Inspiration, not desperation


“When I’m at my best as a teacher, there is always a moment–sometimes as I am walking through the door into the room, other times shortly after we begin–when the class comes to me as a fully formed idea.”

Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat

Day 334 – Today I took a “mental health” day.  It wasn’t planned; I actually had an appointment I wanted to keep, and even once I did plan this day, I still went into work.  Today follows a week or two of unstoppable madness and complete disarray of academic days in school and events outside of school.  After last night’s teacher summit, I can validate my own inner chaos and angst.  I can look at my misgivings and personal defeat more realistically, and I feel better about it, although I am absolutely dragging today.

The reading today (which I actually read three days prior, but have felt thwarted at every turn) discusses how to live in the present moment.  Indeed, how?  Rolf suggests that the key is in practice and that clarity comes from the experience of sitting with one’s self in all one’s glory and murkiness, each time we come to the mat (literally and figuratively).  He describes this, writing:  “The spacious, steady attention of dhyana is meant to be the foundation upon which we can build more effective lives.”

When I am able to be present in the moment, any moment, there is, as Rolf says, a “glimpse of how time is not linear, of how everything is happening all at once…the beginning, the middle, and the end has already happened and is happening now.”  I see the bigger picture and I am the bigger picture.  So, when Rolf suggests we practice, I think this is a worthy thing (I miss it when I can’t find the time).  Rolf shows us that “our practice attunes us to the knowing we need in order to be the people we want to be.”  And who we want to be should come from that place, as my own husband puts it, “a place of inspiration, not desperation.”

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