Life is full of distractions

“What is this?” asks a zen koan. I often feel that way about meditation. What is this? Is meditation so different from the rest of my life? If it truly is, if meditation is the life arena where focus and attention reign, and the rest of is ruled by the demons of distraction, where should I live?

Author, psychologist, zen teacher, John Tarrant addresses this problem in his online article, “The World Catches Us Every Time.” He starts out with a frank admission: his life is a bit of a mess.

When people ask about distraction I suppose they mean something like my life: I am leaving the house but I can’t find my truck keys. By the time I find them, mysteriously, my phone has gone missing.

After the phone, its the phone call, then the animals clamoring for attention, and eventually the required trip to the computer which opens onto a web of online distractions. After cataloging several of the diverse ‘chunks of experience’ that cling together to form his life, he observes:

Nothing is wrong with any of those chunks of experience. The question is whether I can have enough space and silence inside them to actually take them in and claim them as my life. Distraction can have a long arc and until the end of the story, you can’t say what’s a distraction and what’s a calling.

Are you having trouble sorting through the ‘chunks of experience’ in your life? Come join us at our weekly meditation sessions (Wednesdays during the noon hour, beginning May 6). Would you like to read more of what John Tarrant has to say? Here’s a link to his full post.