For the past two months, I have been a changed man. It is hard to fully describe, except to say my mood is mostly sunny and more patient than usual.
In the past, my family and friends would’ve typically described me as pleasant but hurried. My baseline restlessness and edginess, however, have now nearly vanished.
Without difficulty, I have sustained attention when my young children spend time with me. Instead of constant surveillance of my phone, there is an ability to quickly hyper-focus on the task is at hand and a corresponding joy of living in a distraction-less world.
First off: Yes, I do feel a little ridiculous writing a line like that, and I didn’t feel worthy of his invitation at the time. Even though I meditate, I’ve never been sure whether I was using proper technique or whether there was an acceptable way to meditate in the presence of His Holiness.
If he was looking forward to a good meditation partner, I worried he was unlikely to find it in me. Even my posture is terrible when sitting cross-legged on the floor. My back starts to hurt, followed by my knees. Thus, my breathing, which is supposed to drive my focus, sounds raspy and uneven. All this makes my mind race instead of slowing down and calming.
Just thinking about meditating with His Holiness was making me anxious.
Nevertheless, who says “no” to a chance to meditate with the Dalai Lama? I agreed to join him early the next morning at his private residence.