i have lately been pondering this meditation thing. It has always seemed an anathema to my entire being, and the absolutely last thing I would ever consider. But the very reason causing me to view meditative practices as torture (albeit more artistic and subtle manners of torture) is perhaps the reason I would be in dire need of them. The crux of the matter is, how would I even begin, when I feel such an aversion to meditation’s most basic principles? My immediate awareness is constantly moving from one thing to another, in a seemingly unconnected and incoherent pattern. Physically, I can’t stop moving; if the only part I can move is a finger, then I’m frantically moving this finger.
In waldorf school, I used to pace. During recess (and free time in kindergarten), I moved around in circles. My worry was that, when transferring to new classrooms between grades, there wouldn’t be enough space outside the building to pace in circles during recess. I used all sorts of tricks during lessons, when I wasn’t able to pace. One was to track the movements of the arms on my wristwatch. Another thing was to be constantly writing down all words that were said — that is, a kind of fake writing. I used a finger to write on my upper legs, on my other arm or on some item, furniture or fabric. The same technique was very useful during car rides. I also used to obsessively observe patterns and count intervals over and over again. Read every word I could find written, over and over again. (Since the written word isn’t very prevalent in waldorf schools lower grades, this method couldn’t be easily applied. But there are always written words to be found, even where conscious effort has been made to remove them. Labels, tags, and so forth. Pens and crayons — even the anthroposophically approved crayons — had labels with text and numbers. Very rudimentary from an intellectual perspective, but better than nothing at all.) I don’t know how to sit on a chair, but luckily for grown-ups they’re mostly free to misbehave. I don’t need as many techniques, because I’m not required to sit on chairs in an orderly manner.
Also, and this may be the most significant difference, the medications unavailable to children with big-pharma-scared parent(s) are suddenly available. We’re now able to sleep, to be sufficiently awake when supposed to (hyper-activity can often be a frantic attempt at elevating the level of wakefulness) and to avoid falling into the dark void of depression — with the aid of pharmaceuticals, the world is doubtlessly a better place than I could ever have expected it to be when I was a child. However, in the end, I must ask of myself what it is I really want, and whether there are alternative ways through which it may be possible to achieve the same, or similar, goals.
On the other hand, meditation and all such practices scare me. There’s that inner resistance. It’s not only that I feel it is “not for me”, as it were, it is that I sense I’d mentally resist it, like I resist falling asleep even when I don’t wish to be resisting it. I don’t even know of anything but resistance. It happens unconsciously, without my willing it. I feel my relationship to my very own wakefulness (and to its opposite) is neurotic. When George Costanza yells “serenity now, insanity later” it always strikes me as potentially true, even plausible, actually — although for obvious reasons I’ve never really attempted to examine the causal strength of that supposition. Serenity seems too much like dying.
So — what should I read? I doubt I’d find any use in stuff about seeing auras and purple 9-petalled lotus flowers and the similar. Not from shutting my eyes and imagining the sound of waves on a Caribbean shore or the twittering of birds in the forest either. (I do, however, find something attractive in Charlie Citrine’s mediation over a lamppost.) I don’t particularly need the higher worlds or the company of archangels. But I do need to extend my ability to focus.