Advertisements

40 days…

LENT has arrived!

Forty days meditating and fasting in the wilderness left HIM hungry. The Not so Nice One turned hunger into opportunity and tried to tempt and persuade on three occasions. Each temptation met rejection. Each persuasion met rejection.

Every year at this time within churches around the world, this passage from the Gospels is read and discussed. This year while figuring out what Lent means to me and how I plan to celebrate, three words, Contemplation, Action and Resolve have settled into mi alma and are now my personal goals for LENT.  Supposedly,  LENT represents doing without or giving up, a sacrifice of some kind, but it also represents a chance to deepen our faith, study scriptures, discuss, argue, about our faith, our church, goals and most importantly acknowledging spirituality within and amongst each other.

Contemplation-Meditating on scriptures, mindfulness and fasting (no alcohol, fish on Fridays)

Action-to give more of what I can which is volunteering and to put into practice the Four Agreements

Resolve– what was experienced after 40 days, what stays, what goes…    

 

 

 

 

 

***Photo taken from internet

Advertisements

Feeling groovy…

Groovy –adj. groov·i·er, groov·i·est Slang Very pleasing; wonderful.

In the realm of my being it is not very often, the feeling of ‘groovy’ in my world comes around.  Actually, it’s rare.  But when it does, it tends to stick on my shirt sleeve for about an hour or so before moving on to its next honourary recipient (depending on how one views this, for feeling groovy is not good for those who are quite content to wallow in misery).

Feeling groovy for me is as the definition above states: very pleasing; wonderful. For a few minutes I am in bliss, over an accomplishment, thought, a good read, a good piece of writing, a really good sermon or Pi Patel not engaging in negative dogspeak with the brown Piti at Ppark to name a few.

This is how I feel when I am feeling groovy as demonstrated by Pi Patel.

This is how the boys act when I’m feeling groovy. groovy

Their reaction does not matter for it is my groovy and not theirs. They feel groovy at biscuit time, bath time, Ppark time, feeding time, sleeping time and especially at belly rubbing time. Bless them, for they have no triggerings to get them to their state of groovy and once there, it lingers well past an hour before naptime.

I wish my feeling groovy was in sync with those around me, than a massive groovy fest could occur.

Unfortunately, groovy is as groovy does not as groovy as one wants it to be. When I feel groovy and others do not, I see them and their views as raining down on my groovy. I long to seek solitude and surround myself with incense and singing bowls in order to keep my groovy as long as I can while creating a chain link fence of spiritual strength to block out the ungrooviness of others.

Right now, at this time. I feel groovy.

Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last
Just kickin’ down the cobble-stones, lookin’ for fun and feelin’ groovy

Feeling groovy

Hello lamp-post, what’s cha knowing, I’ve come to watch your flowers growin’
Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me, do-it-do-do, feelin’ groovy

Feeling groovy

I’ve got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me

Life I love you, all is groovy-Simon and Garfunkel

Compassion…

Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed. – The Buddha.

Practicing compassion on a daily basis is not easy and at times I wonder if it will ever be. I would like the practice of compassion to be infused within my being so it becomes like breathing -done without much thought, except when I inhale someone’s disgusting cigarette smoke.

But, every day experiences or situations where compassion is most needed, at times, is almost impossible to produce.

Situations like:

1. Dealing with emotional bats, otherwise known as emotional vampires-those lovely people who literally suck the marrow outta ya then fill the crevices with their overbearing problems. I prefer to use the term emotional leeches for literary visual impact. Bats are pretty cute while leeches, (those crafty blood suckers) are flat-out UGLY!

Bat5[1]Z2050095-Medicinal_leech-SPL[1]

OR

2.  Viewing yet another rape crime on the media and plotting with friends on how to introduce legislation that allows male castration as a form of punishment or better yet castration with a dose of Frank’s hot sauce after the procedure. Yes, compassion is not available at this time, only revenge on the p***s kind…now, what if the perp is a woman…?

thCAJDHBLQ

Yes, the examples are not nice but that’s the irony of compassion-it’s not meant to be utilized solely for the feely good things, the charities, the Hurricane survivors, the down on their luck person, etc.

For me, compassion does come easy when the situations or events fall under the feely good things. It flows endlessly, no questions pondered or second thoughts. But, place in front of me a complainer, an agitator, a supervisor who uses me to do his work while he sits in his office and watches movies on his NOOK, neglected animals at the hands of neglected humans, verbal bullies who hurt emotionally with words…this can go, but it stops here, and my compassion which normally resides in mi alma has conveniently moved to my foot.

Yes, the complainer may have painful things going on inside, the agitator may be acting from pain, the supervisor…well…the supervisor may feel his work is inferior and therefore engages in movie viewing on the job (while raking in a big salary) to pacify his deflated ego and now my compassion has moved from my foot to my stomach.

My meditation practice of Tibetan Buddhism centers on compassion, which is essential towards enlightenment. In order to put forth compassion unto others, I must first have compassion towards myself. There are a few things about me that do not permit my compassion. I can be a complainer, an agitator but not one who watches movies at work or neglects animals or bullies with words. If I disdain those traits in others, how do I deal with them within myself?

Right now, I read, I try to practice and hopefully in due time a teacher will find me and gently lead me on the correct path towards compassion.

**photos taken off the internet

What the buddha…

‘Prayer is talking to God
Meditation is listening to God’-
meditation teacher from Introduction to Meditation

Buddha-w

The other night, I went to an Intro to Meditation class at the Tibet House in NYC.

The teacher, a commanding presence in a room full of ‘wanna be’ meditation practitioners, was straightforward in her lecture style, which began with an inquiry into students’ meditation practices. After listening to the different styles, breathing techniques and so forth, she proceeded to dismiss most of the students’ practices. In other words, their meditation practice lacked technique, structure or a teacher’s guidance, which would cloud clarity.

This was alarming news to those ‘wanna bees’ who thought they were meditating the correct way. Presently, I am a meditation explorer, testing the waters, dipping my big toe in anticipation of diving into this practice. I am as green as a lime when it comes to knowledge of meditation techniques and secretly aspire to become a ‘wanna be’!

The teacher wanted to know why we came to the intro on such a cold night. One student stated she came to learn how to gain more focus and control her wandering mind during meditation. The teacher prompted the student to elaborate. The student responded reflectively and declared her wandering mind interferes with her yoga rendering her attempt at advanced poses.

The teacher’s response to the student: “Let it go”.

Silence and static filled the room like a bad smell.

“Let it go. If you can’t do the poses, let it go. If it’s not enjoyable, let it go”.

More silence and I thought I heard some students gathering up their belongings and coats.

I finally got it.

The teacher’s ‘Let it go’, was not to be taken by its literal sense. The teacher wanted the student to see the pressure she was placing upon herself, by her own expectations. Instead of finding enjoyment in the movement of her body towards forming the poses, she fixated on attaining proper form as well as the expectation of the yoga teacher. The student placed all these constraints on herself and it interfered with the enjoyment of yoga for yoga’s sake.

“Let it go”, meant let go of the constraints placed upon yourself, let go of what is preventing you from enjoyment-not let go of the activity-unless the activity itself is not causing joy.

That made good sense to me.

So, I put into this into practice and found myself letting go, last night, during a running workshop. Yes, I caved in and with the flow of transitions guiding me, enrolled in a Beginner’s running group. The group meets Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings for training until the end of March.

I am not a night person and thought running at night would be disastrous.

It is not.

I am a morning person and enjoy the runs on Sunday.

I do.

The group is competitive.

I am not.

I am not the first to reach the finish nor am I the last.

It does not matter.

Running or penguin running for me is better than a glass of wine or eating a Nathan’s hot dog.

During last night’s run, the sound of my feet climbing the hills was mesmerizing as I felt the cold wind down my throat. I stopped to pet every dog along the way, even the French bulldog who got a little too friendly. I smiled at people and the heaviness of working at the shelter no longer placed pressure on my chest.
I reached the finish and stretched out the kinks in my legs.

Pressure, criticism, worry, doubts, contradictions or expectations were not riding my back with the imaginary monkeys.

I just ran like a penguin and it felt incredibly good.

Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: