Tips from a Messy Contemplative

MeditateI would love to talk about meditation and contemplative orientation from a place of perfection. I would love to land on the ground from levitating in the lotus position to tell of the richness of mindfulness practice from a place of certainty. But I can’t! I’m a father of two sons, the husband of a wife I strive to understand, and a spiritual teacher who most days feels more like a fraud than a competent witness. All of which are roles, which clutter my mind. In some ways I am the worst contemplative around. I remember being in the middle of a sermon shouting in this real bombastic voice about the importance of silence and didn’t grasp the irony of it until I sat down. I suck at silence. I once entered a retreat center introducing myself to a sweet unassuming nun who notified me in a tender tone just above a whisper that everyone there takes a vow of silence. And for the next 4-6 minutes I nervously explained to her how I totally get what that whole silence thing is about! It was a nightmare. When I enter into silence my mind begins to race. Distraction takes over far too often. And in the midst of my meditation I keep wondering, “How does that Dalai Lama dude do this!” I would love to talk about centeredness from a place of true competency. But I realize the “certain” mystic may be the worst spokesperson for contemplation these days. Hear from a voice that truly understands the time torn life. Hear from a guy that knows what it means to be event rich and time poor. Take a tip from a messy contemplative emphatically stating: Even bad meditation can transform your life.

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