Posted by: soulshinemoments | April 1, 2014

The Gift of Learning to Meditate is the Greatest Gift You can Give Yourself in this Life….

I met a lady today at the nursing home who had had a stroke 4 years ago at the age of 54.  She is non-verbal.  She could make eye-contact but made no other facial or bodily movements.  I went in to introduce myself to her today.  She stared at me as I said my name and declared that I was with social services.  I wasn’t sure what else to do after that point and told her I would be back later to check in on her.  My supervisor told me later that she would most likely live in the state she is for the rest of her life and being that she is only 54 years old, that could be a very long time.

I sat with another resident a little later.  When I first met this lady two weeks ago, she smiled at me often during her assessment and admitted to being confused when I asked her questions like, “What year is it?”

“Hm, that’s a good question. 19-something? Oh, you must think I am crazy!” Is how she would respond.

Today when I went into evaluate her again, she had a frown on her face and appeared very despondent. One of the CNA’s mumbled to me that she was not in a good mood today.  She was so pleasant with me two weeks ago, that I wondered how bad could she really be as I sat down next to her.

She opened up to me a little bit and said she was having difficulty sleeping and was tired of getting poked and prodded by the staff. Just by sitting with her and responding empathetically to her concerns, I noticed a change occur with her.  She started to become more positive as our visit progressed.  She started saying things like, “It’s challenging for me, but I am a praying woman and I will pray my way through.”  She was still struggling with her memory as she spoke to me, but I was happy that her mood improved just by being around a caring presence.  When I stood up and said good-bye to her she told me she loved me.  I think she was confused about who I was, but it made my day to see her go from about to cry to peaceful.

After work, I came home and started to walk through our garage.  Jack and his two new glassblowing “shop mates” were working a way.  Jack greeted me excitedly telling me that one of his shop mates is really interested in renting our house ASAP.  He loves that our house has a glass studio and he has a roommate in mind who enjoys and is good at construction so wouldn’t mind that our house is such a fixer-uper.

Now, Jack and I are brain-storming and dreaming away.  We are thinking that instead of packing the entire family up and dipping to the icy cold grips of Ohio, we are simply going to stay in Georgia.  We will rent out our house to Jack’s shop mate and find a house to rent close by.  That way Jack can still come over and work with the other glassblowers, but we can have it so Jack and I can have a fresh start and our own house together.  Jack wants us to have a place and be moved/ing out by June 1st.  This excited the hell out of me, but I still need a full-time job, find a place, and–most importantly–graduate!! But, I am really excited about what’s to come!

I spent the rest of my afternoon watching Ariel and Jackson play with the neighbor kids in the yard, walking Jackson in the stroller on this gorgeous day, doing Yoga in the driveway, making dinner for the family and Jack’s glassblowing friends, and reading my book.  I love Spring Break.  I love only having to worry about work and not school! 

I am falling in love with my book (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying) more and more with each sentence.  It is helping me see life from a perspective that I really appreciate.  I am also really grateful that I have began adding meditation to my daily routine.  I remember when I was trying to meditate this summer and sitting for 5 minutes was almost painful for me.  Now I find that it is an amazing and simple gift.  I wish I had started doing it regularly years ago. 

“The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this life.  For it is only through meditation that you can undertake the journey to discover your true nature, and so find the stability and confidence  you will need to live, and die, well.  Mediation is the road to enlightenment.” -Sogyal Rinpoche





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