Becoming Buddhist

Attempting to Live a More Mindful Life



Faithfully meditating. Faithfully, five mornings a week, showing up to the zafu and…thinking too much. Then doing the Pema Chodron routine and gently saying to myself, thinking. Focusing on the birdsong helps, too, but it’s fleeting. This morning it occurred to me that it could be like this for six months, a year, two years, five. All the thinking. Then what? One day I reach Boddishatva, then Enlightenment, and cease to overthink? (I can hear my husband chuckling.)

Sometimes the thoughts are needling; more often, petty, small needs to run over and over some logistics in my mind. Because I suffer from anxiety, I have real trouble with routine changes. And so a lot of this morning was spent trying–trying!–to create space for today’s different routine: the early-morning visitor, a different work schedule for me, the arrival of my parents this afternoon, Lex being done two hours early. Breathe. Birdsong. Thinking. Thinking!

Lex taking the time to smell the flowers.

Lex taking the time to smell the flowers.

I loved Amanda’s post Turning Nine. I loved it because yesterday (routine change), I was home with Lex all day and did not feel that awesome contentedness that Amanda writes about. We did “medium” (this was reported to me by Lex at the end of the day), but I confess there were many moments when I felt unsatisfied, or he did, and I also hollered significantly at one point (because we were driving down 880, which may be the Bay Area’s sketchiest highway, when a size-ten purple Converse sneaker whacked me in the side of the head). And of course I was thinking about this, this morning, too. Every day with a 3.5 year old I resolve to do better than “medium.” Breathe. Thinking. Thinking.

I think I found the practice at the right time in my life.

Author: becomingbuddhist

I am a writer, teacher, and mother living in Northern California. Recently I decided to try an experiment in living more mindfully. This blog is my testimonial.

4 thoughts on “Thinking

  1. Holy. Cow. I was literally JUST reading Pema Chodron where she talks about “thinking” in her Shambala article about How To Tap Into the Natural Warmth of Your Heart. Talk about coincidence… I think you were the one who recommended Pema Chodron to me, and I had been meaning to start reading her for some time, so I thank you a lot for motivating me. I don’t have a formal meditation practice, so I guess I’m kind of a faker when it comes to Buddhism, but I think that her writings are so tangible and transcendent that there is SOMEthing that can be gleaned from them. . . Good on you that you are so faithful to your practice! Hugs from the East Coast to you!

    • Wow. I love kismet! And I agree totally about Pema. I used to listen to her while I was cleaning house. She’d make me feel so calm, even though I was hardly being mindful at the time (or maybe that’s the lesson: mindful housecleaning?). Hugs to you, too.

  2. I just wanted to say I was caught up by your first lines…Thinking…thinking…thinking is what the mind does. It just does, especially when we’re quiet and watching. And sure, sometimes it is quiet… But who could know what it will be doing five years from now? I’d bet sometimes it will be thinking, and sometimes it will be quiet…

    Thank you again for a lovely post. Be well~

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