Speed Bumps

November 25th, 2008

I fear being on the bridge I commute over if an earthquake comes up out of nowhere. I’ve seen movies of the Golden Gate Bridge during an earthquake and the waviness and buckling that happened to the roadbed give me cold chills. Sometimes that happens in my life and then I have to stop the motor and wait it out or just gun it and hope I get to the other side in one piece. This morning I set aside 30 minutes to meditate, picked a good chair, put on the guided meditation cd, sat down and fell apart. I couldn’t keep my mind on my breathing. The more I tried to focus on meditating, the more my pulse speeded up. Instead of being here and now, my mind was racing around the room touching base on grocery lists, recipes, the face of an old love, the smell of a tweed jacket in the rain (my face pressed against it in a goodbye), a scene from a tv show, wondering if I’d have time for coffee, the tick of the clock–click, click, click–my dead grandfather, that snowstorm in 1967, the woodpecker in the dead tree, a sudden urge to get up and bleach my teeth…all bid for my attention. For 30 minutes, I twitched and tried to get more comfortable, felt like my breathing was fake and forced and worried about how fat my stomach was. By the time the chimes went off and 30 minutes was up, I was so agitated that meditating had probably raised my blood pressure. But in some ways it was one of the best sessions I’ve had because it forced me to recognize that neither life nor meditation is always going my way. That when things aren’t working according to my plan, just sitting still for 30 minutes is all I can expect of myself and it might turn out to be a major victory.

5 Responses to “Speed Bumps”

  1. Lorraine says:

    I fear being in my classroom with 20 screaming students and I forget I’m in charge and run outside in a panic!!!

  2. ida b. says:

    I laughed and laughed while reading this post. Was it you or me trying to meditate?! I know the “itchy brain” syndrome all too well. Only time I’m able to really meditate these days is when I’m running or swimming (or when I was home for Emily’s wedding and kayaked around Bulls Bay… hint, hint… want to kayak with me when I’m home in the spring?).

    Keep it up, zen rock star.

    {did I leave the oven on?}

  3. Allegra Smith says:

    I am feeling like this today. A million butterflies have come to rest inside my brains, and I don’t seem to be able to concentrate on the task at hand. No real point on trying. I will put Karma Moffett’s Golden Bowls of Compassion and do something, just do something in my studio. Some times I wonder if the madness of this world is somehow blown into little spores and I never have my tin foil hat at hand when I need it.

  4. V-Grrrl says:

    I like the association of the swaying bridge in an earthquake with your swaying mind in meditation. That which should be still but isn’t.

  5. notmassproduced says:

    like ida – u made me laugh a lot