Adventures in Meditation-Land
I could only hold the cross-eyed enlightenment position for less than a minute. After I had developed compliant muscles, my mind decided that, after thirty seconds, it wanted to lower the eyes so I could decide what outfit to wear that day. Or what smart retort I could give to a friend who annoyed me. Not a compassionate thought. My meditation practice became: cross eyes, bliss, what should I eat? Cross eyes, bliss, scratch my elbow and wonder what time it is.
When I saw my mind’s pettiness, I despaired and called myself bad names, “What a jerk. You can’t even handle bliss when it’s handed to you on a silver platter.” I learned the first being I needed to have compassion for was me.
But Lama Rinchen smiled, “Oh, that’s just habit. You have trained your mind for your whole life to hop like a flea every minute and also to denigrate yourself. Now you can train it to stand still and to be nice to yourself and everyone else.”
The lamas can practice this technique for days on end with no thoughts. I can hold it for thirty seconds, which is why they are lamas and I’m not. But, Lama Tempa admits, abashed, “I have thoughts I can’t control in my dreams. I’m still working on that.”
They are light years ahead of me. But I’ve become brave enough to ask the lamas questions and to have more kindness for myself and others. And to hold precious blissful moments close to my heart.