Today, I was sitting in a different café, having a bit of a snack (one of the downfalls of riding the bicycle I am in constant snack mode) before going on to my I-want-to-give-Buddha-the- finger-what-the-hell-is-going-on meditation training.
Suffice it to say, the past few weeks have been almost insufferable and I squarely blame my meditation practice for it. As it turns out, I was right. The blame for my unease and dis-ease lies in the meditation, which made my teacher laugh and laugh and congratulate me because at long last I have actually begun the practice. Which did kind of make me feel good. In an odd kind of way.
All of this is very strange. I was under the deep impression that meditation was all about release, peace, centering, calming your thoughts, letting go and ease. Apparently, I have stumbled into the school that is about another level of meditation – that of the warrior. But it resonates. And it also, as I learn and study more, is explaining to me why I have rejected so many forms of meditation before – they are not what I am apparently built for. Also, because of the focus I am studying, while I can appreciate other forms, I don’t necessarily get along with them.
Which is just what it is. Neither here nor there. In the end, unless the form of meditation has become a form of maladaptive escape behavior in and of itself – we all wind up at the same point, fulfilling all the different roles along the way.
But anyway…back to my story. So the café I was in has a double bay door, it used to be a gas station. Because it was so warm and beautiful they had begun to open all the doors and windows. Oddly enough (and this has been a trend everywhere I have gone these past few days), the same song was playing over their speakers (conjure one’s center of the sun, if you haven’t heard it, find it). I happen to really love that song at the moment and it speaks to something growing within me.
So there I was, in the café, with my tidbits, with the door open and the heat of the sun creeping into the crevices. And I watched as all the little birds (who I bitched about mugging me for bread last year) were trying, as a group, to decide if they should enter the café. One by one, they would hop a little closer until one brave bird got up on the threshold and bounced around. Then they flew off spastically and circled and came back to repeat the process. Hop stop hop stop hop stop hop…..bounce bounce bounce and away.
It was the funniest thing.
And it reminded me of my walk home late last night. Here I was, going on my fourth day of just feeling brutally uncomfortable in my skin but also, giving off some clear signal to strangers and animals that I was an a-ok kinda person and come share. Not the former, “come tell me your tragedy” vibe I used to specialize in, but a very different – I just want to share space with you for a moment kind of beauty. I had slowly started to notice this happening – despite how I felt, this is how people were reacting to me, like I was some kind of source of joy for them.
And I had just decided that maybe…maybe…maybe a better judge of how I am doing and feeling is not what I am thinking but how everyone around me is reacting – from babies to birds to adults. Needless to say, I have also been hit on so many times in the past three days a friend has started to refer to me as “catnip.” It is a funny experience.
But there I was, late at night, walking home and thinking all these things when I saw a woman and her (extremely large) dog coming out of the darkness. The dog began to do a shimmy shake and start dragging the woman toward me from about half a block away. It wasn’t until they were about ten feet away that I recognized the dog. A puppy really, a six month old great dane that is big as a house that I met once, a few months ago for a few minutes on another street corner.
He practically shimmied up my body and into my pocket and we had a shameless love fest that somehow included me sticking my hands in his mouth repeatedly.
The whole time his owner just stood there repeating,
“I don’t understand this. He totally loves you.”
And right then I knew
Whatever space I thought I was in
Was just a thought,
And in reality,
I was somewhere I would much rather be.
I just have to learn to recognize
When I am there.
c.2012. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.