I recently finished reading Patrick Rhone’s Getting It Straight. The book’s a delightful read, and I couldn’t begin to discuss it in detail. It covers too many topics: you, me, and everything else. Several ideas found within the book captured my attention, though. One of them was meditation.
Rhone says that he meditates while washing the dishes. He looks forward to the chore. He finds its rhythms soothing. He states:
We often don’t think of these as moments of meditation, but if often has the same mental and physical effect. We are busy doing nothing, yet doing something all the same. The more we can identify these times of productive meditation, the more we can make sure to enjoy them for what they are.
His essay has caused me to think of my own times of productive meditation. They do not occur while I’m washing the dishes. I’m thinking about how the dish soap is going to ruin my hands and how I’ll spend the next week doctoring them with lotion. I’m looking forward to washing my hands with hand soap in order to be rid of the dirty dishwater feel.
No, my times of productive meditation occur while I’m running. Once I’m off my road with its treacherous potholes and onto the somewhat safer paved road (It depends on whether the bus drivers are in the mood to pull away from or toward the shoulder of the road.), my body falls into the rhythm of running and my mind and spirit still. I can think about anything once I’m in that state: struggles, joys, line breaks in a poem upon which I’m working, upcoming blog posts, ideas for Write Right, et cetera. I don’t always find clarity during those meditative runs, but they usually are restorative. I find a sense of balance, if only for a short time. I’m ready to continue with whatever life holds.
Do you have times of productive meditation? Do you, as Rhone says, “enjoy them for what they are”?