Thursday, June 30, 2011

its not about me

one of the things that I came away from my sessions with is the idea that "its not about me". This means more than it seems to mean on the surface. It is about giving into the idea that we are all one thing. Not distinct separate entities, but part of the ALL. It is about surrendering the individual will, the individual desires and just allowing the universe to be what it is, without attempting to shape or control or fight what is.

Apparently the universe can drive along just fine, without me at the wheel. This is humbling. This is also freeing. It is also hard to put into practice. The temptation to control things, to manage, to HELP, to shape, is profoundly enticing. I'm here, I matter, I can bend things to my desire and will. LIke a two year old, ME DO.

Except. I can let things be. I can not act. Let what's going to happen just happen.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

because of Scott

because of Scott, I had a lot to think about today. I am guessing, because he was 47 years old, that he thought he had tons of time -- time to say I love you, or thanks, or you mean a lot to me. Time to say I'm sorry, I screwed up, I need you, I appreciate it. That's what I think, and I'm only a couple of years older. I am guessing he didn't spend a lot of time thinking about how he wanted to live his last days. I think that's something that occurs to you when you are much older.

because of Scott, I thought about the things he maybe didn't have time for, and said the things that maybe he never got around to saying.

Rest in peace, Scott.

Friday, June 24, 2011

happy tired

I am exhausted. I slept a little less than three hours, so that I could take our son and a friend to pick up their bus to the airport at 2am. But I am a happy tired. My son is in Costa Rica for a week, on a high school Spanish trip. I love being able to give him this kind of experience. The night before, I stayed up until 12:30, waiting for him to get home from his first rock concert. He saw U2 at a large stadium near our home, with some of his best buds. He was almost glowing as he told me about the show.

I love all of this, even when it knocks me out. Because it's what I always hoped for. Our kid is happy, healthy, well-adjusted. He has good friends. He has opinions, interests, talents, a life. I would give up sleep for weeks to see the smile on his face, the joy and excitement that come with new experiences. SWEET!

Monday, June 13, 2011

what is compassionate?

I am struggling the last week or two with what is compassionate? How do you know when you are truly acting from compassion? and in a situation where there is pain all around, how do you know which action is more compassionate?

Does compassion require action at all? Can I be loving, be compassionate, and still let events unfold without my doing anything at all?

To give a non-human example -- our dog is in pain. A lot of pain, a lot of the time. His test results show hip dysplasia, spinal disk degeneration, a spinal cyst, stenosis. He already has mitral valve degeneration, and a heart defect. Yet he is happy much of the time, and seems to enjoy his life. Do we keep taking him to the vet? have his hip replaced, or the cyst removed? At what point are we serving ourselves and not the dog? what is the compassionate thing to do? Are we taking him to the vet for him, or for us? If its for him, will we know when it switches to being about us?

when do you act? when do you not act? does motive matter?

Friday, June 03, 2011

extending the metaphor

So, I talked the other day about parenting yourself. Once I had accepted that idea, and begun to put it into practice, I realized that I had to extend the metaphor. If we are all truly interconnected, and I have to parent myself, it follows that I have to parent everything.

I have to extend that same respect, tenderness, and nurturing that I offer myself as far as I can. I have to extend that difficult job of letting go, of encouraging growth, of being stern when needed, out beyond the boundary of self and into the world.

I have wondered before what compassion demands. How can we forgive, or love, someone who does terrible things? I think now, I have the answer. I can do it as a parent does it, when their child disappoints or does something hateful. Sometimes you have to attempt to correct the behavior; sometimes you have to step back and let the lesson unfold. Sometimes you can do nothing at all-just hope for the best.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

parenting yourself

An idea has emerged from my most recent meditation sessions -- that you should parent yourself. By that I mean that you should treat yourself as if you were your own child. Instead of the inner voice being critical -- too fat, a failure, bad mother, bad wife, shouldn't have said that, done that, etc - it should be maternal. "Next time you'll do better." Or "you're beautiful the way you are" or maybe you just need some rest, or soup, or an extra hug. Maybe you should coddle yourself a little. Be firm when you need it. Approach yourself with tenderness. With care. With love. Unconditionally.