I am jealous of monks and nuns. The idea of retreating from the world to focus on my spiritual practice is so appealing…but it is not for me. I am occupied with the business of trying to see through this illusion every day while I feel myself in conflict. And I know the conflict is a thing of my own making, and I think I must dismantle, but I can’t seem to escape it and I also know I can’t run away from it. I have to be here, NOW, to solve this puzzle.
Daily life is eating away at my time, my energy and my mojo. It doesn’t take much: boys needing more of my attention and Mark missing me have made most nights this week intense, especially on top of a work schedule shifted later by an hour or more due to car swap logistics. I’ve been away from my blog here, but more importantly also away from my reinvigorated artistic endeavors, and my mind is running its own agenda everywhere but in the present. I’ve been going through the daily lessons, but not spending much time absorbing the experience. Still, there have been a few interesting developments.
January 12, 2015
Not much to say on this one. Just that…I am tired of my thoughts.
January 13, 2015
I primarily remember feeling frustration with this one: why am I blind still.
This is the EGO tricking me again: I want to be angry with God for not helping me get out of my own way. Even though I know God did not create my false identity. Rather, I should be angry with the Ego. And even this the Ego will accept: so long as I’m focused on my anger and frustration, I am not dwelling in the space that the Ego has brought me to, where I can look it in the eye and recognize it for the fraud that it is.
January 14, 2015
I am starting to see things differently. Also, having my “mojo mantra” – Celebrate Beauty in the NOW – really helps me to refocus myself in difficult moments.
After struggling & having plenty of angry and upsetting thoughts for practices 1, 2 & 3 (mostly family stress and feeling like I was getting sick), I had a distinct recovery in my positive energy. I did a number of things to ground myself in the present, of which the piece de resistance was literally a piece: a slice of red velvet cheesecake from Atwater’s Café. I truly savored every bite: the creamy cheesecake, the lightly sweet whipped cream, the moist and not-too-sweet red velvet cake filling and the oh my goodness! yummy chocolate graham cracker crust. This sensory experience actually solidified a positive energy swing and when I started my fourth practice session of the day, I couldn’t find myself troubled about any of my thoughts. I recalled the things that had troubled me earlier in the day, but even though none of them had really changed, I could not feel upset or anger about any of them. I felt peaceful.
I did experience a dip in both my sense of health and my mood when I got home, so there was plenty of angst to supply fodder for my fifth practice session of the day. But I remain determined to see things differently, and by calling this lesson to mind I was able to repair a misunderstanding with Mark when it would have been much easier to let it spiral totally out of control.
January 15, 2015
Look at the world about you at least five times today, for at least a minute each time. As your eyes move slowly from one object to another, from one body to another, say to yourself: I see only the perishable; I see nothing that will last; What I see is not real; what I see is a form of vengeance.
At the end of each practice period, ask yourself: Is this the world I really want to see? The answer is surely obvious.
I find this lesson complicated and it does not rest easily in my mind as compared to the other lessons I have completed so far: It is one thing to admit the world I see is an illusion, another entirely to say everything I see is a form of vengeance. How is a coffee cup a form of vengeance? Who exactly is attacking who when I exchange a friendly smile with the tollbooth worker as I enter or exit the Turnpike? I don’t see how the unreality of a thing means it is a form of vengeance.
The preceding statements did resonate and click for me: at times I felt as though I could see the entire world about me changing – as though I were watching a time lapsed recording of the buildings and landscape around me: pipes going to rust, people growing old and fading away, paved roadways being chewed up by invasive vines and plants…even the planet is not exempt, and I imagined its death in the dull glow of a red dwarf star many billions of years hence when the Sun has run its course. All this I felt very viscerally…but how it is vengeance I do not clearly understand.