Meditation, Macrobiotics, Parallel Parking and Poetry

The 3 Goals, by David Budbill

The first goal is to see the thing in itself

In and for itself, to see it simply and clearly

For what it is

No symbolism, please.


The second goal is to see each individual thing as unified, as one, with all the other

Ten thousand things

In this regard, a little wine helps a lot.


The third goal is to grasp the first and

Second goals,

To see the universal in the particular


Regarding this one, call me when you get it.

From Moment to Moment: Poems of a Mountain recluse. (Copper Canyon Press).


There is an error of thought I hear frequently when it comes to meditation: “I can’t meditate”.  In reality like Yoda said in Star Wars, “we either do or don’t there is no try”. Meditation is not a special substance that alters ones consciousness and stills the jabbering of the monkey mind. It is, like in the above poem, finding the stillness in the present moment– through practice, while the mind is doing its habitual thing.  Meditation is merely the practice of disciplining the monkey mind to observe the present – or allow what is rather than figuring out the past or future. Simple really, right?

Macrobiotics is all about balance – isn’t everything? It is based on a belief that we are what we eat, and when we eat in balance – we are in balance. It too is a practice of bringing mindfulness into food preparation, consumption and clean-up. It works under the premise that balance = joy and well being.

Meditation can and does happen anywhere: driving, washing dishes, texting, working in the garden or at a desk, basically anywhere, because the present is always here now, Just like Ram Das said years ago.

Now, think of something / anything you love doing – it is probably not the thing itself that you love, it is the sense of being 100% present to the thing you are doing. This brings stillness to the mind., the technicolor presence of just- this – moment – now.

Parallel parking – The one thing I know, without doubt is that I am a rock star when it comes to parallel parking. This brings me great joy. The sense of effortless and certain satisfaction when I can park in a space that others would drive by without a second thought.

Here is a challenge – find the one thing that is your thing – your parallel parking thing. See if you can add to it.

I’ve got the parallel parking thing, meditating (especially with others), macrobiotics (all of it, the shopping, chopping, cooking, eating and sharing with others and the cleaning up), and poetry. Not all of it, but Budbill is pretty awesome.

So, what is your thing?  Your certainty place?

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