Sometimes it was during the breaks that the real meditation happened - moments when it was obvious that wisdom is not something you have, but a wave-length you tune in to.
Learning to leave his mind in meditation could be compared to snorkelling, which is breathing with his face under water. Which is just wrong!It had taken a lot of time and nagging for his brain to get used to snorkelling, for all those doubts and questions to be overcome - for him to relax and just breathe.Learning to leave his mind in meditation was the same kind of challenge; when there was a gap in his thoughts, when a space opened up, to resist the temptation to immediately fill it up - instead for him to relax and just breathe.
He kept coming back to the silence. It was so big. And surprising. Even when a donkey brayed somewhere in the same valley - loud, long and loaded with loneliness - it did not change the silence, it enhanced it. Like jewels around a beautiful neck. Ed smiled. You can be at the poshest hotel in the country, on the planet even, but a farmer can still put a lonely donkey in the field next door. In the same way he couldn't control what arose in his mind - or appears in the world around him - but he could give it space.
He was attracted to this edge of unknowing, of hope and fear, he instinctively knew that surfing it was precondition for growth and transformation. And for feeling alive. Waking up and going out into the world not knowing what each day would hold, taking life as it comes, relinquishing any illusion of control. That's fresh, that's a good morning!
His name was Ed. His nickname was Scrambled Ed. On leaving school he had taken a year out to decide what he wanted to study at University. The year passed and he still hadn't decided but went to University anyway. 'Academic' is defined as 'of, or relating to, institutionalized education and scholarship'. The same word, at the same time, also means 'having little practical use or value, as by being overly detailed, unengaging or theoretical'. The latter definition seemed the most appropriate for Ed's university career which was a mash up of drinking, diving, surfing, kayaking and having his heart-broken. All washed down with a few pints. After three years of that he was awarded a second class joint honours degree which he put in the recycling bin and went in search of something that would make him feel better.