18 June, 2010

The Shaded Path

I've got to watch what I say, what I think and how I act, a subtle reminder when you find you are sick. Driving the nuns, brought some light in with a dhamma talk and a great meditation. Telling stories on the way back was a delightful way to end a Friday night.

14 June, 2010

Used for Science in a Good Way

I just found out that a Dr. friend will study my body to use it for the quest for better and more effective pain drugs to help others. Since I can't use it to its full advantage, might at well let others use it. So happy that I wanted to share this song with you.

07 June, 2010

The Crumpled Paper

I carry up the end of the line not wanting to walk ahead of the ajahns to do walking meditation on the beach on Vesak Day. We are all silent, I put my hand in my pocket and feel a crumpled piece of paper. I pull it out and want to throw it away, it is just a piece of paper I washed and dried with my pants …it can’t be that important.

I throw it towards a trash can, it bounces off the edge, I chuckle, it is begging me to read it, I guess. I pick it up and peeling it back carefully like a 3000yr old papyrus, I realize it is a dedication note for a shrine, I had rewritten to place on shrine after a weekend about a year ago.

The first line was to a friend who was having terrible time in a difficult relationship, and before I got to the second line, my phone vibrates and see a text from the same friend asking me to lunch. All things pass, he is now fine and removed from the pain he experienced, then. Many years ago, in everyday life, he gave me my first dhamma lesson about what is important(People vs Things). The second line is to my sister suffering from mental illness, and the third to my mother to give her strength with the pains of aging. I give it some thought about when these might pass. While the others walk silently along the shore, I lie down and sleep on the sand between sea grass humps, sometimes I can’t fight the exhaustion, a gift of this brain injury. Surprisingly, I woke up just as the group returned, joining them in the same place in line that I had before…. no one knew the difference.

05 June, 2010

Karma Washing

As a treat of compassion, I made plans to drive Buddhist Nuns to see Amma thinking they have never seen her. They had seen her in England a few times and even traveled to Amritapuri, Kerala to her home to see her once. Thursday is the quiet day at the Vihara, and no plans on the calendar it made sense. We packed the day in, to include a hospital visit after, and to conclude with chai at my house before they had to return. Now, I have seen Amma twice in the past who helped to inspire my Buddhist path to begin regular temple attendance, my hospital volunteering, making merit like painting a temple, setting up and helping out at various events.

The energy was high, the people happy, and the children amazing in a world of love. Having arrived early enough to get a token to receive darshan within the first hour, we settled down and talked about seeing her and to the people around us. sitting next to me was a wise 1 yr.old girl with her mother, who still had connections to her previous life(as it seemed to us). When the beautiful chant started just before Amma’s arrival, I got tears in my eyes. The Ajahn sitting next to me, pulled out a tissue, but I said I am fine, and enjoying my tears. It feels wonderful and no longer afraid to express emotion, a by-product of my brain injury. There was video of Amma helping poor around the world that had been showing the whole time while we waited which helped to prime my heart. Amma’s entry was still very casual entry where she walked through the ashram to her chair, and started very shortly thereafter to hug people. The Ajahns went first, and then I followed. I just watched people because most have a lot more love than average person on the street. I approached with the guidance of her helpers and was treated to a long almost double hug. I could not really say anything, and sat close by after her embrace to watch others. While there a smiliing girl of about 18 who was working for Amma, came up to the Ajahns knowing who they are. She said her parents nursed Ajahn Sumedho when he had a broken leg in Europe when she was a little girl. It was fun to watch her story unfold.

Later, when we had tea at my house to show the Ajahns my collection of saints before I sell them to pay for my partner's masters and perhaps a PHD later. One of the Ajahns liked one of the small old saint photos I had on my wall, so I gave it to her.

Amma’s love blessings continued today, when I came home I noticed a car with a huge blue stains on the side. One kid from school, had been playing with a pen that exploded all over the car and they were just trying to clean it up with paper towels. I went into my garage and got some goof-off and a rag and ran over to help. I managed to get most of it off, while the girl was still crying and covered in ink. I told the Mom, to use some rubbing compound on it or to hurry over to a detail shop to have them buff off the residue. All her kids came over and shook my hand, so surprised a stranger would help.

01 June, 2010

Really Never Have a Fixed Idea

I was beginning to think I am lucky, when I see some other people going through life’s hurdles. Looking at what part of my ego needs to think this, and maybe it is the comparing mind. Or, it is the part that wants to label something, and put a check mark in my head as been there and lay it aside. If I think it is done, then I will get to more important stuff? What is exactly is that? I am not going to solve the oil spill by worrying about it. Nor or you going to solve a relationship problem by guessing everything that can possibly go through the other person’s head. It is becoming clearer to me that just when you think you know it ...you don’t.

Recalling the dream that woke me up to write this. I helped a friend some 20 years ago burned out of his apartment, by letting him stay with me. There was some attraction involved even before the fire and one night after dinner we got a little hot. I stopped it because I cared enough about him to not to let it go anywhere that would put him in a weird space in my house. So, it transpired into laughter… lighthearted laughter. I honestly cared about him, regardless of the outcome. Is that what we really wanted, that night? Not to get lost in sex to forget life’s great inconsistencies, but instead to laugh it all off. Because we really don’t know anything, like why life puts some people together under odd circumstances and throws others apart. Why a seemingly tragic event to one person, is an awakening to another?

My dream consisted of us starting to have sex and instead ending up with us tickling each other. So I woke up laughing. Because laughter between two people is one of the great shared experiences. We might have friends that agree with our view of life(at this current time), but the nuances of what determines this will never make it an ideal shared experience. “You don’t see it like I do!” How many times have we heard this the minute one has doubt in the ways are? To align things with what seems to you to be their place will work one moment and not another. There are too many variables that just point us into taking life as it is. Simple things can truly bind people…like love and caring with a little laughter thrown in. Laughing, because we don’t know what really is next…ever.
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