Baby Boomer Zen: You’re quiet time is more important than anything? Yes, it is.
An English cousin came to visit one summer in the early 90’s.
We lived on SE 11th and Lincoln, tagged the Industrial Eastside, in an upstairs flat with a crow’s nest front bedroom overlooking the street.
It became Cousin Andrew’s meditation room.
He meditated for hours in there.
Then he’d come out the same as he went in.
That’s when I grew suspicious of the whole idea.
And it turns out I’m not the only one.
Tom Hanks’ son Colin plays a young married dad on Life in Pieces.
His wife tries to meditate, find her space, and instead discovers a different space.
She’s used meditation time as a get away, a free pass, and it’s funny.
Who wants to argue against anyone’s calm and peace?
I thought Cousin Andrew did the same thing back then, hid out.
But I should have been the one hiding out. Hiding from two kids in diapers, a move to the suburbs.
Hiding from commitment, even after making so many.
That’s what I told Cousin Andrew in the new meditation room.
This is what he said:
“Zen and meditation and healing all come together if you allow it. You have to allow it. To do so you need a place. A quiet place, but any place, really, where you can find the quiet.
“Call it baby boomer zen if it helps, but never think of it as avoidance. It’s just the opposite. You confront yourself in a healing place and let your mind and body rise above. No one’s claiming anti-gravity, so you’re safe there.”
“A better grip on yourself is always a good thing, wouldn’t you say?”
I asked why it took three hours.
“Oh, that? I finish my meditation the first ten minutes. After that I’m hiding away from the rest of you. You know, reading, a nap.”
Then the kids burst in and he never had another moments peace.