As of late I have been feeling unusually tired. I was having difficulty concentrating. The most particularly unenjoyable part of my existence was experiencing low energy. It felt like I was carrying a bag of bricks everywhere I went. In that state it was difficult to enjoy life – even the things I usually enjoy! I was run down but most importantly my energy was just low.
Understanding that all things have causes and conditions I began to look at the causes of my low energy. I had been working hard for the last six months trying to get Satsang going. I had to let other things go for a while and they began to pile up. On top of it all my water heater needed replacement and when the plumbers were putting it in they broke a pipe in the wall. That meant that they had to cut holes in the wall to repair it and guess who got to repair/spackle/paint the holes? More work.
Memorial weekend was upon us and I decided to string together a few day off in a row to get some well deserved rest. Although I find it very relaxing and useful to have two or more days off in a row, I usually don’t get them because of my Peaceful Minds Center schedule. The Peaceful Minds Center always comes first in my life. It is the most important thing to me. People must have a place to go to learn about their minds and develop a practice that will slowly dissolve the ego or they will continually suffer needlessly. There is nothing more important in my life. Nonetheless, with the upcoming holiday I saw an opportunity to recharge my batteries.
What would truly recharge my batteries and bring my energy back? Most would think a few days laying on the beach ought to do the trick! The weekend in a timely fashion provided perfect summer beach weather. However, seeing clearly cause and effect I knew that lying on the beach would not relax me. I had to do the things that had been undone for far too long. The house need to be cleaned top to bottom including the carpets and upholstery. There was mail that needed to be filed … Laundry to be done … and so on. Without hesitation I went to work on my personal life that had been put aside out of necessity for too long.
I played the “Classic Rock” station on Pandora. It was great! They played tons of fun music that I had not heard in a long time. It brought me back to experiences I had long ago and while I was working I was also having fun! When I got tired or just wanted a break I popped on the TV and watched a show. I took my time. I ordered food from my favorite place Souvlaki Fast so I didn’t have to worry about cooking. I slowly and methodically accomplished each task well, completed it 100% and moved to the next thing. The reason that it was fun for me was because I knew clearly that what I was doing was exactly what needed to be done to return my energy to me. I knew that accomplishing these things was causal. It made me happy to know that I was doing exactly what would return me to peace. I felt a sense of relief and relaxation.
With the completion of each task I could feel my energy coming back. I was getting lighter and more joyful. There was one particular repair I made that had a surprisingly profound effect on my mind. The screens in my bedroom had some holes in them. Then, the cat of course, felt the need to make those holes just a little bigger – about the size of my palm. They had been like that for over a year. I had the screen and spline in the garage (the whole year by the way) so I pulled them out and re-screened them. Something happened in my mind I did not expect.
I have a lovely view of the intracoastal. Every morning I wake up and see the sun rising over the water. It’s absolutely gorgeous. For more than a year I’ve been looking at that view through ragged screens. I never thought much about it until I repaired them. My mind relaxed in a way that I didn’t think possible. Every time I looked out those windows my mind relaxed more. I spent five whole days simply doing what needed to be done in my personal life and the results were profound. I had recharged my batteries – not by laying on the beach but by paying attention to my life and doing what needed to be done. Now I can go lay on the beach an truly relax and enjoy it.
We must understand what truly brings us peace. Once we can see that clearly the rest is easy. Our ability to concentrate on a task and complete it is of paramount importance. There is always time but sometimes we cannot concentrate well enough to do what needs to be done. Our meditation practice help us practice concentration. When you are on the cushion you do it motionless with your eyes closed. When you are off the cushion you do it in motion with your eyes open.
Tom Notarianni Jr.