Sunday, March 11, 2012

Can't get the door open

I get a ride all the 30 miles early Saturday to learn about samatha meditation,
to learn how to sit and breathe, to be with nothing to do, to be with nowhere to go.

My ride drops me off just as it is to start.

I rush up to the doors to get in the alcove. I take off my shoes.
I put my hands on the handles to the meditation hall. I pull.

Nothing happens.

Maybe they changed the doors to sliders? I try pulling the handles sideways.

I pull. Again, I pull.

The mind rises to the occasion. My energy goes into my head.
This looks like a place for me, my Mind says.
It's thinking "dinner party."
It starts in with the appetizers, "The door must be locked."
Then we bring in the main course, "They are going to do this workshop for the next few hours and I'll have to wait outside the whole time?"

Finally, dessert, "They must have started things already and don't want interruptions."

The body joins in the party.
It can't stand still, do something, it's saying. React.
I knock, knock, knock on the door. I hear people talking inside.
Nothing started yet.
But nothing happens.

Why can't they hear me? I knock louder.

The door suddenly swings open. I get in. Everyone is standing and talking, happy, socializing.
I am laughing. Oh, no. What I see is

I pulled on a door that only opens when it is pushed.

I was in a place of fear and panic then realized I was stuck in habit energy,
I was stuck in a mind that thinks the worst then realized my perception was mistaken.
I was stuck in a mind that predicts the future, then realized that that future is based on a misperception.
My mind gets so busy sometimes having dinner parties, I don't have the space to consider
things like pushing the door.

In, out
deep, slow
Calm, ease
Smile, release
Present moment
Wonderful moment.

Remembering this, coming home to the present moment leaves space for all that is.

Smiling, Pebble

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Life in the woods, life on the trail

I used to think I wanted nothing to do but to walk in the woods,
one step at a time,
breathing in the earth, the clouds, the trees,
to stop when I am tired, to eat when I am hungry,
to wash in clear streams.

Today I remember,
there is night, cold, rain, thunder, lightning, hunger,
loneliness, bruises, sores, sickness, rats, mice, hard ground, briars,
brush. There are these things in the woods also.


I have so many good people everywhere that are nurturing and loving, like
the well-travelled paths through the woods.
And the negative interactions I have with others are like the brush, the briars, the boulders,
the rocks blocking my path in the woods. Both exist.

Therapists want to help us throw out what is unwanted and keep only
what is wanted. But what is left may not be very much. If we try
to throw away what we don’t want, we may throw away most of ourselves.
Instead of acting as if we can dispose of parts of ourselves, we should learn
the art of transformation. We can transform our anger, for example,
into something more wholesome, like understanding. We do not need surgery
to remove our anger. If we become angry at our anger, we will have two angers
at the same time. We only have to observe it with love and attention. If we take care
of our anger this way, without trying to run away from it, it will transform itself.
This is peacemaking. If we are peaceful in ourselves, we can make peace
with our anger. We can deal with depression, anxiety, fear,
or any unpleasant feeling in the same way.
---Thich Nhat Hanh

Resting in the river. Transforming in the river.