Last Saturday, I found myself winding my way through traffic on my bike near the Embarcadero in San Francisco after a local peace-in-Syria rally. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. However, somewhere along the line, I let go incessant worry as a kind of drug. I now have the wherewithal to look at the world. I don’t like what I found, but at least I am awake.
Somewhere along the line, I found room in myself to trust that I could ride through San Francisco traffic, and believe that I could help change the world, or a least act like I can.
In order for me to go from a place of and worry an unease, and to come to that place of strength and calm, I needed to let go of loads of things that once served me, but not today. So, after wading through lots of muck and struggle, bit by bit, I learned out how to find my way to a place of stillness, calm and peace.
I am still learning today, and I am not crazy about that, but oh well.
One day years ago I first sat in a church and meditated. Then, on another day, I sat in a Buddhist Zen circle and meditated. Even though I kept on meditating, for a long time, I thought it was ridiculous. I wondered, what the hell are these people doing? What am I doing? Why the hell would I want to just sit here? I could go somewhere and put on my boogie shoes and jump up and down on a dance floor right now, but I’m here? What is going on?
I remember how hellish my own mind was, how impossible the tirade of thoughts were, and how much I wanted to distract myself from my thoughts and from the present moment. And then one day years later, I was calm, on a bike, in traffic, coming home from a peace rally knowing that my thoughts and actions mattered.
Had I still been distracted I could never have known that the people across the world mattered to me. I would be consumed by my own petty problems. I still have my own petty problems, but I manage to put a pin in them and carry on.
The East Bay Meditation Center is located in the heart of Oakland where stillness and presence is cultivated on a daily basis for the benefit of the entire planet, and spread out into the community and the entire planet.
Click here to read an article as former Congressman Dennis Kucinich gives his take on Syria.