Thursday morning

26 Aug

‘Mum.’ The door is pushed gently open, the words are whispered.
‘Yes?’
‘Have you started?’
‘Yes.’
‘So that’s what you look like when you’re meditating.’
‘Yes.’
‘Oh, okay. See you in ten minutes.’
Closes door softly, then runs down passage yelling, ‘She’s doing it. She’s really meditating.’

It’s just over a week before we leave Adelaide and return to Abu Dhabi. In anticipation of this event, I have been practising mindfulness, awareness, gratitude and have, after a great number of years of thinking, ‘I really must get back to that’ returned to meditation.

Now, according to all of the self help books I’ve read over the last six months (and if there’s one I haven’t read, I’d be surprised), this mindfulness, in the momentness, this too shall pass kind of approach is just the trick for getting through stressful times and situations. And I think at this stage we can agree that living in Abu Dhabi is stressful for me.

I’m not too bad at being in the moment and so on (yes, yes, I know I’m not supposed to be judgmental about it, where I am is where I am and so on), but I’ve got one piece of logic that I just can’t work my way through. The question I keep asking is this: if I can be content at anytime anywhere, then why do I know that I am, overall and on balance and weighing everything up, happier here than I can ever be there.

There’s a long stretch from here til enlightenment. And hopefully enlightenment can be achieved without silence.

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9 Responses to “Thursday morning”

  1. franzy August 26, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    “if I can be content at anytime anywhere, then why do I know that I am, overall and on balance and weighing everything up, happier here than I can ever be there”?

    Because your happiness is reliant on externalities. Externalities like “your family”, “your friends”, “your writing” (your history, your culture, your Central Market, etc). These things are possessors. They possess you because none are permanent and this impermanence always carries with it fear of loss and pain.
    Only once you can let all of these things go, then you will achieve a happiness unconnected to any external matter, like location or love, and this inner happiness will last as long as you do because it is internal. Your only concern will be your inner being and your thoughts and meditation shall not need to be turned outwards, only inwards, over the self. The self which is permanent and which you never be afraid of losing.

    How cheery is THAT?!?

  2. Pen August 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    It has also been bothering me recently that sometimes I do not wish to be in the moment, because that particular moment is shit.

    • ThirdCat August 26, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

      okay, for that, the answer is still up there in what franzy said about the impermenance…the ‘this too shall pass’ kind of idea…but I have, so far, been completely unable to put any of this into practice. I shall report further on my findings as I uncover them.

  3. franzy August 27, 2010 at 4:47 am #

    Actually, I think I was trying to make some ironic point about the fact that happiness is relative to unhappiness, or at least dissatisfaction. If you detached yourself from everything which makes you happy now (see: family, friends, coffee) in pursuit of being happy ALL THE TIME, then how would you tell the difference? Do you want to be so internally content that even if someone cut your arm off, you would still be internally content? (with a slightly higher contentment p/kg ratio)

    • ThirdCat August 27, 2010 at 5:23 am #

      I’m going to have to think about that for a bit.

  4. The Coffee Lady August 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    I certainly think that someone cutting your arm off would interfere with any attempts at meditation.

  5. Zoe August 27, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    I’m with franzy. Can you imagine Buddhists going door to door? “Hi, I’d like to talk to you about Buddhism. The first thing you should know is that everything is fucked.”

    Some things do just make us happy.

  6. blue milk August 28, 2010 at 6:22 am #

    Your story reminds me of when I bought my partner a massage for our anniversary and paid a masseur to come to the house – what luxury, except that every two minutes our toddler was in there going “What are you doing Daddy?” and then slamming the bedroom door on her way back out.

  7. kazari August 30, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    Of course you can find contentment anywhere… it’s just going to be easier in some places than others.
    When you belong to a place, it looks after you.

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