daydreaming & ego

Random thoughts through morning meditation and now during breakfast.

Last weekend’s conversation with Julia before meditation:

Julia: Can I think about Harry dancing with me at the Yule Ball?
Me: No. This is a time to think about your breathing.  In and out.  Blue and green.
Julia: No daydreaming?
Me: You can daydream after we meditate.
Julia: Ok.  I’ll do that.

And it dawned on me that she knows, at least on some level, how to control her mind.  I have wondered about this.  Wondered if Julia was doing anything close to mindfulness when we sat in the morning.  Sometimes we are quiet, sometimes I ask her to visualize colors and track her breathing but I don’t really expect that she does.  A long time ago I decided that sitting quietly with me would be enough.  This is not lowering my expectations for her but deciding that practice, whatever it was to her, would come far before meaning.  Intention in this case starting on the outside and perhaps working in.

A simple exchange and perhaps something amazing.

I got an email today about a research project that is looking for participants.  It is focused on caregiving for the caregiver and includes meditation.  For a moment, it was like a knife through my heart.  Umm, just a bit of hyperbole.  Someone else is doing what I want to do!!  And there must only be room for one project of any kind — that success will mean my failure.  So, most of that was hyperbole but in the direction of my feelings.  I live in fear of the scarcity of grace, I can’t yet trust abundance.  My friend, Steve, post a quote on Facebook:

“Man, my friends,is frail and foolish. We have all of us been told that grace is to be found in the universe. But in our human foolishness and short-sightedness we imagine divine grace to be finite. For this reason we tremble. We tremble before making our choice in life, and after having made it again tremble in fear of having chosen wrong. But the moment comes when our eyes are opened, and we see and realize that grace is infinite. Grace, my friends, demands nothing from us but that we shall await it with confidence and acknowledge it in gratitude. Grace, brothers, makes no conditions and singles out none of us in particular; grace takes us all to its bosom and proclaims general amnesty. See! that which we have chosen is given us, and that which we have refused is, also and at the same time, granted us. Ay, that which we have rejected is poured upon us abundantly. For mercy and truth have met together, and righteousness and bliss have kissed one another!”  ― Isak Dinesen, Babette’s Feast

So, I will rearrange Friday’s schedule a bit, send an email to the organizers, and join the focus group workshop.  When I went through Andy Paulsen’s workshop, Pockets in the Rocks, last year, I was both enthusiastic and jealous as all get out.  I wanted to be leading it!  My walk away added to my ideas and I learned from his leadership style.  In truth, it probably doesn’t interest him to run workshop after workshop.  He seems to be a big picture person.  I saw plenty of room for both of us.

Why after demonstration after demonstration do I need more affirmation?  I sense that deep down I want to the “fame” of being an innovator, but deep down I also just want to do the work.  How much is stale and ineffective ego?  Part of me can celebrate.

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