Thursday, September 8, 2011

The garbage truck is coming, the garbage truck is coming...!

I'm the kind of person who wants to take off his clothes and toss them in the washer when he's doing laundry. When the trash is at the curb, I will literally carry each new item of garbage to the cans at the curb, rather than dispose of them inside. Weird, I know.

I think it has to do with some craving for finality--the need for closure. As if this might be the last time I ever have to throw out trash again. Silly and unrealistic, I agree.

So, two hours ago I was meditating when I heard the garbage truck approaching. My first impulse was to race downstairs, grab the kitchen garbage, and toss it with the rest of the trash outside. That is, until I remembered where I was and what I was doing. I was meditating, for crying out loud, and there I was ready to bolt outside and empty my garbage can!

It's Thursday; the next garbage pickup is Monday. It's not like I have to wait weeks for the garbage truck to come back. How much garbage could I possible accumulate in three days?

Anyway, there I was sitting on my mat, feeling the urge to dash outside. So what did I do? I sat and opened myself up to the impulse. It was a nervous tension motivated by some blind belief that I had to throw the garbage out. So I sat with the physical sensations and investigated the unstated thoughts that were prompting this.

What was interesting is that the more I examined the sensations, the less powerful they became. The emptier they felt. The same for the beliefs. I saw right through them. They were self-induced. There was no law in the universe demanding that I take the trash out; that impulse was coming from me.

And with that understanding came freedom. I didn't have to act on these beliefs; in fact, the more aware I was of them, the less control they had.

The whole scenario may sound silly, but I appreciated the experience. It taught me that I am not bound by my conditioning. Change is possible, and so is freedom.

Peace to all beings. Have a great weekend!

Photo borrowed from Creative Commons flickr user: Salim Virji.

1 comment: