Monday, April 28, 2008

Bright and shiny objects

I'm noticing that the mind has layers and layers of defenses, like an onion. There are countless ways I avoid discomfort: I blame others for my pain, "check out" of my body, ruminate over past injuries, daydream about another (better?) life. To remain fully present takes a tremendous amount of work. Pema Chodron writes that one must do whatever it takes to break out of the patterns that keep us stuck in our suffering. "Sing, dance", just do something different. When you're in an emotional state of mind, this poses a real challenge. I have a habit of disconnecting and floating around the ceiling, a ghostly apparition. This is the purpose of sitting regularly, to bring me back to the present moment, to let my mind do "mind things"without judgment, and choosing to remain calm and centered regardless of what's going on upstairs. My shoulder hurts, my neck aches, I feel like falling asleep. And I sit. My mind prattles endlessly. Thoughts flash, the cool silver of a thousand minnows. And I sit.

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