I found a way of walking on air with prednisone this past week. It has been more mindful than you might think. And groundlessness was the key.
I would not have suspected that prednisone would provide yet another perspective on Pema Chödrön’s teaching of groundlessness.
In other words, work with the reality I have–be and stay present. Not something I had ever tried with a prednisone increase to reset rather than rejuvenate my body.
Initially, being present seemed counterintuitive. Why not go with the energy and have a few days of doing things like everyone else? Was that not being in the moment?
Not a one of us gets life full-blown forever. No one light shines without going dark. And even if it did, our appreciation would go blind.
Life is never about going back. It turns on a dime. Whether it stays on edge or lands on heads/tails, it is a new tale to tell every turn.
I remembered why I finally turned to meditation as a serious practice. I had no place else to go, nothing else to try. I wanted meditation to be a panacea but nothing is in isolation.
Some days, there is a clarity in meditation for which I have only the experience–no words. Other days, the thought chatter reduces me to tears.
I no longer show up with expectations.
It is the only way to wake up in a dark night of the soul and find a sliver of light. What else is the present moment other than a single sliver, just enough to light the night.
Some days stay all but dark. In this world, to get up in the morning is an act of courage for anyone. Life is not a Pollyanna prance.
What is more frightening than being in the moment? In other words, what I feared most about being in the moment was being in the moment.
But each day is all I ever have. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow a mere maybe. Both are mucky lands of “what if.”
It is only in the present that I settle into groundlessness. No thing and no one stays. The fabric of life–of what we take hold–is its impermanent experience. Maybe that is magic. I don’t know.
I once believed there to be a bit of magic in prednisone. After all, its possibilities seemed endless because energy is just that—endless. But I am finite.
This past week’s increase in prednisone has been unlike any other for me. It did not start out that way.
Old behaviors kicked in immediately. Within hours, I was anywhere but the present, my thoughts spinning with the possibilities of a six-day energy spree.
That kind of energy is so seductive, rather like chocolate. And too much of a good thing is just that. If meditation has taught me anything, it has taught me the power of pause.
I could exhaust myself with energy and at the end of six days, be in worse shape than when I started. Just a mere sliver of light that moment but it seemed a beacon.
That is how mindfulness rolls, a singular sweep of the scene, weaving one moment into another. An undulating tapestry. A web without a weaver.