Monday, August 9, 2010

give peace a chance

I want to have a calm mind.
I want to have a center.
I want to have a peaceful mind.

But I don't, really.

My mind goes non-stop. All the time. Twenty-four/seven. Thinking about everything, all at the same time. Thinking about today, tomorrow, and yesterday. Thinking about things I should change, things I can't change, things that won't change. Thinking about things that happened long ago, things that I should have done or said. Thinking about things that haven't happened, how I might or should handle them, if they actually happen at all.

I really want my mind to rest. It doesn't need to do this. It's tiring. It's draining. It makes me upset and angry and frustrated and worried. It's pointless.

And I want to be calm.
I want to be centered.
I want to be peaceful.

In college I was kind of overextending myself. (That's an understatement, okay?) I needed something to counter that. And I was led to yoga. Which led me to start looking in to Eastern philosophy and religion. Which led me to start practicing meditation. But it was always kind of a surface thing. I never dug in too deep. I wasn't sure how.

But then I hit another "rough patch" in life, I decided that the exact "how" maybe wasn't as important as the "do." So, I did. I read a lot, studied a lot, practiced a lot. And it helped.

I've had a devoted yoga and meditation practice for some time. Lately, I've been reading some Hindu scripture (you know, for fun). And it all feels right. It all feels good. It all feels like home. (Even if I'm still not sure I'm doing everything right.)

There are moments. Moments where it all clicks. Sometimes those moments last for awhile. Sometimes I blink and they're gone. But I do see it. I do feel it. And it feels good. It feels like home.

But my mind, it still goes and goes. Maybe it's slowed a little. But it still goes. Even with all my practice and reading and trying. And I think that, now, I need more "how."

I've come to realize that I'd like a teacher. I want more concrete information, more guidance, than I can get from reading a book (or many books) and just kind of doing it. I'm just not sure how to go about that. After all, I'm in the middle of the Midwestern United States. It's not like I can just stop at the local Hindu temple and ask for help. There is no local Hindu temple. (If it's even a Hindu temple I'm looking for. I'm not even really sure I'm comfortable claiming a specific "religion.") So I kind of feel a little lost about that. But I'll keep looking, keep my eyes open, and I trust it will work out as it's supposed to.

(Of course, with the Eat, Pray, Love movie coming out, and Julia Roberts recently saying she's converted to Hinduism, there will probably be a big "Hindu fad" happening soon. Maybe a Guru will just show up at my door. Stranger things have happened. I just can't think of them at this moment.)

But. For now. I will keep practicing. Keep doing what I do. Reading. Yoga. Meditation. Prayer.

Do my best to live in love, and in peace, to accept, to find joy, to relax, to let go.

Because I want to be Calm.
I want to be Center.
I want to be Peace.

tell it to me tuesday


~L said...

chocolate girl,
I hope you find your inner calm and give yourself a break from carrying the weight of your world on your shoulders. I recently have used writing and photography as my centering exercises, bringing me to a place to sort my thoughts as well as express my soul and create and share and live and love life. Peace friend,

Lyndsay said...

Well gee... I could just cut and paste most of this onto my own blog. Except the part about trying... b/c I just THINK about trying and then do nothing about it. So I admire all the work you do to find that calm/center/peace. Reading about how much it has helped you does give me an extra push to move beyond THINKING about it.
I have seen web-based daily yoga "lessons"... I wonder if there is something similar for meditation? Not the same as in-person instruction I'm sure, but perhaps better than a book.
Keep breathing my friend.

Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

Like Lyndsay said, I could just cut and paste this into mine too. Those moments of peace are so amazing, aren't they, and yet somehow so elusive too. Even the act of remembering to be peace is difficult sometimes.

In truth, one of the many reasons I want to go to Thailand right now is that I want to get more centered. Part of it has to do with identity: growing up American, I've rooted firmly in one half of myself, but the other half yearns for its roots. The other part is culture: I want to be in a culture that values peace and meditation. I want to visit the temples and listen to the monks' incantations and feel the reverence in the shadow of the Buddha's statues. (Not that Thailand is a perfect center of calm or anything, but it is predominantly Buddhist so at least the intention is there.)

I know there are teachers who do guided meditations. They come every once in awhile to my yoga studio; I'm pretty sure they do traveling workshops (Erich Schiffman, for example: Maybe something will come your way? Or it might be worth it to travel a little?

Corinne said...

I hope you find a teacher, a mentor, soon. And I'm going to say that no matter if it's a fad or not, if it feels right - if it feels like home - that's incredible. Something to strive for.

InTheFastLane said...

As my mind goes, so goes my stomach.
And there are some things I am going to have to work through before I can find peace. The hard things.