Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"i am a good student"

So, as I was going through yoga class yesterday (day 24!) i thought i was doing better with letting go of the mental chatter.  i wasn't dwelling on the poses i would not do during the rest of class, in fact, when those thoughts would come up...i really could easily say to myself, "be right here, breathe.  Right here."  and it would work.  and let me tell you class has been amazing since i had that little realization while blogging the other night...i have done every posture every day since then.  and it hasn't been a struggle.  amazing.  ok, so back to class last night.  i was feeling all accomplished about being right there, and breathing and not planning...and then it hit me, there was another layer of mental chatter.  Once i peeled away the complaining and planning mind, another voice emerged.  This one was more steady, more focused, more seductive in it's efforts to persuade me it was OK to give into it.  To listen unendingly, and distract me from the "moment."  This voice repeated one simple sentence.  Probably one I have been repeating since I was 4 years old in Montessori.

"I am a good student."

After class I shared this with Amy, and was also seduced by the hours of analysis this one sentence could bring me.  It is a processing goldmine.  (Processing is a term we use to describe the hours spent in the morning at work discussing all of the emotional and mental baggage we have picked up since we last worked together.)  I got about 2 minutes into the processing and decided to let it be.  Maybe it is a bad thing, maybe I am a teacher pleaser.  Or maybe it is a good thing, maybe I simply like to be good at what i do.  why would being a good student be bad?  why do I assume all of my voices are bad and I have to get "rid" of them.  (and on a side note...really?  I am sharing with god-knows-who that I have "voices"?  But we all do.  right?)

Pema Chodron
Then I come back to Pema Chodron, my sweet reading salvation.
In a chapter on Loving Kindness, she says "Loving kindness - maitri- toward ourselves doesn't mean getting rid of anything.  maitri means that we can still be crazy after all these years.  We can still be angry after all these years.  We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness.  The point is not to try and change ourselves.  Meditation isn't about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better.  It is about befriending who we are already.
One of the main discoveries of meditation is seeing how we continually run away from the present moment, how we avoid being here just as we are."

Perhaps my reminder of what a good student I am is a way I am trying to run away from being uncomfortable in class, a way I am trying to make myself feel better.  and that's OK, just make friends with my mind, and let that thought go.  give it no more weight than i do the thought, "I have to go to the bathroom."  imagine it is a bubble and be gentle with it, lightly let it blow away with my out-breath.


( update on the meditation front, i have been doing about 5 minutes a day.  My goal is to up that for the last week of the month.  so, starting least 10 minutes a day.  and that is aside from the 90 minute "moving meditation" of Bikram yoga.

one more update.  the one month I feel like I totally flaked on was writing month, and so I am going to finish up a goal I set during that month, which was to write a submission for the "Readers Write" section of the Sun magazine.  This week I will send in my piece on, get this, paying attention.  Perfect for meditation/yoga month!)

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