|1948, Mom, 23 years old|
I wake up at 4:30 on the living room sofa and realize I need to do my afternoon TM technique right away before everyone wakes up. I'm a little late!
My parents' mobile home is set up in the "shotgun" pattern--one long, linear layout, the kitchen and living room in the center with bedrooms on both ends. The sofa in the living room is my "bedroom."
About five minutes into meditation my brother walks through the living room on his way to the kitchen. He sees me sitting up on the sofa with my eyes closed. "Oh, man," he says, seeing me. I know he's focused on getting supper for Mom. He has no problem with the fact that I practice TM; in fact, I taught him the technique almost 40 years ago. He told me just the other day he still remembers his mantra, in case he ever needs to meditate. I told him that was great.
"Just ignore me and do what you need to do," I say. After all, I've meditated on planes/buses/trains and in international airports. A living room/dining room is no problem.
I my continuing my meditation when I hear my mom come out of her bedroom. Then: "Hello, Tom. Are you meditating?" I open my eyes and see her standing before me, a big smile on her face and her hair up in yellow curlers--you know, the plastic kind that have a roller and a clip that slips on once the hair is onto the roller. She looks wonderful.
She yells at my brother, "Tom's meditating!" She kindly wants him to stop cooking so it's quieter. I also taught her to meditate when I taught my brother. She says she doesn't have time to meditate, though. Too buy cleaning the house.
"It's OK," I tell her. "I'm fine."
What follows is a loud conversation about what's for dinner. That is resolved and things settle, the buzzing and chirping of the microwave accompanying the smell of TV dinners.
I continue with my meditation.
My cellphone rings. Since this is my "emergency" phone, I check the text message. It's from my niece that I haven't seen in almost 25 years. I had just talked to her on my cellphone for the first time this morning while on my bike ride. I read the message, text a quick response, and continue with my meditation.
My brother enters the living room, and I hear the TV click on. News. "Your brother's meditating!" Mom says. "No, he's not," he replies. "He's playing with his cellphone." Oops!
I close my eyes and finish my meditation, actually feeling good. I never fail to be amazed, even after so many years, at how easy and powerful the TM technique is.
My brother and Mom have finished eating. "What are you going to eat, Tom?" my mom asks. "Maybe some grapes to start with," I say. "You want some?"
"I'll take three."
She stands by me while I remove the grapes from the vine, wash them, and place them in a drainer. Mom reaches in and by touch chooses three.
"Thank you," she says.
The more things change, the more some things stay the same.
Copyright 2014 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved