We spend a lot of time looking for the answers to our problems.
OK, how about: I spend a lot of time looking for the answers to my problems. I dunno what you do.
Sometimes this “time” is during the day, sometimes I’m looking late at night, sometimes, wait… I’m always searching! I’m so frequently searching for answers, solutions, fixes, and ways to avoid pain and seek out pleasure that I often forget the simplest thing: The Now!
Freedom from suffering is in “the now”, peace is in “the now”. It’s all here, now! In this moment… and this moment… and this moment.
Last week was my first week in LA. It was a roller coaster ride made up of the highest levels of excitement and the lowest and darkest fears. I made some new friends and connected with old ones, I suffered through the hottest heat and breathed ash and smoke from the burning fires all around, I spent hours and hours each day applying for jobs and even more hours in the car driving, I went to the ER for the first time in my life due to some really bad acid reflux (and a few other little problems in my body which lead me to believe I might have been dying on Saturday night) then I went to Irvine and had some very rejuvenating “mommy time” (with Lissy’s mom, and dad, and dogs, and pool!) I made it back to my room in one piece, got a check in the mail from my own parents (allowing me to survive for the next week or so) and went to three different job interviews yesterday and one today!
Will all this drama happening I hadn’t meditated once! But last night I finally got my butt on a cushion and found another home away from home. (Wherever that second “home” may be…) I made it to Dharma Punx! The weekly sitting group I attended in San Francisco (with Vinny). Dharma Punx actually has its home base right here in LA with Noah Levine! I thank my lucky stars (er, um, Stephen) that I know about it.
Meditating last night was harder than it used to be in SF. It’s easy to bring your mind back to the present when it’s only wandering off to, “who did buy the last roll of toilet paper?” or, “I wonder if that guy’s gonna call?” But when it wanders over to, “I wonder if I’ll ever get a job, what if I lose my apartment, what if I have to leave California or what if I just become a homeless person?” Getting “present” becomes a little trickier. That’s why meditation is called a practice though! You practice it! It’s not easy, it doesn’t work over night and it takes lots and lots and lots of practice.
There are plenty of “what ifs” and some are more convincing to the mind than others but the fact remains, this is the now, now this is happening. Not what might happen, or what did happen, those are my stories. All there is, is this! I am here. Here, is where I am. For me, this is the key, this is the answer, this is the best thing I can possibly do for myself and this is why I gotta get my butt on that cushion. Nothing else in my life has benefited me so greatly. Go meditate! Now.