Becoming Buddhist

Attempting to Live a More Mindful Life

Scattershot Summer


I’ve had a post brewing for a few days but it’s felt scattered and unformed, and then I realized: perfect. How appropriate.

I’m in Maine with my parents and my son, and I’m thinking about how everything, always, is a duality of good/bad, right/wrong, confusing/clear, difficult/easy.

For example:

This is one of the most beautiful, peaceful places I know, yet I miss the bustle of Berkeley.

I craved the peacefulness of this place for weeks, but now I’m here, I can’t relax.

Being close to my parents makes me realize how much I miss them, but it also makes me realize how difficult it is to be with one’s parents.

Lex is adorable, but he is also, as a friend recently remarked, “fucking four”–loud, rude, inconsiderate.

Lex is perfectly normal, yet I worry that my relatives think maybe he’s an asshole.

I told myself a break from making a baby and a break from writing would be okay, good, but since I’ve been here I’m anxious about all the hours I’m not writing or making a baby.

I have been wanting to make space for these feelings of dissatisfaction, while at the same time, I feel guilty when I remember how lucky I am to have this nice life.


Lately I have been reflecting on how my meditation practice this year has gotten me out of some sticky situations, mostly because, when I’m being mindful, I’m kinder to myself about what I perceive as failures and setbacks. I remember to be gentle, to have lovingkindness and temperance.

Lately I have also been reflecting on how challenging this year might have been if I hadn’t been meditating–and already, it feels like it’s been quite challenging. If anything, the negative voices in my head have increased. The stress about my writing has felt more overt, more divisive, more painful. The pain about being–say it–infertile–has been palpable. Meditation has helped me to deal with these feelings more, sure, but the feelings are still there, and I wonder if, along the road, when you start to practice sometimes things get worse before they get better.

On this issue in particular, I really want clarity.


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.

5 thoughts on “Scattershot Summer

  1. My own experience has been that my practice has led to me experience things more intimately. So – when I am sad, I feel it deeply. When I am happy, I feel a tremendous sense of ease. Frustrated, angry, amused? Same thing.

    Like when one first starts to practice and expects the mind to calm, yet the mind feels like it is going ever more bananas. Has the mind changed? Or are we simply paying better attention to the way it has always been?

    So, maybe worse, maybe better, and not worse/better at all. Just you. Clear, unclear, horribly fucking confused. Just you.

    I wanted to say, too, I relate to your list of dualities. Many of them are familiar in my own experience (kids, parents…). So happy you put the post out there unformed.

    Be well~

    • Oh, thank you. This line is just perfect (/imperfect?) tonight: “So, maybe worse, maybe better, and not worse/better at all. Just you. Clear, unclear, horribly fucking confused. Just you.”

  2. I can so relate to this post. . . I listened to a podcast of Pema where she talked about the myth of freedom, and how when we start to meditate we sometimes have this notion that it is going to be a balm and help us feel groovy about all things. . . not saying this is where you are at, but jeeze man, if we can’t get some peace from all this duality through meditation, where can we? Anyway, I guess for me, sometimes being mindful makes things more clear, even things like emotional hurt and pain or frustration. I don’t know if I am making any sense… I just wanted to let you know, you are not alone. xx.

    • Right? “If we can’t get some peace from all this duality through meditation, where can we?” I think Bussokuseki’s reply says it all…

      You look so different in your new Gravatar.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s