For most of my career I have been in business management, an executive you might say, a CFO, a president, though I never really felt comfortable with the term “executive”. A few years ago I had a falling out with the majority shareholder and parted ways from a company in which I had invested more than 13 years. Being a minority shareholder can really suck. After that experience, I decided to start a remodeling and home repair business and my attire has adjusted accordingly. Today I sit here looking like a painter. My hands I washed clean, but my pants and sweatshirt have been sprinkled….
“His clothes are dirty but his hands are clean.” – Dylan
I stopped into a different Starbuck’s earlier, pulled in, noticed people in business suits, several of them talking on cell phones. Not for me, at least not today, so I pulled right past and drove toward the next escape point, thru a Porsche dealership, a hundred or more Porsche’s lining my way. How materialistic our society has become. The world leader in Porsche consumption? Maybe when it's all said and done, we’ll be able to hang our hats on that one.
The Starbuck’s where I ended up has a totally different attitude, though still quite affluent. A much greater variety of attire, very spacious. In the corner there is a man in his early 30’s, he’s giggling in front of his laptop. He has a Bluetooth ear piece, the whole works, and he is talking to someone, having a conversation with his laptop.
Too bad I can’t say I am without fault. The struggle to accept responsibility, to have control, a great and most profound paradox. To surrender control is to gain control, there is no other way. So “surrender”, what does it mean? Not getting caught up in the things over which you have no control? Maybe there is another side to surrender that gets overlooked. The courage to change the things you can. Maybe harder than surrendering.
I notice a striking woman across the room. Her hair is very dark, though not quite black, and is cut with sharp edges bordering her face and neck, almost like Uma Thurmond in "Pulp Fiction." She is conversing with a fair amount of emotion and an emphatic demeanor. My ears for some reason tune to her voice as she says, “I want to have three sets of shoes (I believe for her toddler) one for playing outside, one for around the house, and another for special occasions.” My initial reaction was one of slight disdain. So much emotion wrapped into something so trivial. Then I thought about it, she is really not asking for that much now, is she?
Who is denying her these things?
Many people meditate. One of the effects of meditation is a mind cleared of thoughts. Thoughts can flow and race and they can be chased, and chased and chased and literally we become consumed with the past and future, not absorbing or seeing with clarity anything that is happening in the here and now. By quieting our mind, we are aware that we still exist even if we do not have a single thought in our head. We still exist without any thinking activity. So meditation is a state of “no thought”, only awareness.