13 April, 2016

Inspirations — Mooji, Anadi and Others

Here is a couple of inspirations, that besides my Theravada background combined with Vipassana, are others that for me point to truth. I first was exposed to a truth body of the abbot who ordained me, Phra Apisit. If one is ready for the truth of our existence, you will not forget being exposed to someone who is awake.

Second is Mooji, who is best introduced in this great video below. 

Third is Anadi who has dissected meditation with his Map of Awakening has a great 1/2 hour, guided meditation to make one aware of the dawn of a thought here which may help ending or at least making one aware of the start of negative thinking. Mooji makes simple awareness beautiful with love, whereas Anadi is more directed to the advanced meditator. Please remember there is someone out there that may ring true to you, now, at this point in your life with your own disposition. I must not forget, that women may be inspired by these Buddhist Nuns and their talks, they were instrumental in guiding me through my undoing and unraveling. That was accomplished during and post each of my 10-day vipassanas, and gave me strength to keep going. Never discount heart based wisdom that can best describe the female awakening, whereas men, in most cases, not all(see Mooji) seems to more mental or head based.

If there was one goal in my life, besides giving my husband a better life would to inspire others with the joy of being I hope to one day have yet never have to speak of.

24 March, 2016

The Great Undoing

One of the most significant outcomes of pursing a long retreat meditation path for me has been the gradual undoing of each firmly held idea I had of who or what I thought I was. I started slow, in a temple setting that provided 20 minutes before a teaching, and after a couple years did a 4 day with the same temple gang. Although there was a lot of teaching, and talking and in a casual setting, it pushed me to go further. Now, I am on for a 30 day Vipassana in April this year, after a five year foundation of 10-day Vipassanas. Here is a 6 minute film of the pagoda with cells. So with this practice, I quietly did my own ego busting, at first unknowingly. I had no indention to achieve awakening, but it had been shown to me by a monk's embodied presence, who ordained me in 2009. That there is some kind of internal wisdom one has, knowing that you can't return to the old way of existing, seeking distractions that draws your being to go sit again. The first spark was my brain injury, but it can be any life occurrence that shakes your foundation just enough to look closer.

It was slow, unraveling the stories I had of myself based on life circumstances alternating that with feeling compassion for family and wanting to fix them at first. It was a way of avoiding of really looking at myself. Of course with these ideas came tears in these sits while I was undoing my ideas and any wishes. Seeing anger arise in body sensations and finding its roots. Finally, losing the concept of control of what I thought I had, besides how you react. I can’t change anything outside of myself. 

This did leave me very raw when I returned. My heart was wide open after I grieved the past ideas and experiences, unable to seal it all back in. Who was I? …a man of purely of delusions carrying a heavy load of anger?  Just a few years ago, I had no hope that I would be living with my partner of 15 years, separated by an ocean, although his presence in my life was crucial for desiring some change, some more maturation. I also had it firmly planted in my mind that the most I wanted from life is not to die as a miserable old man wearing a mask of all the disappointments and none of the beauty. As I have stated before enlightenment for me, is the action of letting go…becoming lighter. Letting go that can only happen when you sit alone in a cell in darkness. It is kind of like having your hand in front of your face like a mirror, bouncing back all your bullshit. Looking ugly, you then slowly detach yourself from it in some ways. There is really only you….undoing hopefully arriving back to the place where we began. When I look in a mirror in the morning while shaving, now all I see is the mirror...not me.

24 February, 2016

When Fruits become Ripe

In a matter of time, all depending on how much you let go and your individual karma, begins to see fruit of your practice. I just sat another 10-day Vipassana, to qualify for my 30-day coming up. This one makes 8 of the 10-days, 3 of the Satipatthana courses, a 20-day with service work as well in the past 5 years. In this sit it quickly dove deeper to uncover more ancient mental formations, kind of deeper than the last 20-day I sat. I see why this is a requirement before a 30-day, one learns to download faster like it did or me on day 1. Appearing abstractly in dreams at night, but also bearing fruit when you are able to have enough equanimity in your sits. Unfolding naturally, especially when I stopped trying to run away in mind, or moving away in discomfort. I am not perfect, so the best I can be is more aware. I also made a firm intention not to plan to walk as much or do yoga to plan some mental icing on the cake for sitting for this 10-day at this time. I am beginning to know my mental tricks to run away from was right happening right now. This provided to allow me much more joy in dreams at night even abstractly based on fears and delusions. One dream, in particular, was my partner joking about my reactions to 4 windows broken out in my imaginary loft in a way in which he coaches me in real life. I laughed in the dream at how he is unaffected by my moods and quickly recovered to a more rational mind space.  I am well aware of how lucky I am in life to be with him. Also one day in my cell meditating, and obviously not occupying my body at this time we had an earthquake, and at first not knowing what it was that “threw” me back into my body, I was kind of disoriented until the aftershock occurred shortly afterward. Then I was thinking should I stay in my cell or not?... being back in the mind of fear, our normal state of me.

Now, this 10-day vipassana was also the clearest one, where I was there still the same person that I am at home. I was not running away, but running to who I am, and the knowledge that my wisdom gained from life and past sits guided me to uncover more or need to.  The residuals show me that me a little more has been retained when back home, but still being a work in progress with bi-lateral strokes and aphasia that makes normal take on a new meaning. Perhaps, I am now finally dropping the idea that anyone else can really know what is like to live in another’s body?

03 January, 2016

Often a Solitary Path

I went with my husband for coffee, and walking to the place I saw a homeless man, bent over his possessions digging looking for something. I could not see his face, but I used my gut instinct and I called him by name. He stood up and said, “How did you know it was me?” I have not seen him in 3 or 4 months, and introduced him to my husband for the first time and bought us all coffee. He said, “I wanted to go sit a 10-day like we talked about, I actually came back to see you, even though I was not planning on returning to the city.” I replied, you are in luck, since I am scheduled for one in February, and looked at the site to see if still open for men… it was. I thought while we are here I might as well give my cell instead of sending him to the library to register, and he did while we talked. I told him about my sister, and we talked about his sister who has cancer. I showed him her last post on FB, to let him know that as hard it was, she was in control of this exit plan, unlike most of her life living with schizophrenia. Later on, letting read him read a long, 13-page, wisdom piece by Anadi that I got by email that I find clear.

I am well aware that this will be a stretch if he gets it together and leaves on time with me, so it just may become another sign that one’s path is solitary. But, I still offered the ride to get him there and he knows I am dependable. When were talking, I said the reason I knew it was you, was because we all have an aura bigger than our physical form, and I did not have a “stranger” gut feeling when I walked by him, denoting it must be a friend even though he wore nothing I could have recognized him by. I “know” what every meeting has felt like with him, my body chronicles and knows way faster than my mind.

Traveling Grandparents See Snow
Tonight, I was making a cup of tea, and went to grab a chocolate, I could taste mint in the kitchen, even before I grabbed a piece that ended up to be mint from a huge box of mixed unmarked chocolates. I don’t what this means, especially since I have not had one that was mint since we opened the box a few days ago. But don't worry I won't take this as wisdom. What I do know is that... this path... I cannot even discuss most of it with my husband nor my family and friends. How that, even I am surprised about how I ended up on these long sits, looking back? Surely, my partner’s own Buddhist taught and lived wisdom helps reinforce my own knowledge, but this all a felt sense I have to experience with my own Kamma. The closest we can come is when we do Salutation to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha together at bedtime or help others together, and that is why he never batted an eye when I introduced him to a homeless friend out of blue. He just “waiied” him.

03 December, 2015

WhenYouStop? The practice

Awaking at 5am, I sit for an hour in silence and go back to bed after at 6am. I find it interesting that the dreams after sitting are fun and relaxed. One must churn out the burning annoyances that we often keep holding on to. It is sometimes a challenge if I get to bed late, but always find it fruitful over the course of the new day. It brings such ease in life which more than makes up for the supposed inconvenience.

I have written about my dreams during a long sit, and because one is scanning and it pulls them up from body level to mental awareness, where one finds them dumping out more easily at night. My practice to date, tells me I do not fully feel …I am there, yet know when internal wisdom prompts me to sit or look more carefully as to what or who is bothered.

Tipped off by another wisdom teacher, Sadhguru to say when I sit or any time in the day when I can remember, while breathing in, say silently: “I am not my body,” and when breathing out, “I am not even my mind.” Also trying to scan my body when I am discontent, for whatever reason.

With all this, I am incredibly grateful to have my husband remind me whenever I show anger or change tone and pulls in some of Buddha’s wisdom he has absorbed being a Thailand-born Buddhist. We often do Buddhist prayer to access our own wisdom similar to Buddha, at night before bed. A short version of the salutation to the triple gem prayer said in temples in morning and evening chanting. Just this little bit of intention helps to gain more peace in sleep and our harmony. 

I also try to sit evenings after dinner or before depending on when we eat, in an effort to clear out the day disappointments and let go even more. As my husband often says, “No Buddha or any gods will produce something for free with a simple prayer, you have to work on yourself to accept things as they are and change yourself.”

One more thing, a near death gave me a taste of something 20 years ago, and even after some resistance to what happened, I was significantly mentally and physically damaged(changed) and found I had no other choice. If what I truly wanted was happiness I had to lean towards wisdom and self re-discovery. Dropping alcohol and many untruthful acquaintances/friends along the way. And now there is no turning back, losing more of what I am not. So there is no WhenYouStop, life is the practice.

08 October, 2015

20 days of Meditation: It was what it was.

You can watch people’s hair grow! You forget your passwords. But before I try to tell about my experience I need first to tell you, it will nothing like yours or mine... my next time. It all depends on the day, your karma, your body and your own life experiences. If I do it again, and yes, I will… it will be totally different, and yet, not unfamiliar. Now planning on a 30-day in the next two years(came sooner, April 2016!). I went eager hoping to deepen my practice, and maybe experience the jaunas while pulling up deeper hidden sankaras. I had just heard my sister committed suicide and watched a friend who was dying in hospice of hepatitis B cancer pass with little wisdom or insight the week before. All of this was unexpected, but that it with most of life. A 20-day Vipassana meditation is only old students, so it is very quiet, and nice with responsible meditators cleaning up the dorms daily with no laziness one normally sees with new students. Basically, for those unfamiliar, you are training the mind to accept that all life is impermanent, starting with sensations where all misery originates. I started in, able to meditate most of the day wherever we wanted, except the evening sits from 6-9 pm which were held in dhamma hall which included a detailed one hour talk about what one is doing. Starting with 7 days of anapana, watching the feeling of the breath just at the entrance of the nose in an effort to make the mind concentrated. This gives one the unique ability to pull up deeper previous hidden sankaras, when you do start scanning Day 8. I used only the dhamma hall and the pagoda cells alternating sometimes with a walk outside if the mind was hooked on something. One issue that kept reappearing in my head was something when I returned never materialized, so I was making misery unfounded. I rarely found it to have traumatic hooks on things, but more like an endless loop playing in my head that I could not seem to drop. Although Geonka, said to disregard dreams as subconscious helplessness,  Day 9 night dreams to me exhibited an issue, I thought mentally was gone, but obviously the body held a different idea. It woke me up, I replayed the whole dream and it all fell into place and I went to my pagoda cell early that morning, awake with happy release. The brain will have learned that this process is good for you and then just pulls to do it more. 

I had another dream that seemed to be a self-guided warning that my anger will kill me if continued. Scary in dream form, but once awake I easily analyzed it. Generally, with my knee pain my samadi was not as usual, but with learned equanimity, I felt no remorse at where I was at any time. This was really a first real sign of being equanimous, where I could later tell looking back why under pain I did not want to run away, instead solve the problem as best as I could at that given moment, so I could continue moving part by part observing sensations. My body/mind knew wisdom could be found there, which also pulls you back to sit more. I just adjusted my sitting posture, trying kneeling, moving my right leg higher to undo the cause of years of sitting improperly and knowing chairs are available, if it was worse than imagined. At no point was masochism involved in this wisdom. The comparing mind was never involved, one took things as they are which is pretty much how one should treat life. As far as eating, one eats less and less because it only affects the quality of meditation, and you are way past the idea with food as an answer to pleasure if you are dealing with feeling the digestion of each meal, daily. Sleep too, begins to be less and you don’t feel the need to run to bed to escape what you doing with mind and body. In the whole 20 days, I only missed three hours of meditation because of a little more sleep or walking to break a thought pattern, making to sit down at the latest 4:30 am until 9pm, with the normal breaks. And the bonus of seeing your own death as a reality that you can't run away from. I recommend highly to take a 10-day to see all the self-created dukkha.

08 September, 2015

Dear Sister, How Do You Do, Now?

One hot night in Florida, my sister and I went out dancing, driving my dad’s car when we both visited him. I was a pretty good club dancer, and it was time to have fun during a family visit. My sister was a good sport, and we now of the age and maturity to become close. She had had her first schizophrenic breakdown, but was back in college, and dating. We separated in the club, dancing with different cliques. I went to have fun and dance, but evidently she was the hit.  She met a handsome Peruvian, and he invited to his Mercedes parked outside for a little nose candy. When we got in his car, it became obvious he wanted my sister, a lot, and he was just asking for my permission while entertaining us with a huge cigar box filled with cocaine.  It was still dark, and for miraculous reason while being high, my sister and I were on to his invitation and game. Tapping each other’s legs in communication while in the rear seats, so he could not see. So we asked him of instead of driving us to his huge condo to party on, that we follow him in our car, so we could avoid Miami Beach parking fine. He dropped us off at our car, and we proceeded to follow him, but we both had the idea that this would be scary to follow a big drug dealer home. I drove and we waited for a place to ditch him where he could not turn and follow. The cocaine was running a good dose of paranoia through us both, excited and determined to get away. She yelled at me, “NOW!”, and I quickly turned left while he got on the freeway, unable to stop in a flow of traffic. We did it and sped off in the opposite direction, with her looking back and reporting to me, stopping an hour later to rejoice, laughing non-stop. Dawn light was beginning to show the potential of yet another beautiful sunny day with oranges, pinks, and yellow. I had won my sister back….this time.

With concern constantly coming your way, your family is carrying great shock and yet its mixed with a total understanding for wanting peace from your mental illness. Thirty-three years you have been hospitalized many times, walked homeless unmedicated and forced to get shots, all while being a bright intelligent woman with a masters in film, each episode you would try to return to have some kind of normalcy. Your escape to New Zealand was your last ditch attempt to escape the voices in your head in a country with a decent mental health care system. Damn, you tried and tried, when I would have just quit life. Then, later losing your new husband and love to a mentally induced suicide in foreign country was something none of us could imagine. So the leap was for peace and reuniting with him, and you went into the abyss happy and determined. The family deep down, know it was never about us, and will try to balance the hurt with logic as we place ourselves in your shoes, with the mental illness you were born with. With your new found peace, also goes the delusions of persecution about several of us were decorated with, but know that all the love in the world(our mother tried, and never failed you) cannot surpass schizophrenic paranoia.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin