Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


Episode 518(305) Meditation

This is Retirement Talk. I'm Del Lowery.

I've entitled this podcast Meditation.

Sometimes we just want to do nothing or at least not do whatever it is that we are suppose to be doing. We have no energy and no impulse to try to find some. We just want to lay low and not do anything. Is there something wrong with that?

"Yes, there is something wrong with that", I heard someone say. It is not acceptable to just sit there. It is excusable if you are laying in the sun - working on a tan, or laying on a couch watching TV - absorbing a lot of nothing; maybe a late night talk show or a two football games back to back on Sunday afternoon. But if you just want to sit there contemplating yourself and the universe or just let life wash over you then you have a problem.

A fellow colleague of mine in the teaching profession use to get up at a 5:30 ever morning so that she could meditate before work. She claimed it was better than sleep and that she, "Couldn't live without it".  She talked about focusing on breathing and getting herself into this calm yet energy loaded state that would carry her through the day.

I am an impatient man. When we decide it is time to leave a friends house after dinner and conversation. I stand, go for my coat, say goodbye and am out the door all in one smooth motion. I do not linger with small talk, big talk, or raucous laughter. My wife comes along shortly.

When we decide to do some sort of project I get up and start moving on it. I do not wait until tomorrow. When I wake in the morning I do not linger in bed but rise and am doing Tai Chi within another few minutes. My first cup of coffee comes around four in the afternoon. I need nothing to help me start the day other than waking. I'm ready to roll at first sign of consciousness.

When my friend talked of waking and then meditating for an hour before work I couldn't imagine such a thing. Perhaps I should.

Grass always being greener on the other side I have always envied those folks who can just sit back and take life as it comes: fast or slow. They have patience. They can sit still. They can live with little stimulus. They can wait for others to speak first. They can sit quietly and  let the conversation flow around them without participating. They can  keep a secret for a few minutes or for many years. They appear content with very little. They seem self contained and easily satisfied with life as it is.

That thought always reminds me of Thoreau's line about drifting idly on Walden Pond and ceasing to think and beginning to be. How does that work? It sounds like a dream that is made for retirement. Perhaps now is the time to sit in the sun, or the shade, and let life roll past. To feel the chest expand and then feel the air flow out in a smooth, gentle rhythm. Let the mind drift in and out, rolling over this and then that and then out to invisibility. Time evaporates and we come in contact not with the material world but with the universe.

My wife and I just recently took up an attempt at Meditation. A visit from our granddaughter prompted the undertaking. She had recently downloaded a Meditation guide for the practice. She said it helped her relax and with avoiding migraine headaches that seemed to arise as daily stress increased. She is a college student and thus does experience some stressful days.

We downloaded two different Meditation programs that allowed for free trial periods. The programs are easy to find in an apt store. We followed the lessons for seven to ten days; whatever they allowed. The programs were similar with only slight variations. We opted for one because we thought the guide was less chatty than the other. We paid for the first month's lessons. Now we are thinking we may have chosen the more chatty of the two. We will switch when this month ends.

We really do find the Meditation helpful. It certainly puts us in a relaxed frame of mind. Our main goal in trying it was to help us sleep better and it seems to have had that effect. We do it around ten in the evening. That may not be the best time of day for that. Perhaps we will vary it in the future. But right now we are off to a good start. We have never missed since day one. We may become meditators yet.

This is Retirement Talk.

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