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.

2 Thoughts on “Cherries and Meditation

  1. Anonymous on June 24, 2008 at 3:37 pm said:

    ….Rob, you are AMAZING and never cease to impress me with the number of things you’re willing to try to create a very full life for yourself. Bravo!

  2. Welcome to Blog Nation, Robin. Can’t let the kids have all the fun. The Pema Chodron video clip about the non-negativity of negativity reminds me of a woman who suffered from desperate, debilitating fear of cancer recurrence. She felt her fear as an enemy, ruining what remained of her life. One day, she confronted her fear as if it were a person, and demanded to know why it was tormenting her. Her fear responded that it was trying not to hurt her but to protect her. Thereafter she felt profoundly different–even grateful–toward her fear. Also reminds me of what Nancy Samalin used to say about how our kids’ problems often are attempts to solve other problems. It was certainly true in the case of my daughter, whose compulsive, alcohol-abusing, grade-sabotaging, curfew-breaking, parent-enraging socializing was a desperate attempt to make the friends she felt she needed so she wouldn’t have to endure the humiliation of eating lunch alone. Once she explained it to me, I stopped wanting to wring her neck and started to sympathize with her.

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