Everyday, all day, there are so many distractions — conference calls and meetings, bills, traffic, people. We get so wrapped up in our day-to-day nonsense — does she like me? What did that text mean, anyway? I pay how much for cable? Man, that driver's an asshole! Is that a bump on my lip?
It is tempting to succumb to this barrage and begin to think that these are the things that really matter. Maybe they're not distractions at all; after all, this is what life has to offer. If I can figure out what she means in that text or can let the asshole driver know he's an asshole or if I google that bump on my lip for the next four hours then maybe, just maybe, I'll feel good and be right with the world.
But, more often than not, these day-to-day thoughts and events are irrelevant anxieties — at least the anxiety is irrelevant. We — or perhaps I should just say I — expend too much energy a) on things that don't matter in the least; and b) on things that my energy expenditure cannot affect. In both cases, thinking about these things, negotiating these things in the endless babble in my head, is a drain on my vitality.
This is not to say that the day-to-day matters of life don't, well, matter. Of course they do. We live in the day-to-day world; we live with our desires and people and drivers and work and bills. We can certainly streamline the amount of bullshit we have to deal with but we'll still have to deal with some of it.
At so least once a day, I try to feel the cosmos seethe. I try to quiet my neurotic head and feel — know — that I am just so much stuff in the endless mish mash of stuff and that this mish mash is infinite, streaming from the atomic to the cosmic. All the nonsense of the day falls away like so much sloughed skin or like an ox who, with a shake of his rump, sheds the flies from his hide.
Now, this is not an earth shattering observation. People meditate. But, to me, this is different. It's not an emptying of the mind; it's not a stillness. On the contrary, it involves putting myself in the cosmic swirl, amidst its ebbs and swells, its harmonies and dissonances, its resonances, its complexity. I imagine meditation to involve a simplification of life (I will be the first to admit that I may be way off on this front). And there's nothing wrong with such a gesture — it's just not what I'm talking about now. What I'm talking about is mixing it up with the delirious complexity of it all, the infinite collisions and collusions, the ricochet and marbling of matter both visible and invisible.
It's as if I shed my humanity, for an instant, and participate in the world as dust and leaf and am suddenly privy to the infinitely elaborate mechanics of the universe. It's not that I become nothing; it's that I become this thing amidst the everything.