Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Root of Meditation

I'm still at a bit of a stand, or at the end of a rope. Perplexed to find that I'm simply unable to give up on eating right or indulging -- that is, the thoughts and habits that I associate with struggling to improve my diet continue to run pretty much as usual, despite the fact that I've publicly, resolutely, definitely given up. It basically just doesn't matter.

So that's a small gain in itself, I suppose, to discover that this dieting business has actually never been something I've undertaken -- it's more something that's undertaken me.

It's all made worse, of course, by the continual roil of political anger -- everything compulsive ratchets up, when I'm angry. I find that I'm sleeping very badly, and that I'm feeling a little sick all the time from the sugar and fat. The desire grows by what it feeds on. I'm hungrier and more compulsive than when I was eating less.

I'm loath though to just go back to "officially" dieting, and picking up again where I left off. I yearn for a different way to be. I seem to spend my whole life either forcing myself to do things or skiving off them. Forcing myself not to procrastinate at work, or procrastinating. Forcing myself to eat right, or indulging. Forcing myself to exercise, or lingering at the computer defiantly letting the tension in my neck and shoulders escalate. This isn't an adult's life. It's a child's life. I'm sick of it.

But being sick of it doesn't give me any power over it. In fact, it's part of the system -- not outside of it at all.

It's a large player in all this -- the conviction that it's all illegitimate. I tell myself that I shouldn't want things I shouldn't have, and that I shouldn't have to force myself to do things. Why not, I wonder? But anyway, it all takes place in a context of shame. It's not so much that I'm ashamed of eating ice cream, as that I'm ashamed of being in conflict with myself about it. I have a sense that it marks me as a trivial person, a childish person. I should either eat the damn ice cream or not eat the damn ice cream, I tell myself. This is ridiculous. And so now I'm backing up, and saying to myself, I should either be in conflict with myself or not be in conflict with myself. This is even more ridiculous. Being in conflict with myself about being in conflict with myself is reaching new heights of ridiculousness. I've reached an infinite regress. The saturation point. It's all ridiculous.

It all runs back to one thing. There's only one thing I've ever done that has ever actually changed how I think, lessened the intensity of my compulsions. I simply have to get back to meditation, and to pick up my Ngöndro practice again.

Now this, of course, is still within the system. Now I will be trying to force myself to meditate. But that's okay. At present there simply isn't anything outside of this system of duelling compulsions -- the solution, I think, has to arise inside of it, or not at all.

So, once again -- a wan, tired smile -- I resolve to meditate daily, and to resume the Ngöndro practice.

Revulsion is the root of meditation, they say. I've never agreed with them more.

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