Ron, our resident palm reader and handwriting analyst presents an evening focused on Mindfulness Meditation Tuedays at 7 pm. There is a $10 participation fee. Ron writes:
"Have you ever been driving from Point A to Point D - and suddenly, upon reaching point C, realized that you had no memories of passing through point B?
What was the traffic like? (No memories of it at all.)
Did you run someone over? (No idea!) Where were you, then?
The answer is, you were unconscious! You were on autopilot. For all practical purposes, you were a zombie! Not there! Those times you put the car keys down and later have no recollection of exactly where you put them. Unconscious...
Maybe you're undressing at night, and discover a surprisingly large, dark and painful bruise - but have no recollection of what you had done to cause it. What the heck? If we were to get a small, hard rubber mallet and create a second bruise to match it, would that hurt? Of COURSE it would. Then why don't you remember acquiring the first one? Talk about really unconscious!
It can be quite frightening to honestly examine your day and find out there are such blank spots here and there. Those spaced-out moments. Not 'lost in thought', as there's no memory of any thoughts either. The tricky part is that the human mind cannot record nothingness. There is no file in our memories for 'nothingness'.
It's like a tape recorder that's sound activated; a sound above a certain volume level turns the recorder on. After a few moments of silence, it goes back to waiting for the next sound. You end up with a final tape filled with bits and pieces of conversations and sounds, but the silent gaps between the events are not recorded. There's no easy way to measure the length of the missing gap.
And so it is with our lives! These 'zombie moments' obviously vary from person to person and from day to day, but it can be quite disturbing to realize how much of our life is spent unconscious. GONE!
Not to mention, of course, the more obvious and easy to identify moments of 'head tripping'. Running those mental video tapes in our minds. Next week's day off, sexual fantasies, what we should have said to someone, fearful worry scenes of the future that we inflict on ourselves, the winning lottery check and so on. It seems that we spend much of our mental 'work' regretting, reliving or rewriting the past or planning, anticipating or dreading the future. How much of the time, however, is spent here where we ARE?
There are a lot of searchers out there. People looking for something missing from their lives, Fulfillment, they say. Spiritual truth, however they define that, exactly. Something indefinable seems missing... and it feels like it's something very important!
Considering that a third - or more! - of our day can be spent as a zombie, or running those tapes in our heads, is it any wonder we end up feeling that something very vital is missing? What's missing from our lives - is our lives!
So what can we do about being more conscious? What would it be like to actually be conscious for a day? (Huh, how about fifteen minutes in any given hour?)
It is possible to become centered on this present moment. This is the goal of mindfulness meditation. To savor the present moment without automatically talking about it inside our heads.
It's not about giving up conscious thought, heck, we need it in order to survive. We need, however, to not spend so much time mentally chattering to ourselves that we miss out on the life that is going on around us.
It's like being so busy planning tomorrow's menu while we're eating dinner that we end up finishing desert without really tasting much of anything at all!
If this sounds intriguing to you, come to Tuesday Night Meditation. We'll not be chanting obscure mantras or assuming awkward body positions, I promise.
We'll see if we can maintain our conscious awareness of the 'now' for a while - and see what that can do in our lives. We'll be meeting every Tuesday evening at 7, so stop by and get a weekly infusion of 'now' into your life."