I love to read, and my absolute favorite kind of book to read is what I will call the “experimental memoir”. Basically, if you decide to do anything unusual for a finite amount of time and then write about it in a way that is amusing and thought-provoking, I will be wildly entertained and thrilled to share the journey. I have read about individuals who have bicycled across America, done something every day that scared them, cooked their way through a Julia Child classic, searched for a new best friend, read an entire Encyclopedia set, and lived literally by the Bible. Why do I like these books so much? I suppose I want the payoff – the wisdom and growth and self-awareness that will surely arise from these unique vehicles of discovery. There’s something captivating about observing someone who does something extreme.
It suddenly occurred to me: why just read when I can do? I’ve overhauled a lot of different areas in my life, but the one thing I’ve been talking about for years yet never remotely committed to is meditation. I think that’s sort of funny – I can do anything except sit and do nothing! I’m going to embark on a challenge to meditate for at least 15 minutes every day in October. For the most part, I’ll be trying to clear my mind, but I am also going to tackle a sort of deconstructed metta practice. Metta means loving kindness, wishing others well, or “boundless friendliness”. Per the traditional stages of metta, week one I will focus on myself. Week two I will focus on my dearest loved ones. Week three I will focus on acquaintances. Week four I will focus on people I do not like. Week five I will focus on the entire world.
I’m certainly curious about what this experience holds in store. I hope to be more mindful, more calm, more compassionate and more empathetic. I hope to feel interconnected. Thank you for listening, for holding me accountable, and know that I will be thinking of you, saying “may you be happy, may you be well, may you be free from suffering”.