Monday, February 16, 2009

Our Privilege of Present Moments

Last week a link led me to the Ask Havi archives*. (Funny when I wrote this I hesitated, procrastinated on posting it and today, low and behold, she sends me to very same post. Universe and Havi thanks for the tap, seriously.)

Havi says stillness meditation is a hard and advanced form of meditation. It is not where you want to start. It takes years of practice to get there. Please don't quote me, quoting her because that's a paraphrase.*

And I'm thinking man she must have written this post a really long time ago because I've been all over her archives in the last month, six weeks, seven weeks and I've never read this post.

Uhm, yeah the post that I'm not linking to yet*, is not even two months old.

As I was reading (the post that I still haven't linked to), I was feeling a year of 2007. How am I feeling a year?

Anyway, when she talks about 'hard and advanced' I'm thinking that soooo totally fits who I've always been. That is sooo one of my patterns, go for the hardest, most difficult thing to do when starting something new and epically fail at it every. freakin. time. over. and. over. again.

Explains my entire damn life. (Overly dramatic maybe, but the pattern has been there since forever or at least kindergarten.)

I've linked to both posts from Havi at the end but I want to properly quote her here in, because really she's so totally called me out it's not funny.

Havi's real quote is:

"just sitting or just-sitting-and-breathing is a super-advanced practice. It’s a myth — and an absurd one at that — that we should be able to start there.

Don’t start there. [emphasis mine]

So many people put so much pressure on themselves because they think they ought to be able to just sit down and focus on the breath. Give yourself a few years before you even try using that as your method. It’s not the place to start. [again emphasis mine]

You’re going to have to experiment a bit."

Havi, I did experiment. I tried visualizing and I came up with words, no pictures. So I tried guided meditations with other people's voices talking me through the process. I didn't like their voices in my head. Yeah I'm weird? wired like that.

I would hear their pronunciation of s's, t's and p's and don't get me started on diphthongs. I would hearing their dialect and tone. Once that happens, their voice JUST STARTS GRATING ON MY NERVES. Hmm, no I start grating my nerves by criticizing myself and . . .

Then of course, I am no longer meditating.

Honestly I need AND want to meditate. For the health of my sanity, for the ability to step back into my body and call it home again.

Thus far I've identified:

  1. a "here's the fastest way to fail and be okay and get sympathy, pity, validation for effort without fear of actually achieving anything" pattern AND
  2. a perfectionist pattern AND
  3. a procrastination pattern AND
  4. a pattern of self criticism which plays right back into number 1
Erm, yay patterns!

The idea of knowing both subconsciously and consciously about these patterns is comforting (sweet, I don't have to try and fool me or anyone else anymore) and empowering (wow see how much energy we really have when we aren't trying to fool us or anyone else anymore), while simultaneously disheartening and frustrating (we've missed out on all this stuff we could have been, done and had with that energy).

I acknowledge all of that in the right now. I acknowledge my inability to change my past.

I acknowledge my ability, my right, my privilege of being in the present moment.

Ahh, my privilege of being in the present moment.

Our privilege of present moments.

*Ask Havi #15: meditation edition
Ask Havi # 19: sobbing like mad


  1. It's encouraging to hear other people's stories; it reminds me I'm not totally wacked out. You really put your finger on those four patterns, excellent work! I experience those same exact patterns in my own life, which makes me think many other people probably do as well. I know I'll be coming back to look at how you've articulated those 4 patterns, and may even have to write them down!

  2. Terry, I'm encouraged that you're encouraged.

    Being totally wacked out isn't all that uncommon, accepting it and moving forward inspite of or because of it still is.


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