In practicing living in the now, I question how much I am and avoiding negative feelings/thoughts and how much I am guiding my thoughts to experiencing the now. I am aware of my thoughts and feelings and sometimes those feelings are fear and anxiety. Sometimes they are hope and pleasure.
For example, I find myself in a moment of happiness then suddenly I begin to feel fear. It’s a feeling that says, “Why are you happy? Don’t you know this won’t last? Did you forget that you’re not working? And you don’t know where you’ll be living in a few months? And you don’t know what your finances will be like?” Then I take a breath and say to myself “The future is uncertain,and all you know for sure is what is going on right now. Just be here now.” It makes me wonder what is healthy for me. There is the “feeling your feelings” thing, and there is the “living in the now” and I feel like they conflict each other, yet I also know that they are both true. I can’t make heads or tails of it.
I went to a day-long meditation on Saturday and I slept through most of it. It was a 2 hour drive to the location and I could not stay awake through the talks or meditations. I wish I would have been able to get more out of it, but it was what it was. A glorified communal nap.
I did manage to jot down a few things though. “Emotions are guests to your house and each one deserves to be acknowledges and treated with respect”, “The mind is an organ and one of its jobs is to excrete thoughts”, “Meditation is not a means by which to ‘fix’ you, meditation is a gift of love to yourself”, “The space between the stimulus and the response is where freedom is. It is the place where you have the freedom to choose”, “That which you resist persists, that which you embrace transforms you.”
I also found a book there that I’ve been looking for since 1995. It was the first book I read on Buddhism and it opened my mind to the concept of impermanence. I usually gift a book that I love to someone, and back then, I gave it to a friend of mine knowing that someday I would find the book again. I couldn’t remember the name of the book or the author, but knew that if I saw it I would remember it. And wouldn’t you know, there at Spirit Rock, I found “Hidden Mind of Freedom” by Tarthang Tulku.
Today I went to the weekly Revel Dharma sit and it was packed with a lot of good information. I need to start taking my journal in with me during the talks because I can’t always remember what we talked about when it’s over.
What I do remember is that today I had a very quiet monkey mind and it was easy to being myself back to the breath. A part of me keep questioning, “Why am I doing this? What’s the purpose?” The during the talk I realized that when I have a challenging meditation (loud thoughts, negative thinking, etc.) I get the feeling that I’m doing something, so when meditation is easy I feel like I’m not doing anything. I realized that things don’t have to be difficult in order to be meaningful.
So here’s to balance and living in the now.