Right now I have two obsessions. One is seasonal – cherries – I can’t seem to get enough of them. I’ve already had about 10 so far this morning and I can’t wait to eat more.
The other obsession is meditation. (I love blogging too, by the way, this may be my next obsession.) I started meditating every day last February and I began with around ten minutes and now I’m up to twenty minutes. I could never understand the purpose of meditation, to tell you the truth. It seemed to me that sitting in one place without doing something, made no sense. Years ago I ran three miles every day, went to the gym at least four times a week for years. Now I walk all over city, I love hiking, riding my bike. Burning calories, that I understood. But just sitting was really a crazy idea to me. And then once I heard someone say, “Sitting in one place and paying attention to my breath is the most important part of my day.”
I thought he was really crazy. But that idea stayed with me.
Years ago, when I was dealing with a rather full plate…my mother was in a hospice, my sister was hit by a car, my daughter wasn’t too happy, my husband was depressed about his lack of work, I was a very dark place. A friend of mine (Jacqui – thank God for Jacqui) suggested that I read a book called “The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness” by Pema Chodron.
I was feeling hopeless and blaming myself for everyone else’s misery. I was feeling angry and wanting to change everything about myself, but in the first chapter she says, “loving-kindness – maitri – toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. Maitri means that we can still be crazy after all these years.” I liked that.
And “The idea isn’t to get rid of ego but actually to begin to take an interest in ourselves, to investigate and be inquisitive about ourselves.”
“Precision is being able to see very clearly, not being afraid to see what is really there, just as a scientist is not afraid to look into the microscope.”
So that was a good beginning for me to start reading more about Buddhism and then it took a long time to start meditating. It doesn’t burn any calories though.