Exhausted Mindfulness

It can be tough to be mindful when you’re exhausted.

Running on two hours of sleep, being absent minded is maybe the least of his worries. Well, it isn’t a worry, really; it’s more of a… potential dilemma. He can almost feel his organs struggling to function has he pushes a dirty dust-mop across and even dirtier floor.

Everything seems slightly off and disconnected. Of course, everything is just as it is and it’s really he who’s in La-La-Land.

The sleep-deprived mind is prone to idiocy: idiotic thoughts, feelings, and moods cycle through his head like a shitty song played at a slow speed. He suddenly drops in on a quiet pause; he observers his lethargy and muses about how it’s all a state of mind.

What all? The All all. Day and night, the mind travels through different states and these states determine the plethora of experiences the mind can have.

“We are enslaved by moods,” he mumbles aloud.

States of mind are called citta in Buddhist lingo. They’re one of the umpteen trillion things Buddhists train to observe and, eventually, liberate from topsy-turvyness.

“Fuck nibbana,” he says, “I’d settle for a nap.”

They’re the same thing in a way. Nibbana is “where” all the aggression, fear, jealousy and confusion go to get some rest. It isn’t the self that’s liberated from suffering, but all the canker soars that fester in the idea of selfhood. He knows this in his gut because he’s seen it happen in his mindscape.

He tries to focus on his Samatha object (We’ll get into that another time), but he can’t hold onto it. With a deep breath and a weary grin, he acknowledges that he’s just not gonna be able to do it tonight.

He shakes off his daydream and gets back to work. “I get to ride the Zamboni later… that should be fun. At leas I can’t go fast enough to seriously injure someone.”


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