Tuesday, November 18, 2014


In tonight's meditation class, Sister Ellie continued discussion of the Five Hindrances (hindrances in meditation and life), which are: sensual desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, and doubt. "Please talk about restlessness and worry. Please talk about restlessness and worry. Please talk about restlessness and worry," I thought while Sister Ellie gave us some background information. And, sure enough, she did.

I had been having a feeling of insecurity creep in today and as I mulled it over, I realized that I was hinging my identity on what others thought of me. That sounds like an obvious realization! I guess this one had fooled me because I had given my identity to someone close to me and I unknowingly masked it by saying I was preoccupied with other people. I knew then that I needed to detach and go deeper into myself. Who am I really? What is that bright space inside of me?

Sister Ellie talked about planning as a symptom of restlessness and worry--not that we shouldn't plan, but that we shouldn't plan when we are doing other things. Planning signals that we are not comfortable in the present moment. She shares Gil Fronsdal's advice for sinking into the present moment: the RAIN method. I cannot remember what RAI stands for, but the N is for non-identification. We are not, as Sister Ellie says, our thoughts, feelings, habitual tendencies. We are something else.

I've just started reading Bryan Stevenson's beautifully titled book, Just Mercy. Stevenson says we are more than the worst act we've ever committed.

We are more than all of what we think, feel, sense, and do. I think most of us are willing to grant this to the people around us, to the extent we can, and yet cannot grant this to ourselves. I'm embarking on a journey of self-love. I've tepidly started this week by praising my body and I plan to continue later this week by writing affirmative slogans to myself. Of all the crappy things I've believed in my life, why not replace some of that with either nothing (impossible right now) or something that sounds better?

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