The other morning my daughter emerged earlier than usual from her bedroom.
Typically, by the time she wakes, I’ve moved on from meditating to my morning cup of coffee. I’m already at the computer working editing and searching for writing inspiration.
This particular morning, however, I was still seated on my meditation pillow quietly focusing inward and preparing for my day.
I looked like this I imagine? (Actually Id like to imagine there’s a halo of light & energy around me which the camera would capture as a mass of color, but I digress…)
She stood quietly and watched me, but I knew she was there.
When I finished and opened my eyes she asked what I was doing.
"I’m meditating. I like to start my morning by being very quiet and focusing on what’s inside me. On the thoughts and feelings I’m having and then try to let them all disappear so I can be very calm.”
She grasped what I meant. Sort of.
She and I chat frequently about ways we can calm ourselves when we’re feeling nervous, anxious or even overly excited.
She s-l-o-w-l-y considered my response & decided it wasn’t enough.
“But what do you think about? How do you think about everything and make it all go away at the same time?"
Her question stumped me.
It does seem a Herculean task some mornings to empty my manic mind. My day is about to start and the to-do list is always miles long.
I grabbed a blank sheet of paper from my desk and held it toward her.
“I try and be this. I focus on letting go and making my mind like this paper. Smooth, empty and blank.”
She mulled this over and clarified she still had one more question:
“But what does it DO, Mama? Is it like at night when we pray for stuff?”
I thought for a bit and what came to me is something I’ve said before and which I’m certain is not my own.*
“Mama’s meditation doesn’t change things. Meditation changes ME—-it calms me and centers me—-so I am able to change things.”
In that moment, I remembered saying the above to a friend once when she asked me about meditation.
I dont know if Im doing it “right.”
I know Im not doing it for very long (five minutes or so).
I do know it changes me. It slows me down so I am capable of changing things & having an impact on my world.
Meditation doesn’t change anything in my life.
Meditation causes me to be open and willing to change myself.