Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 07/25/2014


This morning has certainly been strange so far. I awoke around 4am and proceeded to follow my normal routine but as it the morning went on my mind continued to darken to the point where it was hard to see through it. When I sat down to meditate it only worsened and I got the sense that there was a black, inky presence draped over me threatening to stifle the life out of me. I immediately switched from the breath to metta as I was losing energy fast and although this helped somewhat I found the strength to sit only for a scant ten minutes.

What is going on? I’m not too clear on that although each day of fasting has a cumulative effect and I simply feel worn out altogether. That, and the fact that my days are spent working like a madman only to end with a whimper every evening as I pass out from exhuastion haven’t helped to add a lot of light to the mind. My focus during these days of solitude and fasting really gets completely fixated on work and gain which dries the heart and turns it into a desiccated wasteland. Thank goodness Eid is in a few days.

The one bright spot happened this morning as I returned to the altar just before I left and decided to recite the precepts. For whatever reason the mind fell on the thought that even if we have made a mess of everything in the world and in our lives there is yet the possibility of doing good and not harming. If there is a place for hope and faith in the Dhamma it would seem to me that it is here in our precepts and skillful actions, knowing that they will bear beautiful fruits in the future.


  1. I really appreciate your sharing the reality of your feelings. Before I started meditating three years ago I thought that meditation would make me this unshakably peaceful person, and that I would coast through regular life problems with ease. I thought on some level that meditation would fix all of my problems. I see now that for me, meditation gives me a lens through which to view my life with clarity, to begin to put some space between the reactivity and the witness self that has a much larger capacity for awareness than my every day mind. Challenges are no less painful, in fact, dark times might feel even more painful for me now that I meditate, but I have an awareness that helps me to see more of the big picture. It helps to have a sangha though, I’m realizing, because community can provide so much support especially during those dark times of challenge. I wish you the best on your path.

    • Lorien,

      Thank you for your words. I count you as a true spiritual friend and thank you for your practice (I see we meditated together again this morning). Be well and every good blessing to you!

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