Thursday, October 25, 2007

539. Silence

Once again this fall, I'm taking a meditation class at my synagogue. It's as challenging and enlightening as the last time; sometimes I sit in silence and watch my mind run and scream, and at others the quiet is a calm sea holding me afloat. Last night we did a writing meditation to answer the question, "How are you?" The answer, at that moment while scratching away with a pencil as I sat on the floor of a darkened Sanctuary, was very different than I might have given from in front of the computer. I don't want it to be. I guess that's a goal of meditation, to learn how to align the slow, calm, non-typing part of yourself with the on-deadline, overstuffed e-mailbox part.

I also want to be able to pray in silence with the same heart and kavannah as when I sing. Why, I wondered as soon as I formulated the question--isn't it enough to be able to reach wonderful places at all? Why be greedy and look for another route? But most of life is about waiting, working, planning, all places with ready silence hidden in corners, if only I remembered to look. I want to recognize more of the calm and holy in daily life, at times when singing and ecstasy isn't possible.

I didn't get there yesterday, but have two more opportunities this week. Tonight I'm going to a class about leading meditation services--the kind of service I led in May, but hopefully I'll have more of a clue in the future. And tomorrow is one of those services (led by a rabbi, whew). I'm hoping all this peace and silence will help me feel less unsettled, more inclined to write and embrace new ideas, less unsure about how to begin whatever it is I'm supposed to begin.

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