Not hammer-strokes, but dance of water,
sings the pebbles into perfection.
The future and the past are equally meaningless because they are nebulous entities, times that do not exist, containing events which have no echo because they are gone, or which hold no import because they are yet to happen. What is important is the here and now, and now, and now, and the spaces between the nows.
My mind seems to latch onto songs and lyrics. This hasn’t bothered me much in the past, and in fact I think it was actually something that helped me learn how to meditate. I easily slip into repeating a mantra; my mind is delighted to oblige. Repeat it long enough though, and my mind finally gives up. Then I glimpse and experience the peacefulness of the present moment… for a moment.
But when my mind grabs hold of the lyrics of a song and just runs with it, ad nauseum, I feel like I have no control. I feel like I am being controlled by my mind. To what end? Singing a song over and over again in my head seems like one of the most useless activities I could participate in… unless I were trying to memorize the lyrics, of course.
But the fact is, I don’t memorize lyrics. I just hum a tune and pointlessly repeat the lyrics that I do know, over and over again. I find myself doing this when I wake up in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning, while I brush my teeth, shower, make breakfast, do the dishes, feed horses, muck the paddock of horse poop, shop, work, exercise… it doesn’t seem to matter what I am doing, my mind can be off in its own little world, singing some song. Sigh…
The latest tune has been–no surprise here–I Dreamed a Dream, from Les Miserables, sung by Susan Boyle and watched by millions (like me) on youtube. Like many others, I was very moved by her singing, but being moved doesn’t mean I have to be possessed…enough is enough!
The bright side of becoming aware of this affliction is just that: I can become aware of it. And the moment I become conscious of it, I am able to step outside of it and experience a gap of no thought (NO SONG). At least for a second, and sometimes even several seconds. The contrast between the constant chatterbox of pointless singing and the steady peace of blissful silence is astounding.
I have yet to experience great joy in this silence, but along with the present moment, I am also making patience my friend.
“You are what you are looking for.”
Good and kind people outnumber all others by thousands to one. Thus every spectacular incident of evil will be balanced by 10,000 acts of kindness, too often unnoted and invisible as the ‘ordinary’ efforts of a vast majority.
~Stephen Jay Gould