I like spending a lot of time in stillness. I don’t mind people, but I prefer being left alone. The pleasures of my own mind far out weigh the experience of being around other human beings. I enjoy going on long mental walks, alone. I also enjoy just breathing and watching my own mind fill up with thoughts flashing across the movie screen of my consciousness. Somehow I am fully gratified by this simple experience in the same way that most others would be gratified by going to a movie. I will be honest- in my home there is a closet where I enjoy spending most of my time. I sit in meditation sometimes for hours at a time in darkness, just watching my breath and the thoughts that snake through my neurotic mind. After twenty minutes or so of calming my mind and heart down- I reach a state that some people refer to as PEACE. Everything becomes still. Thoughts stop menacing around in my mind. My cravings calm down and my breathing is so slow that not even a feather would move if you put it under my nose. My lust and ambitions dissolve and I no longer need to do anything or be anywhere. I am a man at peace- alone in the privacy of his own closet.
My wife is having difficulty dealing with the amount of time that I spend closed off from the material world. She thinks that it is abnormal behavior for a grown married man, who is almost 40 years old to be closeted off from the world for such long periods of time. “You should be more ambitious, pursuing a career- and out with friends,” she tells me. I should be devoted to work and wife and striving to achieve the American dream. I try to tell her that I am working on myself so that I can be a better husband, friend, lover and member of society. Most of my life I have struggled with chronic anxiety- and meditating in my closet is my one way to be free. She still thinks that there are better ways of doing this other than holding myself hostage in a closet. I could join a group or go back to school, she suggests but all I want to do is be left alone far from the light of day.
I think one of the reasons why my wife may have wanted to leave me for another man was because of the amount of time I was spending closed off in my closet. Even though I told her that I was practicing meditation (self growth) she saw it as a form of alienation and felt like I was not paying much attention to her. Over the course of many months my wife started getting involved in her own extra curricular activities and eventually was able to get her needs met elsewhere. I on the other hand was able to meet my own needs by sitting in the lotus position, focusing on my breath and being still in darkness. I needed little sexual fulfillment (even though I confess to smoking marijuana a few times in my closet) and I was content enough to simply be alone. My closet became a universe of its own- a reflection of my mind turned inside out.
Recently I have begun to notice that there are no careers in meditation. My wife can understand my need to spend long periods of time in my closet if I am working towards something specific. I asked if she would be more content with the time I spend alone if I was working towards a career in meditation. She told me that would make more practical sense to her. So during the day I have been looking around for careers in meditation, but there are none. There are careers and graduate degrees in everything from taxidermy to vivisection but there is nothing out there for working silently with your own mind. Human beings are a strange species- we value doing experiments on animals and then stuffing them when they die more than we value our own inner peace. I could be a Psychologists or a Psychic, I could be a Yoga Instructor or a Thai Chi Master- but none of these careers appeal to me. I simply want to find work in the field of meditation so that I can spend the majority of my time sitting alone in the darkness of my own closet. I want to teach others how to sit equally still so that I can feel like I am doing something to contribute to a more relaxed world free from all the paranoia. Until I am able to find a way to have a career in meditation I have promised my wife that I will spend less time hidden away in my closet (or else she may threaten to run away again into the arms of yet another man). For the time being I will continue to do things for money that the world (and my wife) thinks of as more pragmatic and maybe go out with a few friends now an then. I will pretend to be normal. This way I will get my wife off my back, but I can promise you dear reader- that when she is not looking I will sneak back into to the wonderful dark world where you will find me sitting alone.