But if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need

Things I needed today:

  1. A hug
  2. A belly laugh
  3. An hour of silent meditation
  4. Kindness

Things I got today:

  1. A hug
  2. A belly laugh
  3. An hour of silent meditation
  4. Kindness

Sometimes, a day is challenging. What the hell are we all doing here if we don’t welcome occasional challenges? None of them was particularly serious. (Hello there, new job outside my comfort zone. Oh, hi, parenthood.) Nobody died! But I had a momentary lapse of coping skills, and needed to lean. Luckily, I was on my way to accept the offer to lean on a dear girlfriend.

Just in case, I stopped along the way to pick up a failsafe.

wine

And then I went to my friend’s dojo for a zazen session. I’m a former denizen of Quaker school. I loved silent meeting, man. At first, the group silence chafed 16-year-old me. And then it clicked, and I shed a lot of the anxiety and depression I was carrying for no particular reason. Since then I have loved — and craved — being in a quiet group of people who are all inwardly tuned into a search for peace and calm.

I wasn’t expecting instant healing. But sometimes when you aren’t looking for something it sneaks up on you sideways.

It wasn’t a perfect moment of bliss. Some of the 60 minutes took longer than others. The real net gain was not Buddha nature but rather a gentle reminder that this is an authentic place for me. Also, there was chanting. When I’m called upon to sing in front of people, my brain serves up self-consciousness with a great big ladle.

After the seated meditation, there was circle time. They called it “dharma sharing,” but that didn’t fool me. I know circle time when I see it. The assignment was for participants to share a vow made to keep in the new year. People spoke, even beautifully. One old guy quoted a poem: “Snow, sleet and hail. They are all different. But in the end, they’re the same water running down the side of the mountain.” Not sure how that’s a vow, but I’ll take it.

Ever do that thing when you know you will be called upon to speak before a group, and you lose the rhythm of the moment because you were trying to come up with something to say? I did that. The vow that brought me through the dojo door was one to myself to fight anxiety. And I was too anxious to speak.

That, and some more girlfriend time brought about the belly laugh. Have one at my expense. I don’t mind; I am content. Here, you can have a glass of this wine, too.

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About pantsinspace

I'm an inch deep and a mile wide. Not literally. But literarily, sure.
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