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Mindful : October 2019
Let It Be When I first started meditating, I was anxious and fidgety. I wanted to crawl out of my skin. I’m truly astounded that I didn’t quit, since I was 17 at the time and had quit all sorts of things in those days—and they were mostly things that were good for me. Things that weren’t good for me, I just kept on doing. But somehow I did keep going with meditation. Maybe it had some- thing to do with peer pressure or pride, or just the notion of how silly it would be to chuck the whole thing aside because I couldn’t pay attention to my breath without going just a little bit crazy. Also, meditating confirmed that you were not part of the mainstream, and not being mainstream was a part of my thing back then (#sixties, which didn’t end till the middle of the seventies). Stick-to-it-iveness, or stubbornness, or what- ever it was, paid off, because meditation soon became a regular and important part of my life. A lot of the agitation died down (although it’s still there in a big way at times) and I began to sense a backdrop of well-being that lay behind all experiences. Nice. And yet, this chill quality started to be mar- ried to ambition, trying to become a good med- itator, hell, a great meditator. I filled my head with fantasies of how wise and measured I would be, maybe even holy, but certainly some- one whom people would look upon as a sage, the one who is the calm center in the midst of the storm. In terms of my actual demeanor and behavior, this was far from the case, as anyone who knew me in my early days will tell you. → October 2019 mindful 55