Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Last Night

Last night I attended a meditation class. I used to attend one semi-regularly some years ago, then fell out of practice. I’ve wanted to start again for some time. A few months ago I had learned of a Monday night meditation but it took until last night to finally go. It’s held in a lovely, old Episcopal church on Capital Hill. I had never been there before and didn’t know anyone. I had that subtle nervous feeling I get anytime I venture out to something new and different. Luckily I gave myself enough time to get lost and turned around, which I did. I asked someone for help, was re-oriented, and made my way to the nave where about 50 where gathering. I sat down and took a deep breath.

After a 30 minute meditation we listened to some readings then had a discussion.  One theme of the evening was how to take the practice (meditation, mindfulness, compassion) into the world. I shared with the gentleman sitting next to me how easy it is for me to become frustrated to the point of losing hope. Global warming or our seemingly ongoing petty-debating in national politics. So many big problems go unattended while we squabble like kindergartners. I want to do good in the world, I told him, but often feel like I am just butting my head against a big wall.

“When I feel that way,” he said, “I think of a small waterfall landing on a rock. Each drop of water may not seem like much, but over time it will cut a smooth groove in the rock.”

Sometimes I am in the right place and the right time.

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