Some days my To Do List runs off the paper, down onto a piece of mail, scurries over the counter, up over the fridge… I could paint my house with my To Do List.
On days like this, I will be running my errands at lunchtime when everyone is out running their errands too.
On the road, I’ll drive behind grandma and grandpa who play it safe and go 5-15 mph under the speed limit.
There will be a landscaper’s truck and trailer going the exact same speed next to them, and behind me will be a tinted-glass Monster Truck in a Big Hurry.
At the stoplight no one remembers that Green Means Go.
When I try to make my left turn across the six-lane throughway, I’m behind the gentleman eating his lunch and checking his text messages.
Blocking my entry into the bank parking lot is a stalled minivan overflowing with mud-covered kids and loose soccer balls going in every direction.
Invariably, I walk into the bank to make my deposit at 12:16 pm on the first of the month when everyone has just gotten his or her paycheck, social security check, estate windfall, and yearly bonus. Without fail, the bank is understaffed.
The first few people to get in line could see the ropes that traced where people should stand, but now the semblance of order is but a wispy contrail in a cloudy sky.
I call this Meditation Camp.
People pay big money for meditation opportunities like this, but I get all of it for free.
How easy it would be to just pull out my phone and write emails, check Facebook, and message friends. But I know this is Meditation Camp and I will not fall prey to tech-sloth today!
So, here I am, all wound up and ready to go. Let the games begin!
I turn my phone off, completely off.
I stand upright and make sure my feet are parallel. I bounce up and down a little like I’m getting ready for the sprint. Three boys across the room mimic me.
A hand reaches down from the ceiling and screws a wire into the top of my head. No one around me seems to notice this. I feel my chin tuck in a little and my spine straighten when the wire gently pulls me upright.
I let my arms hang heavy in my shoulder sockets; I don’t hold anything in my hands.
Like a marionette, I am hanging loose.
I soften my gaze and take in everything in sight equally; I don’t stare or focus on anything in particular, not even the child in front of me with a Cheeto up her nose.
I listen in the same way, hearing the ocean of voices around me but not focusing on particular cries or guffaws.
I let my body breathe.
In my mind’s eye there is a swinging door that swings towards me when I breathe in, and swings out when I breathe out. Sometimes the hinges are squeaky.
In my mind’s eye there is a thin curtain hanging over an open window that flutters towards me when I breathe in, and flutters away from me when I breathe out. It is translucent and frayed a little at the edges.
In my mind’s eye there is a small wave on the beach that breaks and washes towards me when I breathe in, and runs down the sand and back into the sea when I breathe out. A sand piper scurries to and fro amidst the bubbles rising through the sand as the wave retreats.
The whole world expands when I breathe in, contracts when I breathe out. I just stand in line and watch my breathing.
Everyone in line at the bank is breathing in, and then breathing out. The Cheeto-nosed girl is doing this through her mouth.
The tellers behind the counter are breathing in, and then breathing out. I can feel the whole bank expanding and contracting.
Through the window I can see the shrubs and trees, they are also breathing in and breathing out.
I am feeling so good being stuck in line here at the bank, I am seriously considering going over to the DMV and renewing my driver’s license.
Now it’s time for you to go find a line to get stuck in so you can experience your own Meditation Camp.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
And please, leave a comment and let me know about your standing-in-line experiences!