Monday morning. My wife has left for work. The daughters just finished their morning fight.
As soon as we have breakfast in our stomachs, we cycle to school, 3 minutes before the gate closes. Although we live nearby, it’s still a race.
As we take the last turn, the school bell rings. Another sprint, some farewell kisses and I can wheeze contently. Result!
A mom with a cargo bike filled with sons rushes in. She hurries her boys through the closing gate.
We chat a bit. She tells me about her stressful morning and the busy day ahead. And then it comes, that familiar remark my wife loves so much… 😉
“You’re such a calm person.”
I laugh. A recent situation flashes through my mind where I didn’t remain calm at all.
She’s surprised. She reads my texts and thinks I’m always zen.
“Then it’s high time that I write more about me having all possible emotions.”
It’s true that I’m calmer since I practice meditation and that I put things in perspective more easily. But I still have my temperament. I haven’t become a houseplant.
It is a stubborn myth that meditation would eliminate thoughts and emotions.
Yes, when ‘sitting’ it does happen that the mind is surprisingly still and emotions blissfully subtle. But not every meditation is a treat.
And yes, it often surprises me how I keep calm when the kids pester each other once again. But I also lash out more than I care to admit.
Above all meditation makes you more aware.
Gradually thoughts and emotions become less bothersome. You get to see them more clearly for what they are: temporary, impersonal sensations that appear, change and disappear by themselves all the time. Sometimes they entangle you, sometimes they don’t.
It’s like this for everyone.
With meditation you can become your own best friend, warts and all, while your understanding for others grows as well. By trial and error.
That’s why I keep practicing and teaching it.