A Fresh Coat of Paint
On Vipassana Meditation, Facilities Management and Keeping It Positive
by Jeremy Bloom
Dave Grohl, legendary drummer of Nirvana and lead man of the Foo Fighters says, “It’s times like these, we learn to live again.” Right now, I’d say this feels true for me.
I just returned from a silent meditation retreat…
The retreat was within the technique called Vipassana. I was at the retreat on the day of the Presidential Inauguration. Also, I missed the Women’s March. I’d say one thing after doing the retreat and separating from society for a while, I feel like a real human being. I have more positivity about myself and life than ever before.
If you will, I’ve put a fresh coat of paint on my heart and mind. And with that I am incredibly inspired by sixty countries marching with us, and the way people are caring for our rights in ways we haven’t seen in years. I am not someone who marches, but I am rejuvenated to be of service to my fellow man.
Along with this feeling I come back to the world seeing people reacting to the news every day. As well as the sounds of our computers and phones that we react to instantly. I no longer deal in that way. In fact, I have stopped reading and listening to news altogether and I feel great.
It seems that with this fresh coat of paint, I have sealed the holes in my personal boundaries and become more resolved than ever to keep them free of dirt and grime. As they said in my Vapassana retreat… Adhattana… strong determination. And with that I will continue to protect this fresh coat I’ve given myself.
And not just for my sake, but for all those around me. I’ve gotten incredible feedback on my attitude since my return. It makes a difference when we are positive, and so for the sake of everyone I spend time with, I pledge to care for myself and to take that care out into the world.
Now let’s talk about a fresh coat of paint in the real world.
I have become Facilities Manager of Peloton Labs, where about one hundred remote workers and freelancers do their work. With owner Liz Trice and the help of many others, we’ve put a fresh coat of paint on the walls throughout the building after six years of the same, dark walls that were there when the place was built. It feels great!
In the process of putting things back together after painting, we’ve reorganized and cleaned out a lot of junk. Each day it feels lighter to be here, and it’s created a general excitement about being in the building. We are happy with ourselves for doing good work, and we’ve gotten incredible feedback from members. Together, we are all taking part in re-creating this space.
Of course not everyone gets to take time at a retreat for ten days to gain this kind of insight. So I appreciate that many will not see such significance in all of this painting. But for me, in dark times where so many things are out of our control, it seems a fresh coat of paint is very accessible. It gives me hope to see such beauty within myself and through the feedback of others thanks to these various forms of fresh coats. And it reminds me that each day we get to choose. If things aren’t going so great, we can choose to put a fresh coat of paint on things… and see what happens next.
Jeremy has been a local foodie, organizer, farmer, chef and activist for the last 8 years in the Portland area. He enjoys sharing stories of his adventures in food… and meditation.