Mind the Gap: Day Three Hundred Twenty-Five

I aspire to meditate daily.Within my normal routine, I may skip a couple of times here and there, but mostly I get to it every day. But when my far-flung family gathered in one city, I rearranged my priorities. My parents who live in Florida, my son who lives in Los Angeles, my son and his girlfriend who live in Chicago, and myself and my husband who live in Cleveland, all made our way to New York City  to welcome the newest member of the family into the world: my new baby granddaughter. Meditation requires just twenty minutes of time and a solitary space within which to find stillness, but I was not willing to chop off any of my prescious minutes to devote to a solitary activity. I didn't want to take a chance on missing a moment of available time with my parents, children, husband, granddaughter. It's not that there was not a twenty minute block available here or there  (of course there was), but I never knew when my daughter might call and say the baby had just woken up or just been fed and was ready for a visit. It's the spontanteity I was not willing to give up.

So for the past couple of weeks, I've meditated only a couple of times and here I am trying to figure out what effect this has had on me. If there's one thing meditation has taught me, it's that you can't really figure out how meditation does and does not change your life. Conversely, it's not so useful to try to figure out what effect lack of meditation has had. I quiz myself: Am I more irritable? More anxious? Less productive? In other words, am I a different sort of person when I meditate and when I don't? It may be a question without an answer, but nevertheless it's the question foremost on all of our minds. Will this meditation thing do something relevant and immediate for me? I can see a trail of my accomplishments from the time I began to meditate almost a year ago until now and if that is a measure of change, I can see those things. But I can't see what would have happened had I not started to meditate. I feel powerful when I refuse to accept coincidence and am open to  the synchronicity that surrounds me, but I don't know how things would have played out were I still a person that noticed coincidence and then went blithely on ignoring the connections.

Maybe all the meditation I've done over the course of the past year has built up a reserve in me so the gap in my meditation schedule was of little matter.

Mind the gap. Cope with the gap. Meditate again.

A Business with a Greenhorn(with apologies to Shalom Aleichem): Day One Hundred Ninety Four

I like to use the mantra "Who am I?"  The question is a tough one and I wonder whether I'll ever have the answer.  But, in the mean time, during my meditation today, I settled upon the word "greenhorn" and that word lead me to my grandmother.  To my grandmother, a greenhorn herself, the word "greenhorn" was used with special disdain for select people.  I can't remember the people to whom she referred when she talked about greenhorns, although I do think they were eastern European Jews who never were able to assimilate as well as she did.  My grandmother arrived in America before World War II and made her way to Cleveland in search of her father.  Her father had come stateside before she left Budapest with promises to bring his family over as soon as he was settled.  Instead, he never answered his daughter's letters and as far as she could tell, he set up a new life for himself in Los Angeles, California.  I often wonder whether I have unknown relatives, descendants of my great grandfather who started a new life for himself away from his greenhorn family. In the meantime, my grandmother had business to attend to.  She was entrepreneurial in that eastern European way.  She became a caterer and a seamstress and plugged away at making a living for her family.

The meditative question is: why did my grandmother come to me today?  What is happening around me that has caused her to visit?  I'll be pondering these questions and if I'm lucky, I'll figure it out.

By the way, the Shalom Aleichem story referred to above is a wonderful bit about a smarmy business man who easily takes advantage of a couple of greenhorns.  Love the way he writes the Yiddish dialect.  See if you can understand.

"You saying how America was a lend of business? Never mine! Det's how it's suppose to be. But a fella getting merry wid a goil for business? Det, you'll poddon me, is mean end doity. Now, I ain't preaching no morality here, but I am telling you it's a fect; when nine-end-ninety procent of grinnhorns in dis country is getting merry for business, it is making me med! End if I am meeting op wid such a kind of grinnhorn, belive me he don't get off dry. You live it to me!"