“You quickly learn that distractions are not just phone calls and emails. Our own mind and our longings, our cravings and our fantasies are also major distractions.”
Pema Chödrön is one of a few people that I’ve been pitching to be on the show for years. In this Bill Moyers’ interview from 2006, she makes a strong case for quieting our racing minds — and the value of powering down our electronic devices.
And, of course, she recommends meditation as a way of quieting and reopening the mind. The way she describes the process, though, makes one feel as if it’s a severe drug addiction. One I identify with all too well.
You’re a typical milk cow in America, and this is your life. You are raised, like pigs, on a concrete slab in a stall barely bigger than your body. There, you never touch grass or see sun till the day you’re herded to slaughter. A cocktail of drugs, combined with breeding decisions, has grossly distended the size of your udder such that you’d trip over it if allowed to graze, which of course you’re not. Your hooves have rotted black from standing in your own shit, your teats are scarred, swollen and leaking pus – infected by mastitis – and you’re sick to the verge of total collapse from giving nearly 22,000 pounds of milk a year. (That’s more than double what your forebears produced just 40 years ago.) By the time they’ve used you up (typically at four years of age), your bones are so brittle that they often snap beneath you and leave you unable to get off the ground on your own power.
Good story, but “up its wizard’s sleeve” was not a clever turn of phrase.