouraged to do readings in various Buddhist texts. But in our reminder e-mail, we’re reminded that we don’t HAVE to do the readings. These are Buddhists, remember? What are they going to do if you don’t do your homework? Look extra compassionately at you? Be super kind and forgiving?

For me, sitting still is like trying to sit through a hurricane. When I sit, I have:
  • imaginary fights in my head with family members and co-workers
  • find fantastic success in the publishing world
  • win the lottery
  • watch my life fall apart
  • rebuild from the ashes, and
  • wonder when I’ll get around to using those Crest Whitestrips that are sitting in my drawer

The readings from this course tell us that by meditating we can find our own “divine goodness”.

Ouch! I think I just blew my ganglia on that one.

That just seems so radical to a Catholic raised on original sin.

Just shut up and be still for a while and you’ll find out that you’re just fine. Of course, I’m paraphrasing here.

But I like this idea. I really like it.

The problem is that I’m feeling more snarly and irritated since I started. This is common, apparently. The meditation masters liken the early stages to sitting under a waterfall.

Well I’ve gone over the edge, my canoe is in pieces and I’m being smashed to bits.

It’s very tiring lugging this thought machine around. I’m managing about five seconds of mental silence every second day and it's not enough.

So, now I’m trying to write. And in doing so, I’m running away from meditating.

As my friend Helen likes to say, “Progress is approaching.” She tells me that this quote might be from someone literary, but I'm too lazy to look it up and Helen is too scattered. She also says that the "H" in ADHD stands for "Helen".


  1. I can't get rid of the clutter in my head long enough to I know yoga would be impossible for me. funny even though I have a head full of static I still "feel" I in denial?!

  2. Maybe your head isn't as full of static as you think it is :)

  3. yer fired! As soon as you finish all your work that is. And my work too. Ooh, now we're Cinderella and the Wicked Stepmother.

  4. "Look extra compassionately at you?" Ha. Geez Patti, kudos to you for even embarking on this venture, and being brave enough to write about it. I agree, you're not the traditional meditating type. But you're tough and strong-willed -- you can do it if you want to. You can also stop and eat chocolate if you want to. You have the power!

  5. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, om....chocolate....