Monday, January 23, 2006

the best dharma

Hmm. Where to go first today?

Oh – the session last week. Five seconds after I walked in, Brent said, “Wow – you’re really angry.” Not judging, just stating the truth as he saw it. And I got to unload – really, truly unload some of this dark stinky garbage I’ve been hauling around – the stuff I can’t share with Brian lest he take it personally, the stuff I can’t share with RB lest she think less of me as a person. (Yeah, I know – she wouldn’t, and that’s one of the many reasons why I love her, but still.)

Once those angry black clouds got blown away, I was able to see a little more clearly. And Brent helped, as usual. The first thing I needed to do, he said, was to find a way to reclaim my space. He reframed some of my anxiety into a very funny Dharma and Greg kind of conflict. It has helped me engage the conflict without feeling ashamed of who I am. A side effect of this is that I’m starting to really enjoy my own weirdness instead of trying to make excuses for it. Which is somewhere I’ve never been before.

Saturday I asked Brian and Skipper and Duckie to do the grocery shopping and give me some time to myself at home. It was unseasonably warm, so I opened up some windows and got a taste of that lovely cool cross-breeze I’d been missing all winter. Vacuumed the floor, scrubbed the tub, then did a challenging hour of yoga and took a long hot bath. Scrumptious.

(OWL - thanks for your continued support and understanding. A propos your last comment, Skipper is at the beach this week for doctor and lawyer visits. While I hate knowing that he's staying in a cold trailer in the small town where his ex-wife is now already remarried, at the same time I'm grateful for a little bit of emotional space.)

I’m still doing this obsessive thing about yoga. I used to do it about other things – violently throwing myself into an activity, either a show or a song or a workout or another person. And I see myself doing it again.

The benefit of obsessing about yoga is that if you’re doing yoga correctly (and God forbid I do it imperfectly, right?) you can’t help but notice how obsessive you really are. Then, once you see it, it’s hard to be judgmental because the whole point of yoga one of the basic tools of yoga (and meditation, and Buddhism, etc.) is to be completely present where you are, wherever you are. Casting judgement on someone – yourself, or anyone else – takes you out of the present and into a self-referential loop – that “I” thing that doesn’t really exist to begin with. If you’re saying, “I’m something” – whether the something is good or bad – you are, by default, stepping out of your own awareness to look back on yourself as a separate entity.

So I don’t think that acknowledgement of a present condition is the same as judging that condition. Er… I could be wrong. It’s been known to happen occasionally. *wink*


My dad has had his own personal revelation, which you can read below in the comments for “Rough Moments and Angels”, if you’re so inclined. What really struck me about his post was that one of the nurses at the VA ER “pegged him as a highly nervous, agitated individual.” I read this and my first response was what the f&^%??? Since when has my dad been nervous about anything? Agitated? Well, I guess maybe he was a little nonplussed, last time I saw him, when his BP was elevated, but – I mean, I’ve always thought of my father as the strong, silent type. Don’t get me wrong, he is strong, and he is silent, but I never suspected there was more going on underneath the stoic appearance. And I’m his daughter, for crying out loud. Sheesh.

So when I talked to him this weekend we had a good laugh about it – how he’s had me fooled all these years, and how good he's been at covering up. It’s no wonder he’s had blood pressure problems. I’m surprised his head hasn’t just blown right off in a cloud of steam. Mine would have a long time ago.

Finally, I wanted to share a blog I stumbled across via James’s Letters. (James is also dealing with his own immediate challenges at present. I'm not relegating you to a parenthetical phrase, J, just wanted to say you're still very much in my thoughts.) This lady – who writes beautifully, by the way – has recently lost her mother to cancer, and is dealing with a severe, long-lasting episode of chronic depression. Whether or not you click over to visit, please take a moment to send some compassion to Aqua, who’s just had the rug pulled out from under her. My most sincere sympathies.


"To disregard oneself, this is the best dharma. This is the best service to Buddha's religion. Practicing meditation for life is the best gift to those sentient beings without protection."

-Hundred Thousand Songs: Selections From Milarepa, Poet-Saint of Tibet

1 comment:

James said...

Thank-you for your friendship. I cherish it.