The Blender In My Head…
I spend much of my waking time in various states of conflict. Conflicted over matters such as events in the Middle East, Wall Street, the corrosion of America’s political structure, and the ever-increasing social complexities of mankind. I spend as much time conflicted over smaller things such as the ethics of fast food, bicycle culture, as well as changing trends in the arts and in entertainment. Conflict, it seems, is my essence.
One tool I have used through the years to (help) manage this inner turmoil is my morning meditation; it re-centers me. Each day on sit on the floor of my shower in total darkness, with the lights off, and with warm water cleansing the remains of yesterday’s dust from my skin and from my soul, and recite the following meditation aloud:
I thank you for receiving these words.
I thank you for a new day and new chance to walk in the right path.
I ask forgiveness for the sins I have committed and the mistakes I have made. Help me have awareness that I learn from those sins and those mistakes that they don’t become repeated.
I thank you for the blessings and opportunities which surround me. Help me have awareness that I recognize and appreciate those blessings, and help me have determination to fulfill those opportunities for the betterment of this world, the people in it, and the people in my life.
Help me speak the truth this day. Regardless of what situations I find myself in, and what circumstances surround me, help me remember that it’s better to stand in a room empty of words than to breach the truth for the sake of a sound.
Help me remember that my place is not to judge – that what person looks like or what they don’t look like, is not a reflection of who they are. Help me remember that behind every pair of eyes is a heart, a soul, and a life’s worth of circumstances I know nothing about.
I ask, on behalf of my loved ones, for their good health, for their safety, for their comfort, for peace, that they know love in their lives, and for strength during difficult times.
Help me take time to remember the animals in this world and in my life, that I give to them as much as they give to me. Thank you for the lessons they teach me in unconditional love, living in the moment, kindness, humility, and most of all, forgiveness.
Help me be a good man today. Help me walk tall, speak few words, be far in my reach, and help me be kind.
I thank you for hearing these words, and I love you. Amen.
Schmaltzy, I know, but it’s a part of me.
Dances With Schmaltz…
This Schmaltz Waltz is my most valued daily ritual. When I do this, who I am speaking to is unknown by me. I suppose I speak to myself mostly – a way of reminding myself how I wish to live. It would be a fool’s task and childish game for me to suggest it’s god, God, or the Universe receiving those words. Perhaps I just speak to the underlying current that 14 billion years ago worked and reworked very little matter into increasingly complex matter which became more complex matter still, and that somehow the tiniest fragments of all that matter would become me.
Despite that my morning ritual resets and calms my early day, the conflict in my head soon returns and increases as the day goes on. Is combating ISIS worth the risking ground troops over…? How broad is the 2nd amendment…? Is grass fed beef better for society than feed lot beef…? Should we eat beef at all…? TV is the devil! Thank god for college football on TV!!! Chap-Stick or Burt’s Bees…? And so goes the blender in my head.
Despite that my morning meditation does little to eliminate this chaos, it does slow it down – if only for a moment. I can easily imagine how much worse it might all be without my daily reminder. I call it meditation, though others might call affirmation, mantra, or even prayer. Regardless, I’ll suggest we not be too quick to criticize those who participate in such contemplative practices, be they secular or religious.
Without such practices – rituals which regularly remind us to take step back and recenter, culture might be that much more chaotic. Maybe prayer is just the social equivalent to raising the pot off the burner before it boils over – only to place it immediately back down. We call off the overflow, but the boil beneath the surface remains. Be well… rc
Please check back in a few weeks to see what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from the Fray. Enjoy…