There was a time not too long ago when I could sit down and write. Perhaps I read something thought-provoking in the opinion section of the newspaper, or I came across an inspiring article in a magazine. Either way, it was an easy process for me to jot down some initial thoughts, do a little research and then craft an essay around whatever idea was in my mind.
These days? Not so much.
I have tried to write, only to have the non-stop distraction of my workaday mind derail any attempt on my part to capture a coherent thought to paper. Those who struggle to follow the Buddhist path know my dilemma: this is the proverbial “monkey mind” on steroids, and it affects so much more than just my ability to maintain a blog or a Twitter feed.
Since the beginning of this year, I have struggled to get back to a regular meditation practice (it is amazing how many different excuses one can come up with to avoid spending time on the cushion!). I probably haven’t tried hard enough, given that I have an absolute appreciation for the benefits I can reap from a steady, committed practice that is rooted in a genuine intent. And yet, here I am today. Still struggling to write a few paragraphs.
The irony is that on this day, I should be able to gather my thoughts together easily, as I have nothing to do…no work to worry about, no short-term responsibilities that must be handled. I broke my fibula last week, found out this week that I have to have it surgically repaired, and am now bed-bound for at least the next four weeks. And yet, I can’t focus on any one thing for more than a few minutes because the monkeys are bouncing around this bed like the old children’s song.
Last night, as I was trying to describe this situation to my spouse, his advice was simple: try to settle down and accept the situation for what it is…and just be. He suggested that I used this time to try and find some peace within.
If not now, laid up for the next month, then when? Let’s see how it goes.