Monday, July 18, 2011

20-Minute Monday: Emptiness

At my BHI class last week one of my fellow attendees claimed that he, after 4 weeks of trying, has been unable to turn his brain off enough to meditate.

While I remember what that feels like, it occurred to me that just not thinking so hard about things has started to come more readily and more naturally to me.

Today, I zoned out at Singing Beach for several hours ... as in: I lay down on my towel, right shoulder to the ocean, left to the setting sun and the bluffs before it, skin damp with the heat below and cooled by the breeze on my back, and I turned my head to watch the waves and, I tell you now as I ride the train back to Boston in the murky dusk, that I do not remember what I thought, not one bit. I dozed off, yes, but not long enough to count, and the empty-brainedness disturbed me enough that I forced myself to sit up and face the ocean head on, as if really paying attention to the waves as they rolled noisily towards me would make me want to contemplate mortality or the lazy passing of yet another midsummer Sunday or guilt for simply doing nothing but finishing the BPL paperback and eating peppermints and Pringles at a time when I should be making bigger plans or, at the very least, staying home and buying fly paper to deal with the bevy of small pests I came upon this morning, left over from a Saturday of cutting fresh fruit when the patio door was ajar.

But I felt none of these things. The vastness, the endlessness, the possible overwhelmedness, didn't register. I began to wonder if it's possible to make one's mind so blank that inertia supersedes franticness and if for, at least a day, that's OK rather than a cop-out?

And I'd be lying if I didn't note that there are not one but 2 infants in this train car who seem to be up past their bedtimes, and I'm trying to figure out how a rocking train can't soothe a crying child more readily, and am mildly annoyed that the pink and grey sky out my window is being compromised by my annoyance, but also happy that my brain isn't as devoid of feeling or thought as I originally perceived. And occasionally I can find it in a happy medium.
-- Sunday, July 17 (8:20-8:40 p.m.),
on the Rockport inbound train

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