Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 2: Just Got To Be Me

In high school, I had a poster of four penguins hanging on my wall. Three of the penguins looked exactly the same in their black and white garb, but one had on a bright pink scarf with purple polka dots. Underneath the penguins were the words "Just Got To Be Me."

And that is what I am setting out to do with this new habit of meditation practice. According to Shunryu Suzuki suggests in Zen Mind, Beginners Mind I'm on the right track. He says the point of practicing zazen is not necessarily to reach enlightenment, because not everyone does. Rather the point of practicing is to connect with our true nature, our true selves and that is what I seek -- to get to know my true self.

I've spent my whole life comparing myself to others and trying to make myself into a mold that will come out on top to no avail and I'm exhausted from my futile effort. Now it's time to finally do as my old poster suggests.

So, this morning I woke up early and this time I skipped the coffee and went straight to the pillow. This was good because it didn't disturb Tater and he slept through most of my meditation. One less distraction!

Despite this, my meditation session was still fraught with noisy thoughts and sore muscles. So afterward I followed a morning flow practice from yogadownload.com. The back bends and shoulder stand left me feeling a little more relaxed and limber.

Unfortunately, the rest of the day was uneasy emotionally. Most likely because I was tired from staying up late last night watching The Starter Wife and getting up early to meditate. I even gave in and bought a pack of cigarettes this afternoon.

I know it's only been two days, but I had hoped to be transformed into my true "pristine" self by now. But maybe that's not the point. Maybe the point is to meet myself where I am and to observe what I do and why with compassion and curiosity. Like observing an animal in their natural habitat. For now, that is the tactic I will employ.

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