I am reading a few books right now, one is "eat, pray, love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is not a novel, but an account of her travels through Italy, India and Bali. She goes to Italy to learn to speak Italian better and experience the pleasures that Italy has to offer-food, people, etc. She goes to India to spend time inside herself while living in an Ashram community. Her last step is to study transcendence. Her trips take a total of 12 months, and it is so well written, humorous at times if you can believe it, and extremely thought-provoking. The book is not for anyone who dislikes "salty" dialogue (when is the last time you heard that description?).
The reason I mention this book is because I am now reading the part where she is currently spending time in an Ashram, and starts her day meditating. She struggles to put her mind into the proper mode to be successful (in her mind) that she is meditating correctly. She has been told that if her intention is to meditate, but can not turn the rest of her thoughts off, it is her intention that counts.
I wish I could buy that.
I try often to block off distracting thoughts while I am trying to focus on a still mind. I never, ever succeed. About 15 or so years ago, my church at the time started a Blessed Exposition of the Eucharist which I participated in. The Eucharist is put in a monstrance, which is a special holder for the Eucharist (the host given out during Communion at Mass). You are supposed to focus on the Host and think in a meditative way about God. But I can not keep other thoughts from jumping to the front of my conscience. I get so mad at myself to think that I can not focus deeper. This happens at other times also. During Mass, we have a "Communion Meditation" after receiving the Eucharist, and this would be a good time to focus on the wonderful gift of the Host which you just received, but I am thinking that, and them my mind starts to wander, then I mentally berate myself, try again, and again. The author of this book struggles just as I do. I wonder why I can not be strong enough to focus individually on one important issue? I also have problems sleeping at times for the same reason, if something important happened or is about to happen, I run through all the details, organizing them in my mind. Again and again.
I just wish I could "be still". I think I could benefit from this intense pinpointing of an idea, thought or path. I can not give up this effort, I must try to achieve this disciplined way of approaching mental growth. I consider it a very important skill, whether it is spiritual or just trying to unfocus and unwind.
Wish me luck, keep your synapses crossed for me.
Saturday 9: Piano
2 days ago