Apr 142015

So, today’s Daily Prompt asks us about the last time we flew into a rage. and what made us so mad.  OK, fair enough.

About three months ago, I was sitting at the local coffee shop/bookstore that I frequent.  It was Saturday afternoon, and I was content to just sit, sip my coffee, and chat with the baristas.  And then, the facilitator from my meditation group walked in.  Side note:  We dated for a few weeks back in 2012.  It ended – she ended it – but we managed to keep a distant, but cordial acquaintance afterwards.  And, then at the beginning of 2013, she helped to form a meditation group for those interested.  I was.  I began to attend and have been going steadily since then.  It’s been a great help.  It’s also always been a little weird for me.  I’ve always wondered if there was ever a chance that we’d give things another try, and while I haven’t made this obvious, I haven’t gone out of my way to hide it.  But despite this bit of awkwardness on my part, I’ve managed to not let it interfere with what’s become an important part of my life.

So, anyway, back to the coffee shop.  She walks in that Saturday afternoon by coincidence.  She walks in with a date.  She says hello and introduces us briefly.  Ok, fair enough.  He orders coffee and sits to my right, and she, she stands on my left, literally putting me in the middle of their date.  Whaaaa?  She then proceeds to tell this other gentlemen about my trip to Istanbul and encourages me to show him some photos I had saved on Facebook of that trip, while not moving towards her date but hovering next to me, in my personal space.  I am, as you can imagine, uncomfortable.  I tried to steer the conversation towards him, but he was naturally a bit standoffish.  Go figure.  He then gets up to peruse the stacks, and she keeps standing there, with her body facing me, and her hips swaying ever so slightly.  And then, a few minutes later, she gets up to have a look around herself.  I’ve never been the keenest observer of female body language, so I asked the two ladies behind the coffee bar if I was nuts or if she was acting rather, um, forwardly.  They both agreed it was her, not me, and one even went so far to say something to the effect that she thought that Ms. Meditation was gonna climb on top of me.

In other words, she was playing games.  She was trying to make her date jealous, and was trying to tease me because…she needed her ego to be fed?  She liked the attention?  She was on a power trip of some kind?  A combination of these things, perhaps?  Whatever the reason, it was disrespectful to both her date and to me as well as me.  She was trying to manipulate us.  I was not pleased.

Rather than blow up right away, as is often my wont, I waited a few days and sent her a Facebook message telling her how terribly inappropriate and disrespectful her behavior was and how disappointed I was in her.   I was met with a verbal shrug as suggested that we “connect” face-to-face over tea and that she was sorry if I was hurt as that was not her intent.  That’s when I snapped.  I wrote back.  “Short answer: Bullshit.”  I went on to point out that for someone who was trying to teach others to be more be more compassionate and aware of the feelings of others (among other things) that she was being grossly hypocritical.  This was met with a phone message in which she protested that she had no idea what I was talking about but, again, would be willing to meet with me over a spot of tea at that coffee shop (it’s close to where our meditation sessions are held) and talk it over.  I left a terse reply that there was no need as I had said what I needed to say.

I’ve been angry since.  It’s faded a bit, but, I was first manipulated, which was bad enough.  I was manipulated by a 37 year-old woman, no less.  This is a 37 (now 38) year-old woman who had been through some the same battles with depression I’ve been facing.  I thought she had managed to come through that with a degree of maturity and insight and genuinely respected her for what she had done in helping to bring the meditation group together.  Instead I found out that while she’s preaching a sound doctrine of mindfulness and loving kindness that she’s just an overgrown Mean Girl.  Which brings us to the worst part of all of this.  She has muddied the waters and tainted what I thought was a legitimately safe place for me to talk about some of what I going through with others.  Instead of an open and honest place of trust, I now walk into what feels like a desecrated church.  She shit where she ate, and I’m left to wonder what to do next.  And this, more than anything else, infuriates me.

Sigh The Gospels might be sound, but Elmer Gantrys abound.


Aug 042014

Every Monday night I go to a meditation group. We meditate for twenty minutes, read passages from the book on spirituality that we are reading at the time, discuss what we read, and then meditate for another twenty minutes. I’ve been going to this groups since its inception at the beginning of 2013. It’s been helpful in some ways, but it has its ups and downs. Some days, I sit and am able to just glide along, my thoughts still there but in the background. Other days, I struggle mightily. Today was the latter. Rather than focusing on my breath and just letting my thoughts flow without getting caught up in them, this is what I had running through my mind:

  • God my one coworker is annoying. I know I should be more tolerant but that voice just booms and carries and she doesn’t stop talking. Just…chill. Please.
  • I’m not a very generous person today.
  • Wow, Guardians of the Galaxy was a great movie! I wonder if Bautista will be on Raw tonight to promote the film? Not that it needs any help!
  • I wonder what the new Great Old One Pact Warlock will play like in D&D Next? I think it’d be pretty interesting if a character with that pact couldn’t use his or her powers against certain Aberrant creatures. After all, why would an entity granting you a measure of its power let it use that power against it? Huh, that’d be an interesting way to house-rule things.
  • I can’t quite get comfortable tonight. How do people sit in the Lotus position so perfectly? It looks so simple but I’ve nary a clue. Jeez my ankle gets sore.
  • Maybe I shouldn’t have run before I came here tonight. But, when else was I going to get the chance? I need to keep up with it. I’ve already paid for a marathon in the fall. Gotta stick with it.
  • I can’t get a read on the woman who helps to run the group. I know we only went out for about six weeks back in 2012, and it ended because I was going through a pretty dark time.  But does she still think about me?  I wouldn’t care, but, oh yeah, I’m Co-Dependent Guy.  Plus, she is very cute and generally got it together.  And the dating scene in Harrisburg is barren.  And, I’ve got some good qualities myself.  It’s just a little strange sometimes, by which I mean most of the time.  We’re cordial, but in an arms-length  kind of way.  I still wonder, though.
  • Maybe I should find another group because of this.
  • But I like it here, complication and all.
  • When I get home, I still have some work to do. By work, I mean take out the garbage, do some exercising, and some writing. None of that is really ‘work’ mind you, but I know how I get.
  • Plus, I’m really tired.
  • That reminds me, I gotta work on my sleep hygeine some more. Why do I, as a middle-aged man, have to remind myself of things like this? Why did I still get mad at myself?
  • Huh, this would make for a good blog post. I hope I remember enough of it.
  • Plus a few other things that were running through my head, no doubt.
  • And through it all, a few random notes of Lana del Rey’s “West Coast” keep playing in the back of my mind almost constantly.  I don’t even know if I like that song, yet there it is.

And that’s what was rushing and pinging through my little ADHD brain.  I’m a long way from Nirvana.

So, yeah, some days are better than others.  So much for  And, there’s the fact that making this a daily practice is something that hasn’t taken hold yet. It’s been challenging. But, I keep going on Monday nights. Part of it has to do with need, I’ll grant that. But, I go mainly (oh, say 95% mainly) for the benefits I get from it – stress reduction, focus, and interacting with an eclectic group of people I don’t normally see in my day-to-day life. I still try to sit down and meditate on my own from time-to-time. I’ve made this a part of my routine, so something’s taken hold. I just have to stick with it and then keep hoping I know where and how to take the next step.  I think, I hope.