28 October, 2007

Shared View

I have been a bit busy, but never too busy to ponder ideas. Some ideas are fruitful for my business and some are just random desires and fears. I do wake-up with creative ideas of how to solve minor problems, and I wish it would work with major ones, as well. Can’t get too greedy. So my question is, does experience one has alone have any less importance than a shared experience? Looking at my solitary door to the ocean, it is as if was all a dream of mine especially now that it is past tense. Now shared, it can enter into your dreams whether directly by looking at it, or subconsciously later in nightly dreams. But, are we really looking for someone to share in our dreams and experience to bring meaning into our life? I chatted today with a client, about shared life experience and I am sure, if I felt as validated as she then I guess I hit on this. And this what we both wanted: to share pain, frustrations, humor and finally wisdom. Sure it goes back to my idea that we never really operate in a vacuum from an earlier post. That our human life is so important, especially when we relate to one another. This allows us to help others, hopefully. If we were more compassionate and open to the idea of being kind to others in listening and talking, we can share in their dreams. Thus doubling the occurrence of magical moments and lessening of the painful, disturbing ones.
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25 October, 2007

Walking Suspicion

I found this walking stick in all places in a busy city, crawling across the sidewalk to a nearby planter area alongside a house. So I picked it up carefully and moved it to safety, and in the process let everything I had in my mind go. I even talked to two people walking by, noticing that they were not afraid, but instead, in awe, because I had it in my hand. This immediately made them feel comfortable talking to me. All it took was one insect to make three strangers talk. We lose the common shared thing we possess as humans, if we are always suspicious. I think this how the current administration is working our last nerve. If they keep us apart and fearful of everything then we will agree to the absurd policies of spending our way into destruction. The US has spent 2.4 trillion on the Iraq and Afghan wars and we can’t help poor children in this country. We can spend a billion on Blackwater, a para-military force that rivals Pinochet’s Henchmen in Chile. They also just walked into New Orlean’s without a contract and their steroid pumped idiots bossed our people around until Bush jumped in with money for them. Money for para-military, but not to rebuild New Orleans or to help our children? I think we should be suspicious of them not each other.

22 October, 2007

Compassion Biking

What would possess a person like me to again try to go on a 8-hr bike ride? For one thing, because I still can, even after my horrible injury. I can still remember being rolled outside the hospital in a wheelchair to visit with my partner and family. My partner was telling jokes, making me laugh that drove sharp pains in the area where my stomach tube was just put in. That laughter is the best medicine as trite as it sounds. He still probably does not how much he helped propel me to where I now. So today, I visited a lighthouse rarely open, and watched hawks soar while visiting two coves. While biking more than a couple times I wished for a car with a friend to take me back home, but I deep down knew only I could do the whole thing and feel accomplished. That is if I never give up, maybe I’ll just walk my bike in a couple of steep places. Never really frustrated even when young 20-somethings pedaled up while I walked. I only congratulated them and cheered them on. Although, I did this solo, it would have been nice to have someone to share the beauty with. So, I stopped and talked to a horse rider relaxing on a hilltop with an unparalleled view of the ocean beyond the hills. We talked about the harvest moon and the view all the way to the islands that we saw. While biking down to the beach, I remember walking there with friends twenty years ago talking about life at that time. All we have is past, funny? Upon reaching the beach, I collapsed for a half-hour nap lulled to sleep by the waves. Waking refreshed, and clear-headed knowing I had be home in two hours to make dinner for a friend who I having a difficult time with life. That was just enough spark to keep me moving.

19 October, 2007

Cracks in Our World?

Walking yesterday to the park, where I sat on a bench listening to Darshan Ambient and watching the world happen without me. I was reflecting on my dharma teacher who is leaving today, and the positive effect she has had in my life. It was interesting to realize that the world will continue while watching people throwing balls, dogs playing and a mother on a swing with her son. It appears to be independent of me watching it or not. I can affect my world by seeing the beauty in it, or not and I have to continually remind myself to do so. This will make me happier than always seeing what’s wrong with it. Not to be confused by not caring about the health of our planet, but using my energy to affect change instead of just complaining about it. I saw cracks in our world, the huge floating island of plastic twice the size of Texas in the Pacific on PBS. So now I am even taking bigger moves to minimize my plastic use. I no longer buy water in plastic, and reuse my plastic vegetable bags and carry my own cloth bags. I will expand my awareness every time I buy something in plastic and try to avoid it when possible. I think there is a lot to be said about being informed and making the important changes to make sure that our children will also get to enjoy the beauty as well.

17 October, 2007

Dreams Across Oceans

What happens when you have a late dinner of home made curry, and go to sleep less than two hours later? Dreams that consist of a fantastic muddling of things experienced and wanted. I even fell back to sleep twice to continue the journey, and it was not difficult to resume the same “film.” Often I am able to do this, with a strong intent. I generally have interesting dreams, and a couple of them reappear to entertain me. One is going to a far away town on the water with handsome colonial style architecture, and I can see the island a mile off shore I want to go to again. Often I hike to the grassy knoll and say with a sense of relief, “There it is!” like I am trying to show somebody. Now I know this is a combination of Trinidad and Tobago and Sri Lanka places I have been before, but like all dreams it is a mismatch of ideas and feelings. It never appears to me to be unattainable or frustrating, but a true expression of what I know and want. There is a sense of love and understanding, and I wish I could write better about this. I would like to spin these dreams into a short story. Like the time I had a old right hand wheel jeep with a friend tooling around Tobago, and it the middle of nowhere in the rain and mud we got stuck. We made it out later, by just being calm and trying everything we knew of, just in time to watch a sunset on the opposite side of the island. So I have plenty of experiences to pull dreams from, places seen, love found and lost, full of hope and expectations to be met.

15 October, 2007

Are We Really Independent?

It came to me while meditating yesterday that if we are a totally independent self we would never become lonely. Loneliness is a clear sign that we need others. We depend on others starting with our parents, and the kindness of doctors when we are born. Without their hard work and sacrifice (trying losing sleep with an infant) we would not be here. So, we are defined by all those around us, integral role they take in making sure we are alive. Outside of our life there are many people involved as well, sewing our shirts, picking our vegetables, repaving our freeways. We can’t and don’t exist in an independent little world. Just think about the hassle of being without power for a day, or when they are out of stock with favorite wine. We depend on others to make our life easier. I know I depend on my friends to get an idea that I have some value in life. I can bounce ideas, dreams and problems off of them. Even those that are “bad” to us provide a great opportunity to be patient to realize how important our good friends are to us. I Just try think of those unnamed people that make our life better, and hopefully I can be just a little more compassionate with all others.

11 October, 2007

Journey to the Gate

I was, again listening to Radio Lab(Where Am I?) about the brain, and one part was about proprioception. That is the brain's ability to know where anything is at any given moment with relation to the body. Close your eyes and raise your hand, and you still know it where it is located. People who have difficulty with this, also usually have a problem knowing where their body is in space. It can also affect organs and balance, all things we take for granted when we are fine. I had lost mine partially with my brain injury, so I gradually had to learn how to improvise without anyone telling me how to. So, when my arm would hit a table I was walking by, or drop keys that were in my hand, I learned to train my brain by watching my hand. By watching I could learn to compensate what natural proprioception I lost. It was frustrating, when I also had lost half my right vision, with muscle weakness. Doing yoga to learn how to balance, even though I still have no feeling on my left side of my body. No Doctor would elaborate on how to deal all this, but it is a testimony to how well the body can adapt to injury to the brain. In my volunteer job at the hospital, I make it known that the Doctor’s can’t just talk over the brain injured victim. They might as well start to discuss what really they are looking for when the do tests on cranial nerves lost. Explain what is deficient in a compassionate manor, would be a goof start. Looking back it is a gift from Buddha, to find the will power when my whole world was turned upside and all without ever seeing a neuropsychiatrist post hospital. So, if I can myself in this extreme situation, they I should have less trouble opening the gate to enlightenment.
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10 October, 2007

A Natural End

I heard a teaching I have heard several times by different teachers on love, attachment and delusions last night. In the teaching he asked, “What happens in every long term relationship?” The first person who answered said, “Boredom”, the second person in the room said, “Death” which is the correct answer. Now I have meditated on my death and death alone, and heard a lot of dharma talks, but this is the first one where a very important point came into my mind. No matter what believe about reincarnation or heaven, death is the ultimate change one experiences. That means that every other change we experience including watching our bodies fall apart as we age pales in comparison. The Ahh-hah moment happened last night, the real hard fact that will propel me hopefully into accepting all other change. That simple, important fact will lessen our need to feel like we are suffering the change of say, a relationship breaking up or someone is late. If we remember the change of death, and embrace the change of everyday experience we will find patience slowly will become our natural wisdom.

09 October, 2007

Cutting Out Medical Mysteries

I am going on a mission to find out as cheaply as possible how my health is and cut out the medical over billing. I am pretty aware of my body, and I learned this since before my stint in ICU. In fact, if I was not fit and healthy when my brain injury occurred I most definitely would have died. Luckily and most importantly I did not smoke and had good exercise and eating habits. That way when I dropped 33 pounds in the first ten days of hospitalization, I could still survive even though given a death sentence by doctors while in the coma. Now, I continue doing a wide variety of exercise including yoga, and swimming. I have always been on the idea that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, when I found my heart racing at night a few times, it is making me pull apart every possible cause, since I have normal blood pressure. Included are supplements I take, and any chemicals I use at home. If I can deduce by removing anything in my diet or home then great, and if the blood panel is all clear. If I still find it happening and then have to see my primary care Dr I will. Aware of all the brain injury caused problems, but they usually are consistent, and do not pop up for no reason. What is gone is gone(brain-wise), so to speak and has only stabilized or I have gotten use to it.

07 October, 2007

Healthy Trouble

A week of new images and more of those little hassles in life. These two diverse images of man made and nature made beauty. So it brings to a point about man made problems with natural life. It seems to me if you have a insurance plan that it should cost less for services. But what I have found out is retail cost for lab work is less than when billed through insurance.

Funny, I went to get a physical and for my $45 co-pay I get only these things: Temperature, blood pressure, height, weight and a look at my throat and ears. If I want a full blood panel and discussion it costs a bundle for the lab and a new appointment. Wouldn’t you think they would encourage you to be on top of your health? Nope. So I can do it outside of my plan for less money, and just research my blood panel when I get it online. Now that’s sad. But, not a sad as our country’s torture policy. Maybe this is a preview of it!

05 October, 2007

Playing with Tone

I was listening to Radio Lab, on musical language theory and I was brought back to the reason why most people will go “Huh?” when I say a simple word. Apparently most people hear words by the tone instead of he actual word. Which is the main reason that people don't understand me. I am trying to think how to warn people in advance. My problem on the phone, is when I attempt to warn them in advance they often hang up. I almost need a normal person to record a warning for to play on the phone first before I speak. I am not tone deaf, but the area in my brain that transfers the actual word on one side and moves to convert to tone is damaged. Also because I lost all feeling in the mouth area, and tongue, I am unable to teach the tongue with the brain how to perfect my speech. I listen to my speech, and self-correct by repeating it. I tried to delay speech with an appliance during my speech therapy to slow me down and it worked some. But my problem with slowing down spontaneous speech is that I forget my thoughts. I can do it while reading something that is easy. You know the old joke about walking and chewing gum? Well, that is me, now. I cannot walk and talk to people, and even friends get bothered when I stop them to say what I want to say. All these things we take for granted in life, now for me become a challenge. I wish I could somehow breakdown each problem and let them experience it for a second in order to get their understanding.
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03 October, 2007

Flowering Intention

With a glass of wine after dinner with some chocolate, I can wrap up the day, happily. I tried again to help someone who had relationship problems online. I hope that my insights and clear thinking will help set this person on the right track as to what to expect. I also told them about how to avoid this happening again by approaching the next relationship with a rational mind. I am aware at the time when someone asks for help, they see no way out when they are hurting. I again mention that looking outside of yourself for happiness will almost always lead to disaster. I have talked about this before, to casually remind myself as well, that to make anyone the sole source of your happiness puts a terrible burden on them. All I have to do is think back to unsuccessful relationships I had in the past looking carefully at why they failed or changed. Some things repeat themselves unless you examine them and change. Sure, change is not easy for me or anyone but change we have to …to mature. At least I have had several successful ones that I am able to use as a base line when attempting the next one. My current partner has little idea of much internal work and learning of past mistakes I had to do to make ours flow. But this is my gift to a great soul and partner who he has taught me a lot like forgiveness and understanding. He knows, it is all in the intent.
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01 October, 2007

Ride Away Anger

Early, yesterday I tried to get some things done around home before seeing a friend later. He cancelled and instead of feeling down about a change of plans, I took off on my bike to see if I could do a ride like I used to 16 years ago. My disability brings certain health things with it to worry about, but also some “devil may care attitude.” Stopping to help two young Dutch women with as map, and talking to them about where they wanted to go next. I told them an easy way down to their destination. I decided to take the hill, feeling like I vampired some of their youth. I did not push too hard and when things seemed bad, I rested and drank water. I pushed a steep hill slowly, barely passing walking people. Within two hours I stood at the peak, on crystal clear day with a view of the Pacific. I asked a tourist with his wife up there for the first time by car to take my photo. We talked briefly about why I spoke poorly, and where he from since he told me they moved away. He said to appreciate it more. I continued on with a sense of relief for making it this far, which meant it was going to a relaxing, beautiful ride home. I got to ride past some places that meant a lot in my past, so it was kind of like memory lane tour. I find it is important to be flexible when things change, as a way to keep anger away. Perhaps, if I keep doing this, anger will find a slippery hold on me…hopefully. Now, that I can this ride I will repeat it again.
Today, after a full day ending with volunteering I answered an ad for a dinner date. When I informed the person I had speech disability, they cut off any conversation and of course the date. This caused no anger because I had little expectations, and feel it is their loss.
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