Zen and the Art of Mindlessness

Lately, I’ve been in a fog. I’m not getting things done, losing time. This has been going on for three years now, ever since we moved to Baltimore. I just can’t seem to get it together. Not having money for a therapist, I’ve been self-treating myself. This has lead me to dip my toe into meditation. I went to a zen retreat last Saturday. It was seven hours of sitting and breathing. In..1…In..2 and so on. We sat for 25 minutes and then for 10 minutes walked in line silently while the leader clapped some sticks together. Then we sat and breathed for another 25 minutes. There was a lunch break and two snack breaks. Well, at least there were snacks. Was I enlightened? No, but I didn’t expect to be. After lunch, the pattern in the carpet turned into dinosaurs and then a charging elephant who kept vascillating between friendly and angry. At this point, I knew I had lost it. I gained very little insight other than to figure I am an oddball. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. The really hard part was the silence. Of course, I wasn’t. I spoke in hushed whispers to the other newcomer during break. We talked about how we wanted to try it, but we wouldn’t be back, then we went on to talk in whispers about other interests. No one shushed us, but we were breaking the rules. It was just too much discipline for me, too rigid. I’ll use the same words my son used to describe kindergarten, “There are too many rules.”

This week, in an act of serendipity, in my inbox was the morning motivation for writers from The Renegade Writer which suggested to

Say om.

Meditation helps make room in your mind for creativity, and it quiets the craziness in there so creative thoughts have a chance to percolate. I also often do the free guided meditations fromTheMeditationPodcast.com.

I’ll give it a try. Have you tried meditation? Was it successful? Helpful?



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