this little light of mine
I knew it.
I knew going into my sit tonight that it was gonna be a crapfest. Sorry for the lack of eloquence. But I am cranky and irritated and I really just want to be asleep right now…
Yes. It is possible for meditation to put you in a really bad mood.
Every other second of my sit tonight was so frustrating that I started to feel sick to my stomach at the thought of sitting still for one more minute. That’s right, I said at the very THOUGHT. I was THINKING. Through the whole damn thing…. well, through most of it anyway. I did manage to bring my attention back to the breath, where it would stay for a whole whopping millisecond before sneaking away to my thoughts and how much I was HATING sitting… like a snotty petulant little child. Ooooooh! just thinking about it now is making me so angry.
The good news is that, like most things in Buddhism, what I just experienced not only has a name and a description…. but it also has a place and a purpose in this journey of mine. In Buddhist scripture, there are five hindrances that block the road to spiritual progress. They are:
1. Sensual Desire
2. Ill Will
3. Sloth and Torpor
4. Restlessness and Remorse
5. Skeptical Doubt
The idea is that at some point along the road to becoming an enlightened levitating ninja, every one of these bad boys is going to rear his ugly head. So the pat on the back for me is that it seems I am on the right path. The not so great news is 1 down, 4 to go.
As I have stated a bazillion gazillion times already, to me the most fascinating aspect of meditation is how much of what I am learning on the cushion translates to off of it. Hindrances and Obstacles are a part of our daily life whether you subscribe to eastern philosophy or not. Life continually throws its proverbial curve balls at us, and at times it seems as though we just can’t get a lucky break. I have learned from the two most important men in MY life that A) Whining, complaining, and feeling sorry for yourself is for wussies and B) you can get through anything this life throws at you. ANYTHING.
I respect my father more than any other being on this planet. Achem. MALE being. Male.(sorry bout that slip mom) He is smart. He is kind. He is loving and caring and humble. He knows what is important. He is funny and charming and stern when it is needed. He has lived the majority of his life with a debilitating disease that has prevented him from doing many things that he loves, including most activities with his kids. He has had three open heart surgeries and we have almost lost him a handful of times. I have never once heard him utter a sound or statement in which he pitied himself or asked “why me”. I am sure these moments have occurred within the privacy of his own thoughts… but to his family and friends, he has remained a pillar of strength and humility. He continues onward with a lust for life and love that is inspiring to all that know him. I am so proud to be his daughter.
My brother was hit by a subway train in Prague 6 years ago. He lost both of his legs. The doctors said he would never walk with prosthetics, save to transfer himself from his bed to his wheelchair. My brother’s response? See for yourself Even now, even six years later… I look at him and I am so incredibly proud. Proud to be his sister, proud to be his friend. Proud to stand along side him as he reinvents himself and finds new ways to uplift and inspire.
What is it within both of these men that allows them to confront their obstacles, their hindrances head on? They both just decided to get on with it and in the process show us all that when we put our minds to it… there is no mountain we cannot move.
And we all have this within us people. We each have our own little light, our own little beacon… only it’s up to us whether we let our hindrances prevent us from ever finding it. Tonight I sat my big ol butt on that cushion and I stayed there through every moment of meditation hatred. Every time my mind screamed that I couldn’t sit there for one more second I patiently brought my attention back to the breath. It wasn’t earth shattering, I didn’t create world peace. But good lord, there is a little light of mine, and damned if I ain’t gonna let it shine. So go forth my dear hearts and shine on!! SHINE ON!!! xx