Way back in 2011, I read Loving-Kindess by Pema Chödrön. I can’t say that I’ve thought much about it this book since then. But, recently, as a practice it has come up. Sometimes, Staying still, being quiet and being present is so easy. I don’t want to say that I’m a meditation genius (because nothing could be further from the truth) but some days I wander and some days I just sit and follow my breath. If I’m having a particularly wandery day, I like to use a guided meditation from one of the many, many apps that I have for this purpose. (Many apps. If it was free, if I had a coupon, if someone has recommended it, I have downloaded it.) And, the ten minute meditation that I’ve been doing this week has been a meditation on loving-kindness. Earlier in the week, it was pretty easy to do. You just breath and follow the prompts. So, you make statements in your mind hoping that you may be happy, healthy, safe and at peace. Then, you pick someone you like and you make the wish that they may be happy, healthy, safe and at peace. Then, you pick someone that you have trouble with. You see where this is going. Earlier in the week, I was picking people I had interpersonal conflict with. People that I like, people that are in my life, people that for some stupid reason or another I’ve had some kind of drama with of late. And, that was also pretty easy because I like them, deep down, even if I’m having drama with them.
This morning, though, boy did I ever bite off more than I can chew. The person I picked was Judge Randy Degeest who has been in the news (and a subject of much discussion amongst my friends) for giving a child rapist a suspended sentence instead of jail time. The charge that the defendant plead to is a Class C felony in Iowa and can carry a penalty of up to ten years according to at least one website . Ten years is way more than ten months. I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe that we all make mistakes, even judges? Maybe I was thinking that I wasn’t in the court room and that I don’t know all the details and that it is easy to judge things that aren’t decisions you’ll ever have to make? Whatever I was thinking, this was swinging for the fences. Safe? Sure. Healthy? Sure. But, I couldn’t make the sincere wish that I hoped he was happy. I could make a sarcastic wish. I was a little stuck.
Thankfully, I set a timer and could be done when it went off.
Meditation is hard enough. You don’t have to go out of the way to make it harder for yourself. But, at least I learned something about myself. I’m not as flexible or as forgiving as I’d like to think I am. Well, now there’s something I can work on.by