Afterward, while waiting for the subway back to Brooklyn, my mind ping-pong’ed between cataloguing every item on my “to-do” list and berating myself for being unproductive and disorganized. The train arrived. I found a seat, opened my magazine, and zoned out. The next thing I knew, I heard the subway conductor announce, “The next stop is 125th Street.” Shit. ShitShitShit. I had taken an uptown train instead of the downtown train that I needed, adding at least 30 minutes to my (already long) trip home.
It should be noted that this little subway incident took place halfway through a 6-week class on (wait for it) mindful awareness meditation. I’ve been studying mindfulness in the present moment and didn’t even notice I got on the wrong train until 6 stops into my ride? Great. I take a class on mindfulness and wind up doing something completely mindless.
Friends, I am weary in my bones. My voice is tired. I came home from the restaurant the other night and dissolved into sobs: “I can’t do this for another ten years. I just can’t.” Just getting to the meditation cushion and sitting with my frenetic, impatient mind is proving to be more difficult than I could have imagined.
All this to say, then, that I don’t have any pithy words of inspiration today. I have no answers. Today, I only have questions and doubts and fears and frustrations. So it was with deep gratitude and relief that I stumbled upon this talk by the ever-humorous, ever-human Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron. Namaste.