When I was a little boy, one of my most comforting, secure moments in my life was when I was told it was time for bed AND then my parents and grandparents would sit around the kitchen table and play cards, usually pinochle. I would lie in bed (it is lie not lay, right?) and listen to the most important adults in my life as they talked, laughed, and occassionally explained their unsuccessful card strategy to their partners. There is something wonderful about resting knowing that people wiser, stronger were in charge of the night now. I could just close my eyes and listen and gently fall in sleep. I would surrender to the day’s anxieties and problems.
I am enrolled in a little online course through the Center for Action and Contemplation with what is really like a large book club and the book we are reading is The Immortal Diamond. This is a nice fit as I continue to try to meditate for a few minutes everyday. Also, although based on the work of a Catholic priest, the book’s concepts are accessible to many faiths and at times for those without any religious belief.
With my meditation, of course, I can’t keep the squirrel quiet in my brain for very long, but I am learning to be more gentle with myself. (I have a theory that if I continue doing that… I will eventually end up being more gentle to those around me and I am certain they will declare, “Hallelujah” to the heavens for that!)
I do seem to have two minds, one which I call the squirrel (for now) and one that I am not totally familiar with but I experience it briefly, usually in a nature setting, and it is accompanied with a sense of awe. Beginning with meditation, and then slowing, quietly, simply, adding a reverent contemplation, I am hoping to add that sense of awe in other settings besides the Great Outdoors. Perhaps, there is also a Great Indoors?
During my brief mediation today, I tried to softy, gently, and lovingly tuck the “little boy” to sleep and let the wiser, deeper spirit have its time. But, as one of my favorite poets once wrote I have “miles to go before I sleep.”