Clarity in the Mind

Image from meditateinlondon.uk.org. 

Image from meditateinlondon.uk.org. 

I've only listened to one talk in this Enneagram Global Summit thing- the one between Jessica Dibb and James Flaherty, the founder of the coaching school New Ventures West.  It was good.  But what I got out of it was not the information on the types so much as fascination with their clear minds, and their ability to hold a thought, to remember, and to finish their thoughts.  One thing Jessica Dibb does really well is listen- she's the interviewer, and it must be said that she's a Type Two, although not all Twos are necessarily good listeners.  After someone is done speaking, she'll say "thank-you, and I was especially touched when you said this and this and this", and she remembers the exact phrasing they used like three or four or five minutes after they said it.  I'm impressed.  She must not have a cell phone or a busy job.  (Just kidding?  She runs a spiritual school, so I'm sure she's busy- she just probably runs it and doesn't let it run her. ??)

Working in an elementary school with the expectation that I'll complete a full workload while being interrupted by kids, teachers, parents, the phone, and a very intense principal every 5 to 30 seconds has taxed my brain over the last three years to the point that lately I haven't been able to complete nary a thought while still in my head.  Writing is different because you can get distracted and come back to it.  While in conversation or trying to maintain a thought stream in my head, I just trail off and get frustrated and give up.  When I was in university, I used to be able to do a lot more in terms of just thinking silently in my room, putting ideas together as I read, but I can't sit in silence as comfortably as I used to and just read.  It's like I expect to be interrupted at home too.

One weekend a few months ago, I decided I was going to work on my memory, so as I was doing tarot cards for the morning, I forced myself to remember each card in the nine-card spread after I'd put them back in the deck.  I did this for about an hour and it wiped me out mentally and even like physically for the entire weekend. 

I wonder if meditation is all you need to get as clear in the mind as Jessica and James (and the other Enneagram teachers).  I know Gurdjieff's students had amazingly clear memories and thoughtstreams.  I wonder, also, if I can use the interruptions as food for the work, like use them as reminders to come back to myself.  I feel like that's something Gurdjieff would say.  This is why Alzheimers has drawn so much of my attention lately- I'm understanding what it's like to lose a bit of my mind.  I'd like to get it back.