Meditation & Toothpicks
Once again, I am exploring meditation with my girls for the next several days. This was motivated by a sweet friend, Tammy Bieri, whose daughter has chosen to explore meditation as her science fair project this year. I couldn’t be a more ardent supporter of the idea. As much as my girls are willing, for the next two weeks, we will explore sitting for two minutes every day and examine how we feel both before and after.
Today after we sat, my daughter Sonia said, “Momma, when the thoughts kept coming in my mind, it was like I had a toothpick and popped them away”. I loved it. What a great way to imagine the process of meditation. I could see the imagery in Sonia’s mind; her sitting tall and alert with toothpick in hand, meeting all nature of things that come her way. No sledgehammer, sword or heavy armor, just her and a dainty little toothpick. And just as she imagined, it is a practice of being with everything that arises with a quality of gentle precision and one pointedness. I am hoping that her toothpick poke is a kind one. 🙂 There is no running away or hiding from oneself no matter how messy or clean, pleasant or unpleasant the content may be. It isn’t an easy task by any means, for adults or children. More often, we are drawn quickly to attachment or aversion, or reactivity to initiate change that might not be feel so skillful later. The practice of simply staying put is counter to every other movement that might be calling to us. When action does arise as it’s called for, it hopefully feels both more skillful and heartfelt.
We completed Linnea’s survey after we practiced. Only a few days in, but we are already noticing that some days we come into practice feeling calm and happy, and leave feeling the same. Other days we leave noticing some aggravation or exhaustion. More so, there are days we begin feeling edgy and tired, and again the state after meditation is equally unpredictable. Isn’t that the idea? To explore the practice of kind, open presence to the unpredictability that is life. The world would be quite a different place if we could learn this earlier on.
I look forward to continue exploring and thank you, Linnea and Tammy, for motivating my girls and I to meditate together!