Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Like a Seed

Tonight Sister Ellie continued talking about the five hindrances and focused on restlessness and worry. She cited Gil Fronsdal's talk on restlessness and worry, which talks about understanding our restlessness and worry the way a farmer would plant a seed. We need to take the time to see what this hindrance is about.

I have been blessed with the bad habit of overeating and I recently saw two things that triggered my overeating. One cause was being overwhelmed by things to do that I do not want to do. Eating became a way of trying to hurry up time and to buy more time all at once. In other words, it was a way to bliss out (not that the eating was blissful; it was actually quick and, eventually, physically painful) and not pay attention to what was actually happening. It happened because I was restless and worried.

I also experience restlessness and worry when I indulge in my fantasies and dreams. This has been something I've tried to reign in because it takes me out of the moment and it breeds malcontent with the current state of things, yet I also try to be clear to myself about my deep desires so that I can gauge whether I'm taking action in places where I want to take action. I'm learning, that is, when to be fanciful and when to be more pragmatic and disciplined. These are admirable qualities. When indulging in these dreams, the fears and the shoulds begin to arise. I think of what won't work, how I'm repeating past failures, how much time I need before I can start anything, how if I change then I would be betraying someone or acting in a way that I should be ashamed of.

This only serves as a metaphor that maybe one day I can investigate further--a seed does not question its own growth. It allows itself to grow. It doesn't want to get out of the present moment just because it hasn't realized its final (as if there were such a thing) form. Nor does it stop itself from becoming what it will be.

I would like to keep this in mind as I continue to grow into myself. Nothing will be wasted (even the energy spent in restlessness and worry), but I would like to cultivate a healthy ground where I can stay in the present moment and recognize that even if the present moment may not be what I would choose for myself that it will indeed lead me to my future self.

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