Susan Hills Nelson lives in Columbia, SC, and works as an attorney for Nelson Mullins Riley Scarborough. She has also been attending Ganden Kadampa Buddhist Center for about four years. This year, she made a New Year’s Resolution to meditate every day. She’ll be giving us a weekly update on this blog to let us know how it’s going.
My name is Susan Hills Nelson and I have a meditation problem. I have been a Ganden Mahayana Buddhist Center regular since 2009 but have yet to develop a formal daily meditation practice. My goal: to maintain a daily meditation practice for one entire year. My determination level: high. I want to see how a daily practice changes me. How different will I be at the end of one year, both externally and internally? This blog, and you, dear cyber reader, are the answer to my very real meditation problem. As you read, I shall sit. And sit. And sit.
So this week, for the first time ever, I am happy to report that I attempted to meditate every day. I had to meditate at night because my friend Steve was staying with me from DC and we were trading off bathroom time in the morning. Meditating at night is rough. Here was the scene as Steve walked by my door several nights this week, seeing the light still on:
Steve: Goodnight Susan!
Susan: Zzzzzzzzzzzz. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
(Yes, I snore. Don’t judge.)
My first realization this week, despite sleeping through several meditations, is that I am fairly miserable, no, quite definitely miserable, most of the time. I often have a headache. I am often cranky, irritable, and altogether moody. My good moods are brief, fleeting, and often pass by unnoticed.
For example, my friend Steve likes to drive exactly 5 miles under the speed limit. This would seem to be a safe, unproblematic, and sensible thing to do. This drove me completely batty this week. Here was the scene as Steve and I drove to dinner:
Steve: So, what are you in the mood to eat?
My second realization this week is that I have to do something about this NOW. Not 5 years from now when my anger and resentment turn into cancer, but immediately if not sooner. I don’t want to wait until something awful happens to wake me from my procrastination, like a death in the family, or a life threatening illness, or debilitating car crash, or a divorce. I don’t want to wait until I am sick or dying to fix my mind. I want to be ready when it does happen.
So one week of meditation down. 51 to go.
P.S. I apologized to Steve for being cranky-pants-snarky-party-pooper Susan this week. He accepted my apology. Whew.