Saturday, April 09, 2011

Eight words?

Sometimes we hear someone talk
maybe 10 words, maybe a couple dozen words
With those few sounds and syllables
a big reaction happens inside the body and the mind.

Tsunami style feelings.

Last week I had that happen with Her.
takes over the Board meetings. Criticizes. Finds fault.
It's Her style. I don't think she's ever said a kind word.

She says, " Sally
got this great grant for museum passes."
I can't believe what she is saying.
It's not sinking in, let it sink in, I tell myself. Let it sink in.
She is really saying what you heard.

I want to leave. I'm done with this group I think. How bad
is this woman?

The words touch the tip of an iceberg in me and now I am left with the mass of all that
ice underneath.

The talk turns to grants.
I say, "We need to do more than ask for something, we
need to put it in a bigger context, like the grant I did for
museum passes. Remember the trifold I did?" Luckily
other Board members start nodding and remembering that
I wrote the grant and got the passes.

Long after I've left the room, the movie continues to play out
in my mind. Gotta quit this job quick.
I can't get credit for what I've done? Seeds of
anger, invisibility, and fear start to get watered and grow in my mind.
The conditioning of a lifetime is taking over.

The seeds of discontent grow. It's interfering with my present moments. Habit energy says she is to blame. If she hadn't done what she did,
I wouldn't be feeling what I feel now. I don't want to feel what I am feeling. How can
I change her? I can't, so I'll leave the job.

I take a day to sit, feeling the belly rise and fall.
walking with nowhere to go, walking just to walk.
Feeling the sun on my legs, feeling gentle breezes on my face,
talking to a blackbird cawing in the tree. I come back to the present
moment, wonderful moment.

I read Thich Nhat Hanh,
Let the Buddha breathe,
Let the Buddha walk.
I don't have to breath,
I don't have to walk.

The Buddha is breathing
the Buddha is walking
I enjoy the breathing
I enjoy the walking.

I send myself metta,
May I be free from anger, fear, enmity, ill will.
May I be from from mental suffering, from running away, from aversion,
from craving.
May I be free from from physical suffering.
May I go through my day happy, calm,

The ice melts a little.

There's a child here
Pulling at my coat
She's the one wanting attention.
I am breathing, being with that child-part that felt left out
a zillion years ago. Breathing with nowhere to go, nothing to do.

The belly rises and falls, the sun warms my feet, gentle breezes
play around my face, a chickadee chirps close by.

May I be safe. May I be free from fear. May I be free from ill will.
May I be free from hatred and anger. May I be free from ill will.
These feelings I have, my mother, my father had them also, their
parents, too, probably. May we all be safe, may we all be happy. May we all be free
from ill will.

I want serene,
smooth passages through life. No obstructions. No criticism.

I believe other people have anger and fear and need to change.
I believe my life will be better if other people change.

But this is not right thinking. Life is not about smooth passages.
It is not about other people changing so I can feel good.

In my mind, I thank this woman for helping me see seeds of anger and fear in me.
I stop everything, I breathe, I find good seeds in me, compassion in me,
and by doing this, I water these seeds.

I am a cloud, I am the blue sky, I am a bird spreading out its wings
I am a flower, I am the sunshine, I am the earth receiving a seed
And I am free when my heart is open, yes I am free when my mind is clear
Oh dear brother oh dear sister, let's walk together mindfully.
----Chanting from Thich Nhat Hanh's tradition.

Maybe she grew up
knowing only criticism. I don't know her story. I know she wants
peace and happiness. Maybe she is unskillful and doesn't know
how to be on a Board. Maybe criticism means to her that things will get done.
I don't know. I know she wants peace and happiness. I know she has
her own habit energy and conditioning from her own past and her own
ancestors and her own untamed mind.

Just as I wish to be free from hatred, anger and ill will,
May she be free from enmity and ill will.
May she be free from mental suffering and fear, and impulsiveness.
May she be free from physical suffering and enjoy the spring air and new life on the planet.
May she go through her days with ease and joy and gratitude for her life.

May all beings be safe,
May all beings be free from ill will and hatred,
May all beings be free from mental suffering,
May all beings be free from physical suffering,
May all beings go through their days with ease.