I have been noticing that my mind has been more than usually restless in the past couple of days, during meditation. It has been busy trying to write, while I have been busy trying to bring its attention to what I want it to attend to: the breath. I attribute this in good part to the recent conflict of opinions on The Buddha Diaries, in consequence of which I have been questioning my meditation practice, and what purpose it serves.
The simple conclusion that I reach, time and again, is that it works. I have a limited amount of time left to me in this life—and I’m still unable to jump that hurdle into belief in another, or other lives—and a limited amount of energy. Ahead of me lies the strong possibility of some form of illness or debility, and the certainty of continuing aging and death. I want to experience these parts of life with as much clarity and forbearance as I can muster, and that requires peace of mind. When I say that meditation works, I mean that it teaches me the path toward peace of mind.
I do need, still, to be engaged. I need to be engaged in books and movies, in the visual arts which have been the focus of much of my writing over the years, in politics and culture… My mind is still capable of learning, my heart still capable of growing when I immerse myself in such things.
What I don’t need, though, is a restless mind. I’m finding that I can engage just fine without it. For me, intellectual curiosity is not necessarily fed by battles over rights and wrongs or goods and bads. I believe that I have largely surrendered the need to be right, and that position feels comfortable to me. I am not averse to being in a place of comfort.
These quiet thoughts an observations, for a Saturday morning. Metta, then. I wish the world a peaceful weekend, filled with true happiness. And that would be enough, for me.