Cause of death: Itching

Image: Simon Schmitt

Ever since finding and adopting morning pages a couple years ago, I’ve abandoned my seated, breathing meditation practice.

But today... For shits and giggles… I tried it. And, yes… I still hate it.

What kills me is the itching. I know I’m not ‘supposed to’ scratch the itch. I’m just supposed to notice it and let it go (or some version of that, depending on who I ask).

But after only a few seconds of ‘sitting with’ that itch, I honestly think I’m going to die.

Then I start judging myself…

It’s right around then that I go back to writing. And itching. And neurotically shifting in my seat.

I say this all (slightly) in jest, but really, this is why I have to give meditation so much credit. Because it’s true.

An itch never killed anyone.

But in this mild, controlled scenario of seated meditation, I get to see — on full display — how over-reactive and alarmist my lizard brain is.

Why is an itch so damn miserable? Why do we feel like we have to scratch it?

I should be able to beat the itch. I should be able to objectively look at the itch as the mild, fleeting annoyance it is and to know that it may be evil, it may be torturous, but it’s not going to kill me.

Then, maybe I’ll be able to look at those emails, direct messages, responses, tweets, and know that yes, it may be so tempting to wig out about not answering them right now — but if I don’t scratch that itch right now, it’s not going to kill me.

Alrighty, then… Where’s that incense?


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