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What’s Guiding You?

By Alexander Irving

Recently I woke up feeling sluggish and lethargic, reluctant to engage in the various activities I had planned for the day, including meditation. As I dragged myself out of bed I noticed a bit of a struggle in my mind between the wish to meditate and the desire to...what? I'm not sure but certainly not to meditate! Instead I turned to my phone and before long I was lost in the comforting embrace of online window shopping (who knew electric bicycles were so interesting).

But then something happened. I noticed that I was feeling lethargic, clearly and without judgement. I felt it, the texture of it, the quality of the heaviness and dullness in my body and mind. And then the lines from a poem popped into my head:

Today like every other day I wake up empty and frightened.
Don't open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty you love be what you do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

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Mindfulness has become the new buzzword, the miracle cure, the quick fix, the panacea that we have all been waiting for. Or has it? The idea that you participate in an eight-week course, and your struggles with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and chronic pain, amongst other ills that afflict us vulnerable human beings, are banished once and for all, is naive.

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