Recently I’ve been trying to meditate. I say recently but actually I started trying at the start of the year and I’m still unelightened. Here is what happens when I try to meditate:
ok, ommmm, one breath two breath three what’s for dinner is there any wine in the house no maybe I fancy a beer I wonder what time John will be home and whether I can get away with watching True Blood without him knowing I hate Bill why did they cast him it should be a whole hour dedicated to Eric have to make lula’s lunch and damn have to call the bank and ask for big amounts of money will they ask I wonder what it’s for should I tell them or go with the bathroom story need to take lula for her jabs focus focus one breath two breath this is boring why won’t my brain turn off too much to do I wonder if my brother is right and I’ll get killed going round India on my own…
So you see not much enlightenment going on. I’m trying very hard to live in the now. John says that’s very funny because I spend my life living in the future. I’m renowned for it. I’m like Marty McFly, always trying to get back to the future. I can’t help it. It’s because my brain never turns off (see Feeling the fear and a little thing called status anxiety for proof of how it doesn’t even switch off at night). Plus, it’s a really difficult thing to do to harness the power of now, despite what the book says.
Try it, how many times a day do you look back thinking ‘oh no I can’t believe I said that (in my case about two dozen times) / ahhhh those were the days (pre-baby)’ or forward thinking ‘oooh I can’t wait (until I’m lying on a beach in Goa) / oh no I’m dreading that (having no money coming in, sitting through a meeting about gant charts).’
It’s a lot. I bet you you’re thinking about something you have to do tomorrow or next week or maybe in ten years’ time. Living in the now takes practice. The only time I can honestly say I inhabited the now completely was during labour. It really was quite bizarre. I remember thinking at the time, ‘This is now, I don’t like it.’ And as I don’t want to recreate that particular situation on a daily basis or ever again infact, I’m not sure how to find it. (Perhaps I could invest in a gas and air tank and try that as a meditation tool – and maybe some DMT too whilst I’m at it because Bruce Parry made that look pretty cool). I’m getting off track (see why meditating is so hard for me?)
The thing about going travelling is that you spend a long, long time planning for it and then you go and sometimes you forget the journey is the thing, because you’re focussing so hard on reaching the destination. In Lula’s case Disneyland, CA. In our case, finding home. I know, I know, go ahead start calling me Rimpoche.
But the interesting thing I’m finding about this period, the pre-journey time, is how brilliant it is. I’m actually really enjoying the now. I can see John reading this and his eyebrows raising a couple of inches. He’s thinking – enjoying the now? What, like you were the other day when we were trying to pack up the house?
Yeah, ok, there are times that I slip. Times when I hate the now and just want to be on our way. But then I remember that this time now is brilliant in so many ways. We might not be on a beach yet in Bali. I might still be having to work. I might still have a house of toys to box up and a three year old to bribe with Percy Pigs whilst they stick her with needles to innoculate her against all sorts. But now is also good because so many old friends have reconnected with us sharing beautiful thoughts and messages and lots of new friendships have begun off the back of it. So the planning is as big and exciting a part of this as the journey will be and they’re both as brilliant as hopefully the destination will be (let’s face it, so long as it’s not SE London it’ll be great).
by Dalai Sarah