Last week one of the guys I work with asked me, “What’s going on with you?” my response, “What do you mean?” “You just seem different lately, like your mind isn’t here all the time.” I kind of laughed and told him, “I’ve been meditating a lot more, been reading a lot Buddhism books, that kind of stuff.” “Okay, I was wondering, you just seem…different lately.”
He’s not the only one that’s noticed. My wife has noticed too. In the last month and half I have read three books on Buddhism by different writers, also in different Buddhist Traditions. Awakening to the Sacred by Lama Surya Das, Chanting from the Heart by Thich Nhat Hanh and Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki.
I have taken things from each of these books. Chanting from the Heart is a wonderful book and I keep it next to my meditation alter. Awakening to the Sacred taught me more about chanting and keeping prayer journal, something I’ve never done before.
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind is a book I picked up after reading Steve Jobs’ biography. I’ve never read much about Zen Buddhism and I thought it would be a good place to start, and it was.
My wife told me that I seem different. The things I’m talking about here and with her at home are things she didn’t think I would ever ask her. That I want to help people and that I feel humanity is lost is something I completely feel. But I don’t carry it like a burden.
I don’t stay up late worrying about it. I know it’s there when I meditate and I feel the pain of the world when I see images of suffering and I want to erase that suffering, I don’t know why, but I want to. I feel that this and what I write are the two most important things I can leave this world with.
I asked my wife if she thinks I need to take medication for moods, because I know that sometimes I’m not fun to be around. She told me, “You are the calmest I’ve ever seen you.”
When someone you love tells you that, you are doing something right. I feel like a sense of peace has washed over me. I know I still have things to deal with, but they are becoming fewer with each day. I still love my dad and I want to give him a hug and tell him so, the same with my step-mom. I just think that life is too short to hate people. I am still working through one of those and I may just break down and hug her one day, just to see what happens.
I finally feel at peace with everything around me, I’m not sure why but I do. I’m going to continue with these type of posts through the end of the year. It makes me feel like I’m doing something for the world.