ls“Writing, like meditation, is about befriending your junk, or at least tolerating it. With pen in hand, I do the same sort of thing I do when sitting on a meditation cushion: I pay attention to the flow of thoughts while consciously not minding their character, frequency, or tone. In journaling as in meditation, there is no difference between “good thoughts” and “bad thoughts.” Just as one’s nose makes no distinction between pleasing aromas and noxious ones but instead smells them all, the mind functions by producing a nonstop assortment of cognitive bits, all of which have no direct connection to who or what we “really” are. Thus, a good person can have bad thoughts during meditation; a bad person can have good thoughts. Typically, people have a range of thoughts, good and bad, that coexist despite their contradictions: one minute you love the person sitting next to you; the next minute you’d like to slap them. This isn’t a sign that you are good, bad, crazy, or sane: this is a sign that you are a living, thinking creature. After a while, you come to realize that who we are is, like our thinking, beyond categorization and judgment. Thoughts and the selves who think them are neither good nor bad, they simply exist.”

Lorianne Schaub
Hoarded Ordinaries

Text + Image: © 2003 LS