Friday, May 21, 2004

About a Pinball

Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment!
                       - Thich Nhat Hahn

The other day while driving to an appointment I had this impression of life as a pinball. You know the shiny metal round ball inside the pinball machine? The impression was of life as the ball being bounced around off walls and flippers and gadgets and gizmos that make up the playing table in the machine. The impression was visual, with the point of view of looking down on the table from about the level of the glass. Everything was so close and the energy and chaos were strongly present. At one point I could actually see, in my mind, the ball hitting those round "target" objects that have circular rings, as well as bouncing off flippers and other objects. It was a very vivid experience.

During my appointment I had an opportunity to reflect on this impression with the person I was meeting with, and I became curious about who or what was at the table controlling the flippers. Whose hands were on either side of the table tapping the buttons? Could it be God? Perhaps. But to my surpise I had another impression -- that each of us are playing our own game. The flippers are controlled by me. By us. And with that realization I really wanted to pan the "camera angle" up just a little bit so I could see the score.

There are probably many levels to this impression, as well as many ways to interpret it. I will continue to reflect on the experience. And I invite you to leave a comment with your thoughts about life as a pinball.

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Copyright©2004 J.D. Warrick. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

ErnieB said...

jd,I grew up with pinball, as a player and friend of a guy who
inherited a business from his dad, owning, leasing and servicing pinball machines....

I also have come to believe that while God's Eye is upon us,
and God's Spirit giving directions always, WE are the players,
and it is up to us to listen, if we choose, to hit the flipper
button, to shake things up occasionally (avoiding TILT as
best we can) and so on....

As for meditation (in the Eastern sense--I am more used to
"Contemplation") it is essential, I think. It is how we will
spend eternity, and the sooner we start PRACTICING it, the
better. From God's point of view it is only a question of
how long we want to put off "Life in Abundance". (Which is
the name I chose for my Blog, [without the Caps and spaces] since I had to sign up for one to respond to yours).

I first started walking with, and occasionally heeding, the
mystic, as a teenager, with Thomas Merton, and Thomas a'Kempis. Mine were mostly Catholic until about 20 years ago
when I got more 'catholic' (universal) about such things.
And now I hear such things as "That guys has so much peace
and joy in him, I WANT SOME." (From a client years ago, said
to the client who referred her). Or "Ernie is so much at
peace, that it is contagious". (From Sr. Claire, said to her
fellow Sisters). Or, finally, from an atheist friend of 15
years standing, 20 years ago: "Ernie, you are better than
Buddha." Asked to explain, Ralph said, "The Buddhists strive
for Nirvana, but you long ago reached your Nirvana. And unlike the Buddhists, you allow for peaks of joy high above
it, and when you come down from the peak, you never crash,
but it seems your level of Nirvana rises to meet you, so that

Happy meditating.

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