Writer - Author - Poet
Writer - Author - Poet

A Neutral State of Mind

A meditation teacher once asked me, “How are you feeling these days?”

I thought for a moment before answering. “To be honest I’m not feeling much of anything. I’m not sad but I’m not jumping for joy either.” I wondered what else to say. “I guess I’m pretty much neutral about things.”

He clapped his hands. “Oh, that’s wonderful.” He smiled broadly. “You see. Neutrality is the finest state of mind.”

I wrinkled my forehead. “What do you mean?”

He tilted his head slightly to the side. “It means there’s not a lot going on. There isn’t this struggle between right or wrong or good versus bad. You’re not at war with yourself. You’re not clinging to happiness, hoping it will last forever.” His voice softened. “Nothing is in the extreme. There are no preferences.”

He closed his eyes for a moment. “You know, it’s the best place to be. Not to be swayed or pulled in any direction.” He stood and looked out the window of his tiny office. “Just observing things as they are. Bringing mindfulness to the ordinary routines and experiences of life. Not wanting anything else.”

I wasn’t convinced. Neutrality felt kind of blah. I liked it when there was a spring to my step or when I felt a lightness in my limbs, holding my arms out wide as if to hug the world. I wanted a whole bunch of things. You know, things like fame, fortune, love. Wasn’t that better?

This teacher has since passed away but I think about what he taught me those many years ago, especially about feeling neutral. If he asked me that question today, I think I’d probably answer it the same way. However, I like to think I’d understand what he tried to teach me a bit better now. Not to crave a whole bunch of things. Not to have a strong desire to succeed at something or become someone special. Not to eagerly anticipate the next best thing. Not wishing for power, wealth, or anything else. 

Nothing special. Just mindfully run an errand, do the laundry, load the dishwasher, pay bills, or pause for a minute to say hi to my neighbor. Satisfied, content with what is.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi

Enjoy the Passage of Time.


© 2024. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved.

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