This afternoon I did a series on Twitter on how difficult it is to clear my mind when I meditate.  Here, in a slightly altered version, is a snapshot of my mind as I attempt to find enlightenment, or at least a few moments of peace:

::sits quietly, focuses on breath, starts to clear mind, then suddenly. . .::


1) Lesson plans.  
2) Fourth grade. Why weren’t fourth graders allowed on the lower playground? The first through third graders never used it.
3) Welcome Back, Kotter. (Signed, Epstein’s Mother).  
4) I’m hungry.
5) Since I scientifically have to have food, why do I have to buy it?  Why isn’t it just given to me? Grocery stores should be free and people should get whatever they want.
6) Bernadette Peters.
7) Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman.”  Why is Queen Mary his friend if she treats him so poorly?
8) My elbow itches.  
9) I wonder what David’s doing right now?
10) I smell tomatoes.
11) Mmmm. Drumsticks. (the ice cream, not sticks for drums).
12) Sid Caesar.  Similar to Carl Reiner, but Reiner’s funnier.
13) Cheese.  Not just cheese, but cheddar cheese.  On tortilla chips.  With olives and salsa.
14) That thing I think about, but can’t talk about here.
15) Foghorn Leghorn.  (I. .say. . I. . .say. . .I say there, boy. . .)
16) Wait.  Nachos must have sour cream.
17) That cheerleader in 11th grade with the stunning, gap-toothed smile.
18) Is Gilligan his first name or his last name?
19) Do dogs make plans?
20) Guilt about why I can’t just clear my mind when I meditate.

Of course, that’s normal.  As thoughts enter my mind during meditation, I just acknowledge their presence, and allow them to float out the other side of my mind. And I simply continue to breathe until the next one arrives.  Not waiting for it, not willing it to show up, just acknowledging it when it does and letting it pass through.   

But the moments between–those brief nano-seconds between the thoughts, the 7 a) and the 9 b) and the 12 c)–that’s where the peace and enlightenment happens. 

And it’s always worth the hassle.  TZT