there I am

05/17/2023 2 By BuddyCushman

What you really need is simply this : aloneness, great inner solitude,
to go within and for hours not to meet anyone. … The individual
person who senses her aloneness, and only she, is like a thing
subject to the deep laws, the cosmic laws.
Rainer Maria Rilke

I have friends in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Personally I’d guess that outfit is a little too hip for me, but my friends have told me some of their ins and outs over the years. One thing they’ve talked about, a lot, are the Twelve Steps, and in particular Step 11, which, if I’m remembering correctly, strongly advises AA’s to pray and meditate.

Back in the spring of 2008 I was living in a rather beautiful winter rental apartment in the end-of-Cape-Cod town of North Truro. My son Spenser, up from Florida for a school year, lived with me. Back then he called me “Dad.” Now he calls me “Brother.” But, that’s a different story. One cold and wet Saturday morning in March of that year, Spenser mesmerized by one or another VHS movie, I drove over to the North Truro Public Library. Browsing through shelves in the basement I came upon a book titled, “Wherever You Go There You Are.” The title grabbed me, and when I leafed through I saw lots of Thoreau and other cool cats. Proving once again that library cards are filled with magic, I took that book out, read it, and about a month later began meditating.

That was 15 years ago, and I’ve never stopped. Much of that time was sitting in an early-morning straight-back chair thinking about stuff for 15 or so minutes, give or take. A little over a year ago, when I left a job with the San Marcos kids, I made a decision to begin meditating more, uh, meditatively. With greater intention, and faith in whatever might happen. I’ve come to find out – averaging three to four meditation sessions of 19 minutes a day – the best news is that nothing’s supposed to happen. And, happily, I’m getting there. Something like Rilke’s talking about above.

About seven weeks ago I dropped out of the chair and began sitting on a cushion. In some circles it’s a zafu. Ann lent me hers and I brought it to this Golden Hill room. I went and bought another and brought it to her City Heights place. Zafus R Us. In fact, it has changed the experience for me. Lots. Lots and lots. It may not be cosmic. But it is spacious. Something about being down here on the floor.