Watching the Mind

I got home last night, tired from a day of travelling. For some reason I unpacked immediately. “Odd. That’s not me.” Except I guess it gets included in the symphony that is Bruce.

I remembered tennis. The US Open is in full swing. Rafael Nadal from Spain and Dominic Thiem from Austria were facing off. Expecting an epic, I started watching. Nearly five hours later I stopped watching, with Nadal the victor. They smashed the ball at each other in 26 degree Celsius heat, with a healthy dose of humidity on top. Stunning! I loved the long rallies, the zapping serves and the deft drop shots.

What I didn’t anticipate was falling into a meditative state for most of the match. It was so similar to sitting in the meditation hall in Massachusetts a year ago. But this was sports … the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Is it possible that this sweet freedom will keep showing up in my daily activities? Yes, it is. When it comes again, it will be by grace, unbidden.

I felt myself swooning as the games rolled on, falling into a shining place that was totally safe. At 10:30, there was a scheduled live meeting online with members of the Evolutionary Collective global community. I could feel the pull of the group but even stronger was the space of peace within the tennis. I happily let go of contributing to the collective last night. I fed me, and perhaps my stillness reached my internet friends.

I smiled and flowed onto the pillow at about 2:15 am. Some unknown time later, I was barraged by a dream that seemed to go on forever. I was riding my bicycle up extremely steep streets (sounds like St. John’s). There were sculptures everywhere of Tour de France moments: the big group of riders, each jostling for position; two cyclists nose by nose, sprinting for the finish line; two crashed riders lying on the pavement, bleeding; happy onlookers cheering for their favourite; and spectators throwing pebbles at an acknowledged drug cheater. I weaved in and out of these scenes, terrified of the energies in the stone.

Where, oh where, did the peace go? I was being assaulted with mental barbs and whips, and there was no end in sight. I woke up time and time again, drenched in sweat. What evil force was doing this to me?

How can these two poles show up in me only hours apart? My evolutionary possibilities were so quickly squashed by the rudeness of the climb. My mind must be a many splendoured thing.

In the afternoon, I logged on to today’s Evolutionary Collective call. There were about twenty of us. Part of our hour together is a 30-minute 1-1 practice with a partner whom the organizers select. Today it was Arthur. As I listened to him speak, I felt flooded with a huge energy. I soon realized … that energy was love. I had never met Arthur before and I felt an immense wish for his well-being. I wanted his life to be great. I wanted him to be supremely happy. The experience was overwhelming.

***

No travelling today by trains and boats and planes
But I traversed some special territory between my ears

Red Light, Green Light

I love my cell phone.  It allows me to reach out to the world … talking to friends, buying concert tickets while standing in the most unlikely locations, reading the words of Ken Wilber or Stephen King.  Plus it has a cool red case.

I was charging my lovely device yesterday.  But it was time to go.  The light was red, indicating that charging wasn’t done.  I detached the cord and the display said “100%”.  And I thought, “I’ve never seen that light switch from red to green.  Think I’ll replug and sit for a few more minutes, and gaze lovingly at the light.”  So I did.

And so the mind proceedeth.  I was focused on my object of meditation for 30 seconds and then roamed off to another world.

“You’re not a very patient person, Bruce” … Return

“What’s wrong with you?  You just spent three months in a meditation hall.  How come you can’t maintain focus for more than a few seconds?” … Return

“What’s with all this self criticism?  I thought you came home with lots of love for yourself?” … Return

“This is silly.  You’re staring at a light” … Return

“What do these lights mean about change in your life, Bruce?” … Return

“I’m tired of this.  Why doesn’t this light turn green?” … Return

“It’s a plot.  That’s what it is.  Unseen forces are conspiring against me” … Return

“Let go.  Let it all go.  Green will appear when green is ready to” … Return

“Don’t look away!  You’ll miss the moment of change” … Return

“Concentrate!” … Return

Etcetera

Maybe eight minutes on, happily when I was looking at the display, red turned to green.  I caught the moment I wanted to catch.  And received a deep education about the wanderings of the mind.

I’ve learned that change in my life happens little by little.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all that.  But the lights show me something else.  If I’m mindful of the moment, could there be instants of transformation just waiting for me?  I think so.  And now I’m watching for them.  Thank you, dear lights.