Sunday, January 13, 2008

Meditation--Or At Least Sitting Quietly--As Defragmenting the Mind


I will admit to you that I am not good at meditation.

I have trouble sitting still on a cushion and completely zoning out.

But I am getting pretty good a just sitting still and calming my mind.

Saturday, my son Matt had a 7th grade basketball tournament in Alcester, SD, a small town about forty miles from where we live. Between the first and second game, there was about a three hour span. After talking to some of the parents, players, and my son, getting something to eat, and reading the local news paper, there was still plenty of time to "kill."

So, I decided I'd spend at least a half hour just sitting in a folding chair by the door to the gym and try not to think about anything.

I was largely successful.

While I came to no great insights into the meaning of life, my mind was clearer and calmer than when I began. And, just sitting there quietly was almost a form of invisibility. Life proceeded around me as kids joyfully went about the business of playing basketball and hanging out with their teammates.

As I "snapped out" of my basketball zazen, it did occur to me that what I was doing was akin to what I do on my computer once in a while--degragmenting or "defragging" the hard drive so program files are closer together and thus run more efficiently. I also think some deletion goes along with the defragging as needless "files" get eliminated while sitting quietly or meditating.

So, I had a good time watching my son and his team play, talking to parents--and defragmenting my mind--all during a morning at a basketball tournament.

Photo: My son Matt, a small forward for the Harrisburg 7th grade Tigers, drives the basket against an Alcester-Hudson player. I was not meditating at the time of taking this photo but fully aware of the game.

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