The Words of a Friend

Mindfulness is all about clarity – so let’s just be clear:

I’m not a monastic.
I’m not a dharma scholar.
I’m not a certified meditation teacher.
I’ve never been to Nepal (I had to Google a map just to see where that was).
If I do a retreat or class that takes longer than a few hours, I require snacks.
I can’t tell if a word is from Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, or a Japanese restaurant menu.

I’m the woman lurking in the back of the class who arrives breathlessly, sits awkwardly, readjusts my position every other minute, and bites my lower lip because everyone else looks so pure and serious and I’m pretending that blotch of salad dressing on my shirt is a decorative lotus. You know, the one who leaves as soon as the teacher exits the room before anyone can talk to me. I’m not the guru who gives you calm advice in perfect grammar with a sweet smile and half-closed eyes. I’m the friend you go to lunch with after a session and ask, “Did you understand that part about…” At the same lunch, I’m likely to confess I couldn’t afford one of those pretty bead malas made of pricey gemstones so I’ve been using a candy necklace and I’m almost out of cherry flavored repetitions.

I’m an everyday Buddhist practitioner who struggles with schedules, insecurities, bad posture, and the feeling that every meditator on earth is better at this awakening thing than I am. Yet, I’m one of the most grounded, happy people you will ever meet. I’m just me. What you’ll discover through the website is that I’m also a little bit of you, too. Sorry about that.

My meditation practice is, at best, a cautionary tale. Within the chaotic borders of what it’s like to be a Buddhist or pursue mindfulness in a messy, challenging, real life I’ve found some lessons that are good for all of us to remember from time to time. Meditation and writing both start the same way – BOC - butt on chair (or, butt on cushion). That’s what I’m doing here – laying out the buffet of my ridiculous cushion crashing experiences and sharing the “bottom line” wisdom I’ve discovered along the way. I’ve also created some spaces for others to share their journey wisdom as well. I’m grateful to have you with me for the ride. Everything is better when we do it together.

----- The Bottom Line -----

1. It’s really okay to laugh with your spirituality. In fact, it’s necessary.
2. Wisdom belongs to none of us, and all of us. Give it, get it, go for it – whenever you can.
3. Sometimes you don’t need another class, or book, or celebrated teacher who lives a life far removed from your own. Sometimes, you just need a friend.

Posted in Common Voices, Humor, Mindfulness, Real Life, Wisdom and tagged , , , , , .

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