Meditation II

by zenquaker

The last few days have been pleasantly surprising to me. Work has just sucked. Nothing new, just the same old BS I’ve been ranting about elsewhere in this blog. But in the evenings at home everything has been totally cool. I’ve had no problem at all just letting work go and enjoying the evening. I think the main reason is meditation. With time pressures and getting rid of my backpack, I’ve been meditating on the train. It’s been going well, and I’ve been having  a lot better focus on the train than I was recently on the cushion. Which in and of itself is odd, considering that I went back to the cushion because I was having trouble with my focus on the train. But such is the ebb and flow of life.

Today was different. Today was a really good day at work. There was some BS, but I cleared my to do list. Then I had a lunch meeting with two other statisticians about forming a programming group at work that could meet once a month to share ideas, and to do some other stuff that has been percolating in people’s minds. Two of them took it to our shared manager today and she approved it wholeheartedly. We’ve already got a site on the organization’s intranet, and we’ll have our first meeting in a couple weeks. I’m going to be the first presenter, which gave me an excuse to spend a few hours working on a presentation about a cool bit of code I wrote to teach myself processing XML in SAS. I was feeling so good that I laughed my way out of the building this afternoon.

But my meditation on the train lacked focus, and when I got home I had a harder time dealing with the frustrations of the evening. It’s not that I’m having a bad evening, but I am noticing that it’s taking more effort to deal with life tonight. Again, this is just the ebb and flow of life. It would be beyond counterproductive to get upset about it. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth observing. What I observe is my different fantasies.

When I’m in a bad mood, I have depressive fantasies about how bad things will be, or angry conversations in my head with people who have upset me. When I’m in a good mood, I have daydreams about how cool things are going to be. Both types of fantasy get in the way of meditation, by taking me away from the here and now. But when I’m having the bad mood fantasies it is easy to tell myself that they’re a waste of time. Not only are they pulling me away from the here and now, but they are also making me more and more upset. When I’m having the good fantasies I feel good. It is harder to see that as a problem and let go of the fantasy. Of course, it is also less of a problem because I am not upsetting myself at the same time. On the other hand, they can set up false expectations that will upset me later, and it’s not like my depressive fantasies aren’t well practiced at high jacking my happy fantasies.