I was an active kid. Not hyper-active, just spirited. Playful. Funny. In meditation, this part of me arises. Sometimes it is a whisper. Sometimes a volcano. Mostly, it’s just me being fidgety.
Around age six, I attended Sunday church services with my mom. I remember her whispering, “Sit still.” She would promise me a root beer float, a scoop of vanilla ice cream plopped into a half-filled glass of root beer, if I would only Sit Still. I really don’t remember the root beer float, but I remember her voice, calming me. Be still. Be still. Suzuki Roshi, when speaking of meditation asked, “What could be more direct a philosophy than ‘Sit.'”
At one time, I practiced a form of meditation where I would not scratch my nose. Every time I sat, the first thing that would happen? My nose itched. It itched as if I would die. But when I let go of longing to scratch the itch, the urge passed concurrently with the itch itself.
Go figure. There is something in there about letting go, accepting, not fighting and the thing you are fighting will disappear.
I like it.
So, when I fidget now, I am amused. I am kind. I have meditated with my Jizos long enough to know there is ground beneath me, holding me safely, no matter what my experience in any given moment. So now when I meditate, I straighten a painting by my shrine. I take a note or two, if inspired. I even pick up my camera to take a photo of one of my dogs in the sunlight or a bird outside the window, feeding on something in a bush. Once, a squirrel came and stared at me the whole time I sat. I did not have my camera that morning and I knew that if I moved, so would he. So, I tattooed him in my heart. He is still there, staring at me. At that moment, I had no desire to fidget.
Life is full of fidgety moments. They are opportunities to either sit still or not. Neither is right. No meditation is perfect. At least, not in my universe. The only result, the one I was not expecting, was kindness. Not silence, not a perfect stillness. Kindness.
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