I just read another blog about meditating and how such a practice can change one’s lives. I have been meditating now, off and on, for over 40 years and most recently have completed over 800 straight days, maybe only 10 minutes sometimes like when I am traveling, but I at least sat in quiet for that time, however short. This is not to brag, but simply just is.
Can I attest to meditation changing my life with absolute conviction? No, I can’t. However, I must say that I do see things differently, maybe this is simply due to me being an old guy. One comment I remember making to a friend back in the 1970s after I took the course in, the then popular, Transendental Meditation. I remember saying that when I’m driving through the city, which I did a lot for my job then, I felt that I hit more green lights than red.
I think that still describes my life today. I notice things differently, especially I have a deeper love for nature as well as humans and the human condition. Some of that probably comes from my study of Buddhism. But, rather than flipping off a driver that cuts me off, I rather send him or her some positive energy that they might experience more awareness and love for others.
I mention awareness, yes, I am more aware of my surroundings and of others. I like to notice my surroundings and the people around me. One saying I learned some years ago, “Notice what you notice”. I like to make people smile. I like to say hello to strangers and offer a smile. I like to engage check out people at the grocery store. I have found that most checkout people love it when you simply ask about their day. I feel if I might make one other person happy, they might do the same for someone else.
I have studied other meditation practices since my early days, mainly Buddhist practice which I do to this day both at home and at the Sangha on Sundays for a 45 minute sit. Some folks ask me how I can sit that long without fidgiting or “doing” something. I am doing something. I am being alone with myself and in that emptiness of wonderful nothingness. Time actually goes by quickly. I find now, especially after my dedicated practice, missing a day would be like a day without sunshine, without food or water, a day without any meaning.
This might be enough for now. I usually don’t write about me personally so directly but through my stories and poetry, but this was fun. More later? Carry on out there . . . and wash your hands. Peace and blessings.