Last Saturday

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.

Years Ago

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 consider giving a donation to the East Bay Meditation Center Dharma-Thon fundraiser.

Click here to read an article as former Congressman Dennis Kucinich gives his take on Syria.

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