In meditation and in Asian body disciplines such as yoga and the martial arts, we talk of “monkey mind.” You know what that is. You try to be Zen-like, in–the-moment, and for a moment you are succeeding, deep in concentration. Then the next moment your thoughts are jumping around in your head from toothpaste to hangnails to … well, in my case, judgments. For me it happens in my tai chi class.
One moment I am loving my tai chi practice, so centered and serene as I move in unison with a group through balanced positions and flowing transitions. And before I know it I start to look for the guy I would date if my husband died. Are you shocked? Be honest- no, you’re not.
Full disclosure- I am long happily married and I don’t mess around nor am I ever seriously tempted. But I do fantasize about finding new love, if I was ever open to the possibility. And my tai chi class would be a great place to meet men! So I get distracted and I shop a bit.
There’s that dignified Japanese man, black hair in a neat ponytail, comfortable in corduroys. I imagine him to be an architect – brainy and artistic. Ha, ha, I do know I am stereotyping. Or there’s that lovely long lean black man with the quiet inner smile. Or perhaps the sturdier bearded, spectacled man with the amusing messages on his t-shirts.
But I know, if I really did get to know these enticing fellows, that I would most likely find myself passing them by for the guy with the bald spot and sweats pulled up too high over a too ample belly. Because probably he’s the one who gets crazy-silly to entertain his grandchildren. I’ll bet he doesn’t sweat the small stuff. He’s most likely the one that can laugh at himself and forgive a partner their foibles. Maybe he does good works or maybe he is just good to his elderly relatives. Maybe he takes in stray dogs too easily or can’t bring himself to pull up the violets when he’s weeding. It’s a pretty good guess he likes bad puns. Kind eyes get me.