Everyone seeks peace, whether they realize it or not. In this world, peace can be so elusive. Everything is so fast paced, crazy-making, anger-producing. We all want peace.
Recently I became interested in meditation, and Buddhism. I was first attracted to the Buddha statues you see here and there, like in Pier One Imports and in people’s zen gardens. I liked how beautifully serene the faces of the Buddhas are….I found myself wishing that I could attain peace like that. So I bought some statues, some incense, some candles and books on the subjects of Buddhism and the practice of meditation.
I began, in my own haphazard way, to do a little meditating, and started to read some of the books. Some of the books were very simple and some were extremely complex. I thought, wow, I don’t know if I can do this or not. One of the books even said, meditation is simple but it’s not easy. They were referring to the practice of keeping your mind centered in the “here and now”, and keeping it from drifting off course into the future or the past. Boy, were they right.
I am a 35 year survivor of chronic pain of various sorts. I have fibromyalgia, RA, and I had endometriosis, thyroid disease. I have carpal tunnel syndrome. I have osteoarthritis. Also several other illnesses that interfere with my daily life.
Just as I was beginning to seek out this meditation as a way to cope with my long-time chronic pain issues, another thing popped up. It seems I now have a partial rotator cuff tear in my shoulder, which for the past couple weeks has been extremely painful and really causing a lot of trouble for me.
Since this started, I am finding it more difficult to continue on my meditation journey. I am not sure why but I think it’s because it’s harder to concentrate when the pain and the anxiety are crushing me. I not only am dealing with my shoulder pain, but all the other chronic pain as well. Pain makes it very hard to learn something new. It makes it hard to practice something new, when of course, now the doctor wants me to start practicing new exercises for my shoulder. It’s like all my attention is now focused on my shoulder and I can’t deal with anything else.
But I really need to meditate. Even though I haven’t really learned the basics, I want and need to meditate especially right now. I’m not sure how to proceed.
I guess I’ll just try to pick up these books and read and absorb the teachings as best I can, and try to meditate the best I can. Because I need the peace more than ever now. I’ll let you know how it goes. I really want this in my life. Everything else I’ve tried has not worked out well for me. So I’m going to put forth as much effort as I am able to, in order to find the peace that I so desperately need.
P.S. I am not meditating to try to relieve my chronic pain. I am meditating to try and find some peace in the midst of the storm. If by some miracle, my pain is lessened as I meditate, that would be great. But I’ll be happy just to exchange my anxiety and restlessness for some serenity.