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I have a new friend whose intelligence and elegance I admire.

living in gratitude©

living in gratitude©

She’s wise and thoughtful, and measures her words so carefully, it’s as if you can catch a glimpse of her wonder at life in every phrase.

This refined woman reads and reads. I’m astonished by the breadth of her knowledge, understanding that her curiosity roams large. She’s as well-versed about the mind and body, as many professionals in the field.

She’s lithe, from exercising and eating well. She’s outdoors a lot, hiking, and riding horses competitively and for pleasure.

I admire her serious embrace of life.

My friend doesn’t watch TV. Don’t think she owns one. (Her husband, however, watches sports on a big screen in his man cave, next to a big leather saddle.)

My friend does yoga before making breakfast, so arrives at the table with the blush of early morning stretches on her cheeks. I admire her calm.

We chat about meditation, and I confess that my efforts are still weak. I can’t seem to settle enough, long enough.

My friend appears perplexed. She’s so reassuring.

“You think too much,” she says. “Thinkers aren’t very good at meditating.”

Yet she’s a great thinker, a visionary with deep empathy for others. She’s so calm, I suspect she meditates while in motion.

Another friend, a highly successful and witty writer, has been meditating daily for 20 years. Swears it has changed his life.

I muddle through meditation, determined to grow more comfortable with sitting still and  just being. As a counselor, I want to be more confident when discussing meditation with clients.

I don’t have this problem with prayer. I can usually “quiet my mind” for those private moments.

“Prayer is talking to God, meditation is listening to God,” Christopher Kennedy Lawford writes in his new book, Recover to Live.

I have not been listening enough.