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Pray
Meditate
Be aware/Stay awake
Bow
Practise yoga
Feel
Chant and sing
Breathe and smile
Relax/Enjoy/Laugh/Play
Create/Envision
Let Go/Forgive/Accept
Walk/Exercise/Move
Work/Serve/Contribute
Listen/Learn/Enquire
Consider/Reflect
Cultivate oneself/Enhance competencies
Cultivate contentment
Cultivate flexibility
Cultivate friendship and collaboration
Lighten up
Celebrate and appreciate
Dream
Give thanks
Evolve
Love
Share/Give/Receive
Walk softly/Live gently
Expand/Radiate/Dissolve
Simplify
Surrender/Trust
Be born anew

So I’ve been a bit scarce lately. I think I’ve just been quietly re-evaluating a great many things. Meditating on silence.. and it’s been very nice.

I leave for India in a week and two days–Yep, next Thursday. I’m very… non-commital about the whole thing. I suppose I won’t believe it’s happening until I land in Delhi. I have five papers to write and two exams to take before I go. I called off work today so that I can perhaps get some work done; I at least want to finish this one paper I’ve started on.

Being back at University is rather strange. I feel like I just don’t fit with anyone there. They’re all so concerned with their looks and their grades and who they can sleep with next… I wander alone through the hoardes of students and feel glad that I’m no longer in that place. I’m happy, I’m married. I have a child, I have a future that’s my own.

I have the silence

and I’m in love with letting go.

My mind is a mess. I can’t focus on anything. I tried sitting this morning, but I was too unfocused. Thoughts racing from School, to India, to work I still need to complete, plus finding a definite sitter for Fee, plus D leaving on the 27th.

It’s crazy.

I have a plan, and everything I need to do written down… I just don’t… I can’t get the rambling thoughts out of my head. And the comments made by someone I trusted.

I want to be stronger than this–but I’m not.

I have a bad case of the ‘flu. Part of me feels as though it’s related to everything else that’s going on; all the changes I’m encountering. I’m clearing out my life–though it feels in a way as though I abandoned everyone. I haven’t. Not really. My phone is broken, but I think I’m getting a new one today (free with the phone my husband is getting for his business, so I don’t feel guilty) so I’ll be available again. I also have my specialist follow up on Friday, and I’m really scared about that. I think that’s partly shutting me down. Whatever she says I’m going to be upset…

I don’t understand how to integrate Buddhist thought and illness. I’m not talking about getting a cold or what have you, but serious, life-threatening illnesses. Are they our choice? Are they Karma? Do we have to die that way?

*sigh*

There’s a lot on my mind right now… a lot.

死は我々にとっては何でもない。我々が存在するうちは、死はまだ訪れていないし、死が訪れた時には、我々はいないのだから。

Learning about oneself isn’t easy. Painful flaws gape mockingly… flaws chipped into us by those who professed caring and love.  Attachment weighs heavily. It isn’t so much things which garner my attention these days, so much as people. I try to step back, try to take a breath and ease myself out of that grasping feeling of need, yet it is not easy. I am torn between external validation and letting go entirely. Perhaps India will do me good. A chance to reorganize my priorities…. reorder my life.

To that end I started a fast today. Today was easing in to it, so I allowed some vegetables and a little white rice. I also have the flu, so I don’t want to make myself sicker. I just need to simplify, cleanse, let go. I’ve become so ensnared in samsara that I can’t see the sun shining crsiply through the trees–instead the light hurts my eyes and I retreat inside.

image © imapix

Do not try to become anything.
Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator.
Do not become enlightened.
When you sit, let it be.
What you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing.
Resist nothing.

~ Ajhan Chah

The gulf grows wider, and I wonder whether it’s me or them. Sometimes I think it’s me and that nagging mantra of self-doubt. I wonder when I ceased being important. Somewhere between the last episode of House and calling for Chinese. Bare branches crisscross the window like long-healed scars and I close my eyes.

My thoughts, with lives of their own
Flash and flutter
Rise and fall
Come and go
So many butterflies outside my window

And I smile
and I slow
my thoughts
to rest.

Motionless, effortless, all quiet.

Silence; for a moment birdsong echoes. For a moment I’m caught in the simple beauty of the world, but then creeping doubt crawls into the vacant spaces whispering “am I good enough?” through gritted teeth.

I don’t know when I lost you all, I don’t know when I lost myself.

The torrential rain made everything misty and ethereal yesterday. I wish I could have been feeling that way. I was really sick last night. Thought it was going to be trip in an ambulance kind of sick. I feel a little better today–I guess I really do need to see the specialist on friday, whether or not I want to.

I got my visa for India for yesterday, I’m so excited. I still can’t believe it’s going to happen. Maybe it won’t if I keep getting sicker like I am. I have to believe that it’s going to be okay. I have to.

I was hoping to feel a bit better today–as I wanted to begin clearing things out. I want to get rid of all of the crap we have around here that we don’t use. I’m going to have Phoenix sort out his toys that he doesn’t play with so we can donate them. He already understands that some people don’t have as much as we do–so he doesn’t mind giving away some of his toys.

Then we have so much… I don’t even know what to call it… crap? Just stuff we don’t need, stuff that’s suffocating us. Stuff stuff stuff. I have papers and cards and things I don’t need to keep, but for some reason I just can’t get rid of. That old attachment issue.

“Sometimes I think that the greatest achievement of modern culture is its brilliant selling of samsara (living in a state of illusion and its barren distractions). Modern society seems to me a celebration of all the things that lead away from the truth, make truth hard to live for, and discourage people from even believing that it exists. And to think that all this springs from a civilization that claims to adore life, but actually starves it of any real meaning; that endlessly speaks of making people ‘happy’, but in fact blocks their way to the source of real joy.”

So often it is only when people suddenly feel they are losing their partner that they realize how much they love them. Then they cling on even tighter. But the more they grasp, the more the other person escapes them, and the more fragile the relationship becomes.

So often we want happiness, but the very way we pursue it is so clumsy and unskillful that it brings only more sorrow. Usually we assume we must grasp in order to have that something that will ensure our happiness. We ask ourselves: “How can we possibly enjoy anything if we cannot own it?” How often attachment is mistaken for love!

Even when the relationship is a good one, love can be spoiled by attachment with its insecurity, possessiveness, and pride; and then when love is gone, all you have left to show for it are the “souvenirs” of love, the scars of attachment.