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Where The Wild Things Are

I imagine ziplining is hard. Bungee jumping even harder. Swimming after many years makes me gasp for air. Running when I am out of shape makes me double over in pain. Despite the difficulties, I am fairly confident that I can overcome the physical deficits and get good at these in a reasonable timeframe.

The emperor of obstacles, the bane of my existence comes in the form of meditation.

Tarun and I have been meditating before bedtime for months now. Some days are good. Last night was an unmitigated disaster. The storm brewed surreptitiously as I tried to quieten the mind. Inhaling and exhaling released the tension that knots my shoulders and stiffens my neck. Then, without notice, the motor stalled and my mind began to sputter.

I told myself to let go and headed straight into a tailspin.

Instead of thoughts tumbling out of my mind and traveling into oblivion, I had a stream of distractions. Why was the washer so loud? We definitely need to find a quieter timer for the lamp! Did I miss so-and-so from the holiday card list? Did we eat too much meat today? That ceiling we are sanding is still too uneven. The top of the Christmas tree is crooked and I'll need to haul the tall ladder to fix it, ugh!

Like a ping-pong ball the thoughts bounced erratically, fueled by my day.

Unable to reign it in, I got angry at myself and wanted to quit and try tomorrow. Then, I remembered what the wise man said - meditation is like training a wild elephant, you cannot choose to train it occasionally!

A few breaths later, I had an aha moment - I don't have one elephant marauding through the nooks and crannies of my brain, there is a veritable zoo of wild things in there! When I meditate, they dance like ghosts on a new moon night, hooting and hollering with the drumbeats.

And the harder I try, the more raucous they get!

If you are fighting a horde of wild things too, know that I am right there with you on this seemingly thankless journey to tame our minds. Let's keep faith that it will get easier in the coming months. In the meantime, I am going to take the 13,000 pound African Bush Elephant and her friends bungee jumping every night. While I swing, let's hope they slide off the rope and disappear into the gorge below.

Those meerkats...they look like trouble though.

(Pic from



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