After attending a second Zen meditation session this week and then reading William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud", Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", and Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark", I could again easily make connections between the pieces of literature and my meditation experience. Each work touched on the notion of thought, which is inevitable when one meditates. By being able to draw this connection, it becomes more obvious how prevalent deep thought is throughout the course of one's day to day activities.
In the last stanza of Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud", he realizes that a small yet interesting thought slipped his mind. As he writes these lines, "…I gazed- and gazed- but little thought/What wealth the show to me had brought./For oft, when on my couch I lie/In vacant or in pensive mood,/They flash upon that inward eye/Which is the bliss of solitude;/And then my heart with pleasure fills,/And dances with the daffodils."(Wordsworth 652), Wordsworth notices that he never thought about how much joy the sight of daffodils brought him until after the fact. While at meditation, I had time to just sit there and try to clear my thoughts, which led to a type of reflection. While trying to clear my head, memories of what happened to me throughout the day kept popping up and something so simple, such as a smile from someone in a hallway, evoked the most thought. Sometimes when something seems inconsequential to you, you don't think about it much at the moment, yet when there is time to reflect, that certain memory seems to bring about the most thought.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" seemed to be the most relatable work with my meditation experience this week. In this work, Gilman introduces a character whose thoughts disturb her everyday living. In her writing, she makes it evident that there are tons of thoughts flooding this woman's head at every second of every day. While trying to clear my head at the beginning of my meditation, it was so hard to clear all the thoughts I had going through my mind. While reading this work, all I could think about was how hard it was to clear my mind completely while trying to meditate.
In "The Birthmark", Nathaniel Hawthorne creates a character whose developing thoughts seemingly come between his relationship with his new wife in the beginning of the piece. With this part of a beginning passage, "…he found this one defect grow more and more intolerable with every moment of their united lives." (Hawthorne 468), it becomes evident to the reader that the more time and thought that goes into the character's view on his wife's birthmark, the more strongly he feels about it. Being that time gives way to more thought, during my meditation I noticed that the more time I had to really think about certain things, the more strongly I felt about my position concerning them.
Thoughts come and go every second, some important and some not, yet they're inevitable. I think that these works really was able to relate to my meditation experience being that meditating is kind of all about clearing your mind and controlling/reflecting on the thoughts that you do have.