14 January, 2010
Taking a full day to meditate like I did this past Sunday is one of the best things I can ever do, to wipe my slate clean of worries and annoyances. I had my computer’s hard drive fail, potentially losing my photos from April 2009 until current. For some reason my back up drive that was plugged in two days before my hard drive failure did not copy them all even though it was supposed to. I have a guy working on trying to remove them for my old defunct drive. But you know, I am prepared to lose them now with this meditation on the impermanence of things. Ironic that it included my novice photos, I guess to remind me to do it again!
Although my day of mediation only produced one moment of bliss in the morning session, and hours of mild discomfort when it ended at 5 pm and I booked home for another sit at a church ending at 9pm. I awoke early on Monday, and a friend in Thailand asked me to help design and write something for him, and I dropped everything to do it for him at 6am. My “me” was significantly squashed for the time being and I proceeded to enjoy real lightness and bliss all of Monday. Tuesday, I was scheduled to help clean up the Nun’s Vihara backyard. After I enjoyed tea, and talked with them, and they asked, “Would I return to do more? I said, Of course! The lightness tampered off each day, but I was far less anxious and very awake. On Wednesday, I was rushing to clean my house and had a bucket of soupy water to clean my floors and the handle broke and dumped the entire bucket all over my bedroom’s floor. Surprisingly (especially for me!), I did not curse or get startled. And quickly got towels to absorb the mess.
Later that evening, I made it to meet a dhamma friend on time at a Zen Center, arriving early enough to squeeze 40 minute sit while waiting for the talk to start. We agreed to go try it, just to see what it is like but content with our Theravada practice. I joked, “It is same Buddha!,” after when we were discussing the dhamma lesson that was not unlike ours. Anyway, the teacher walked in to prostate, acting very deliberate which I thought was on account of being Zen. But after she prostate, she asked a nun nearby, "Was that three times? Walking very carefully around to sit down I felt something was wrong.(besides being Zen, lol) She sat down to talk, and immediately integrated the teaching with her own story about how she was hit by a construction wall just after she placed a quarter in a parking meter. My jaw dropped. She spent the last year and half just trying to relearn most everything. I later said to my friend, I was meant to come to this talk. She continued on with her talk and I just smiled and kept quiet about my own brain injury when the floor was open for questions at the end. I thought hard, about what would help her, as I could see she was working very diligently to recover while still showing signs of a brain injury.
I waited until after the talk and met her aside, and said one thing that worked wonders for me, was having a “funeral” for old self…a wake or a party. This allows you to discover the new person you become and relax about expectations based on this old self. Because it is never coming back, really. She said, “Even your obvious side effects with speech, you seem so alive. Your eyes so bright!” I replied, “Dhamma helps! Thanks for your teaching about being ready for whatever life throws at us.” We really have no idea, and living in an earthquake zone— Haiti teaches us it can be far worse than we ever imagined.