If you can fix it with money, it's not a problem:Days Three Hundred Twenty Six - Three Hundred Thirty One

Grandpa Joe was a pragmatist's pragmatist and according to him, I have a problem. As a matter of fact, I'm in the midst of a full-blown crisis and I've been here before. Catastrophes happen to people who meditate and to people who don't. The other times I've experienced crisis, I was not a person who meditated. Let me say definitively: it's better to be a person who meditates. The crisis still swirls around me, but I am not sucked into its vortex. My life goes on, I worry, at times I'm consumed, but the situation outside of me stays on the outside. This is a new experience and I am so grateful to be exactly where I am. Untitled18

Fit It In: Days Nineteen and Twenty

Day Nineteen: With half an hour to spare before an appointment, I squeezed in the meditation. I figured I only needed twenty minutes, right? Plenty of time. The dog did not cooperate. He whined and scratched at the closed door until I let him in. He played with his ball and was intrigued by my stillness. He was compelled to investigate. I finally put him out, closed the door on him, and tried to resume from where I had left off. This was actually more successful than you might think. I was at the point in the process where I had relaxed my body and was ready to begin to meditate. After the disruption, I was easily able to resume the mode and rather quickly begin to coax my mind's eye toward my heart. The problem was that the running commentary in my head was that I would now be late for my appointment. When I opened my eyes to check whether or not my twenty minutes was up, it was five minutes early. I resumed. Checked again. Still two minutes to go. In my last session with Lee, she emphasized the importance of a kind of cool down period after meditation. She advised sitting for a few minutes after meditating, gazing at the floor, and letting your senses slowly get used to being back in focus. But since I was worried about being late for my appointment, I checked back in very quickly.

Day Twenty: was a very good day. The student I tutor at a charter school in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District got 100% on his reading test on Kafka's Metamorphosis, the book we read together over the past couple of months. This morning I woke up with an epiphany about the tutoring program. It all became very clear. Channels are open and firing, at least for the moment.

My twenty minutes took place on the porch of my parents' Florida condo. It's an interesting weather day here, storming one minute, sunny the next. Wind and slanty sheets of rain made it more practical to be inside, but the porch was the only quiet private place. The predominant sound was the rush of water through a drain pipe, very loud and distinctive, not at all the peaceful sound of rain drops. Not exactly irritating, but not relaxing either.