from the outside, it looks like i’m meditating

Nov 13, 2022

From the outside, it looks like I’m meditating


Assuming the noble posture feels like a homecoming after exploring seated practice from monks, mystics and madmen, through pages and in person, for three decades.

Stillness is my home.  Silence is my preference. And has been so since those early days when playing possum kept me safe.

The silhouette of my meditating body on the cushion is deceiving though because there’s a battering ram of resentment behind my solar plexus pushing outward. It’s anger and disappointment directed at myself for not setting a clear boundary allowing someone to take advantage of me.

My stomach muscles close up like a fist at the thought of how many times I run into the same walls, day after day.  A sense of dis-ease settles over my heart and I instinctively put both hands over it protectively in case the physical unrest snowballs into dread or even despair.

With my heart in good hands, I imagine my breath is coming to and from my heart. I claw my way back to noticing the unremarkable spot on the floor in front of my crossed legs.  There is nothing else.


From the outside, it looks like I’m doing the dishes


I am keenly aware of the soothing sound of the water running into the sink and I pause my scraping and stacking of dishes to just watch the bubbles gather at the base of the kitchen waterfall.  I open and close my hands under the warm soapy water then massage them for a moment as gratitude for all they do.

My eyes follow the rhythmic motion of my right hand moving a soapy dishcloth around a plate I’ve had for years.  I recall why I chose the colour and pattern at the time.  I choose to not let that thought evolve into a full-length memory movie.  Instead, I let the thought follow the bubbles down the drain under the running water as I rinse the plate.

The smell of the soap arises as I move the dishcloth inside a glass.  I suddenly remember that I’m running low on soap and that it needs to go on the shopping list.  Rinsing off the glass, that planning thought joins the others down the drain.

Other thoughts currently in the plumbing tend to be about problem-solving, organizing, and otherwise managing this uncertain existence.  Those thoughts aren’t very conducive to being present.  Right now, I’m doing the dishes. There is nothing else.


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