Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sitting Anywhere

Last night Thich Nhat Hahn tried to convince us that meditation was portable – that is, you don’t need to be in a special room or with a designated group of people to meditate. He mentioned sitting for hours in a busy airport on the floor while waiting for a delayed plane. This makes a tremendous amount of sense, given the escalation of stress that something like a flight delay causes.

As I near my actual retirement from the Federal Government, I find myself sitting in meetings that seem more and more absurd. Yesterday one person talked about having a staff of 60 contractors ready to do a job that doesn’t even yet exist! My temptation is to mouth off – just say whatever comes to mind – like “That really sounds fucked up!” or “What a stupid use of the taxpayer’s money!” Both of which are often true, but usually unstated.

Now I have a much more sane way to deal with my emotional reactions to things like this – one that may make me seem more saintly than witch-ly or bitch-ly (if those are words). I can just sit there and concentrate on my breath – in CALM, out MALICIOUS UNPRODUCTIVE THOUGHT, over and over and over again until the meeting is adjourned. I’m sure this will be a lot more pleasant for those around me and probably for me also...

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