“Buddhists don’t talk fast” he said disapprovingly.
I had just come back from my first mindfulness workshop and I couldn’t stop gushing about the guy who lead the group – a happy, cheerful monk who spoke so fast I could barely keep up.
But whatever I couldn’t understand of his words, I was convinced of his wisdom…and for the first time in more years than I could count, saw a life strategy that felt like it could work for me.
So when i got back to the host house where i was lodging for the weekend, run by a self described “real meditation pro” and was told in no uncertain terms that “real” Buddhists don’t talk fast, I felt like my new found mindfulness balloon had been popped.
That was the first of many encounters with mindfulness teachers, writers, authors and gurus who were annoying, off putting and just downright wrong.
So when i had a good friend come back from a similar weekend mindfulness “retreat” for CEO’s, and high achievers with a similar feeling about the mindful message, i couldn’t help but laugh.
There is a well known cartoon, i think it’s in the new Yorker or someplace similar, and features two girls talking over lunch.
One says to the other – “I’ve only been gluten free for a week, and I’m already annoying.”
If you dive deeply into the world of mindfulness, meditation, secular spirituality and new age transcendence, you are going to find lots of gluten gluttons who are equally as judgmental, aggravating and quick to lay waste your most interesting epiphany or A-ha insight.
Just ignore them. Take it from me. You’ll learn this lesson on your own, and it’s something i really wished I had learned on day 1.
The secret is – there is no secret.
There may be shortcuts on the path – but there is no single straight strategy for spiritual growth no matter what your taste, path or flavor may be.
That’s the beauty of it.
Talk fast or talk slow.
Believe in what makes You feel fearless and focused.
Then, just spit out the bones.
And as Daniel Day Lewis once said – there WILL be bones.
(or something close 😉
Just keep on keeping on.
And if you’re like the rest of us, what matters most will eventually come into view.