This is the first entry – ever. On the subject of this. It is fun to be here for the 28 days. And a surprise. Much like the surprise I had while sitting when I remembered something a dear friend said to me once during a very difficult personal event I was going through. I remember she said something like, “Show up. Listen. Tell the truth. Don’t be attached to the results.” And I thought, wow, I know you are smart, but that is such elegant, clear advice. And it stuck. I have thought of it since the 17 or so years ago whenever she gave it to me. And only recently, during one of my sitting practices, did I realize what had happened. While I was sitting and going through my ritual offerings of good will and wishes to all beings, this advice suddenly popped into my head and I burst out laughing. I realized that I was now doing, maybe finally, what my friend had offered 17 years ago. I was now sitting on my pillow, which is to say, I “showed up”, and was now going to tell the truth, listen, and not be attached to the results – meaning that when the bell sounded 20 minutes later I would simply get up and walk away and be in the day. I realized that my friend or the conditions arose so that my friend giving me this advice anticipated what is now my daily sitting practice. It felt like a synchronous moment only 17 years later. It was a moment whose depth and consequence could not have been predicted by me at the time. I think now as though it was like a meditation bell had rung and I was too distracted for it.
And then 20 minutes later my bell rang and I was startled. I thought to myself, oh shoot, not again, you were distracted otherwise the bell wouldn’t have startled you. And then I laughed realizing that, once again, I wasn’t ready for the bell.
Since I’ve been sitting I’ve realized so many more little synchronies throughout the day and I smile thinking now “I’m including the bell” more often.
And now I’ve taken occasionally to setting my meditation app to ring every hour in my pocket for 8 or 10 or 12 hours of the day. It’s a little secret reminder. Sometimes I see people look around when it goes off as though they heard something far away and dismiss it as someone’s mobile phone or a clock tower or something. And then they look at me. And then we carry on. Yes, the bell rang. You know it did. And you are right.