Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sitting

OK so yesterday I had so much work to do on the computer that my morning flew by. Before I knew it the boys were up and the day was off and running. So I didn't meditate yesterday. Once the boys are up the quiet is gone, and I find it so hard to meditate, to concentrate on anything, to find that 15 minutes and not think about the myriad of things that are going on with my family, that wonderful, exciting part of my life.

My thought was to jump right back on today, but again...computer work took too much time. I did meditate this morning, but it was sooo hard with the boys awake and the movement and conversations etc. I sat and tried, but found so many things to think about.

I went to the Tricycle forum site and that was just so disappointing for me, everyone there seems to be so far ahead in their meditative practices than I. And the discussions are way above my level of commitment. I feel very inadequate to take this on. All I know how to do is SIT. But isn't that what it is about? Isn't that where it starts? Can it grow from there? And maybe the wonderful things running through my mind are part of the process. Maybe that is where these things belong, maybe that time to let everything come and go is what is needed. We will see in the long run if it brings me any peace. Or just frustration. I am too new to it all.

I did find a reading list that might be helpful. And audio books seem to be my thing, I can multi-task with audio books. So I might try that. Maybe if I am further on this path I won't feel as inadequate.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day #3 and Sleep

Still sitting, but not peacefully. Today was filled with thoughts about Dallen's and his room redecoration, Phillip and what time he wanted me to wake him up, and I need to make more bread today. OK back to my breath, in and out....Oh yeah and when do we see our friends again, I should vacuum the rugs today. Nope back to my breath...I have to sort out the ATCs for that trade, which ones of mine shall I include....nope not going to think about that....breathe....I should also be thinking about what kind of market bag I am making for the market bag trade...do I do recycled plastic...or....no...no...no...this is not the time to think about that.... OK I need to get rid of the notion that this is a peaceful meditation. ;-)

So it is still a fitful meditation...OK that was an oxymoron.

But I am going to help Dallen today with his room. We are marking off squares on the walls today for red paint. I will have to post pictures when we are finished. He has a specific look in mind, I hope it turns out all that he has imagined.

Dallen has been, for some time now, wanting to be up when we are all up. His natural schedule is a night owl, staying up until 3 or 4, waking at 2 or 3 in the afternoon. But he is not happy with this. We are not early birds by any means, but the rest of us have seemed to settle in at going to bed around midnight, Jackson sometimes earlier, and waking around 9:00 for me, 10-11 for Phillip. So Dallen wants to be woken up at noon. Last night we had some Chamomile tea before bed, and then I read aloud for about 30 minutes. Dallen wanted to try this, hoping it would help him relax before bed. And it seemed to help, he was asleep by around 1:00. We will see how he feels at noon. See if his body schedule can be changed with ease or if his body will fight the change. He just wants to be awake to spend time with the rest of us. I am happy about that, it would be great to spend more time with him. :-)

Interesting how a child, who has never had any bedtimes, works all of this out in his own mind to fit his life. Really cool that he is so open to any and all possibilities, and doesn't see sleep time as a negative thing. I know I would fight, with my mom, to stay up as late as I could. I had a bedtime, and hated it and would push my time as much as I could, if they were not home, I would fight sleep to have a few more minutes of time, past my bedtime. Did I have something I wanted to do? Or see? or was it just pushing that limit that was arbitrarily set FOR me? Here is my son who is trying to figure out if he can adjust his body to go to sleep EARLIER.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Commit to Sit Day 2

For me it is day 2 anyway. This morning again for 15 minutes I just sat and was still. At least my body was still for 15 minutes. Again my mind was in a variety of places. I trust that this will get easier, and bring me some peace. Cause right now it is not. It seems like it is just 15 minutes of my morning to think about everything, what I want to do today, what I think my boys might want to do, what I want to cook, what we are having for supper, my leg, it aches, it doesn't ache, when do I go back for my next ortho apt., the dentist apt coming up in a week, oh and I need to make an orthodontic apt for my oldest son, as well as send in form 1023 for a non-profit organization I am in etc, etc. Just an endless stream. I do bring it back to my breath but it seems like only a millisecond before my mind is off and racing again.

But I am committed to trying, committed to doing.

A funny coincidence tonight, we had our new moon circle. Which we all love. Only about 30 minutes but we are together, focused on the same thing. Deeply connected to each other and ourselves, and it really nourishes my soul. One of the thoughts for tonight was in enriching our spiritual practices, whatever practices that might be, visualizing them,visualizing what we would like them to be. Which seemed to fit it so wonderfully with the commit to sit. So, as my mother used to say, I know that it will all work out how it is supposed to be.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Commit to Sit

I am not really sure that the Tricycle magazine publishers are even calling the meditation commitment "Commit to Sit" this year. And technically it hasn't started yet. But I have decided that I need to be more fully in the present moment, so I have started. Just 15 minutes a day. Being still. Of course my mind wandered as I sat in silence. As my mind wanders and I keep coming back to my breath it then wanders to what it means that I can't quiet my mind, yes wandering again, back to my breath. It is kind of funny the tangents I can take when I let my mind go. OK so I keep coming back to my breath. Little chuckle, can I even keep my mind on my breath, OK thinking about that is another tangent, back to my breath. By that time 15 minutes was up. Will keep trying. Keep being still, well my body is still anyway. Keep bringing it back to my breath. Maybe in time the wandering will decrease, we will see.

Oh and I wanted to mention that there is a network set up for the challenge, for discussion, support etc.

Friday, February 20, 2009

PLARN

With the upcoming market bag trade I have coming up in a couple of months I decided to get out the plastic grocery bags and start making plarn. It is easy, completely recycled, and almost meditative, as you sit there cutting and stringing plastic bags. You don't have to think about it you just fall into a pattern of cutting and stringing, cutting and stringing. Before you know it you have gone through 25 bags, and are completely relaxed.

Here is the tutorial for making plarn if anyone is interested. Now I have to decide if I want to make a market bag with it or keep stringing and see what else I come up with. hmmmm

Monday, February 16, 2009

Zen

I was reading through the spring 2009 issue of Tricycle magazine last night. It is one of my favorite magazines so if you don't already subscribe you should look at it. The magazine also has a great web site, so much on there.

Anyway there were a few things that struck me so I thought I would share them here.
*First they are having another meditation challenge this year. Last year it was the 28 day commit to sit. This year it is extended to 90 days. Whew. I know the point is to create a habit but I couldn't find the time every day for 28 days, and it did not work into a daily habit.

* Second there is an article, The Three Things We Fear Most. And one paragraph in particular hit a chord with me.:
"We all dread the helplessness of losing control, and yet real freedom lies in recognizing the futility of demanding that life be within our control. Instead, we must learn the willingness to feel-to say yes to- the experience of helplessness itself. This is one of the hidden gifts of serious illness or loss. It pushes us right to our edge, where we may have the good fortune to realize that our only real option is to surrender to our experience and let it just be."

What a profound thought. Not new but I love reading it in different ways. What I have found is that when I just let go of the control and just be in the moment, lots of opportunities present themselves that I would never have seen had I been stuck focused on controlling something over which I had no control.

"Real Zen is the practice of coming back to the actual right-now-in-this-moment self, coming back to the naturalness, the intimacy and simplicity of our true nature. Zen practice is not about getting away from our life as it is; it is about getting into our life as it is, with all of it's vividness, beauty, hardship, joy and sorrow. Zen is a path of awakening..."

How real is that. It is so simple. It seems like with all the Buddhist reading I do, it can seem so complicated. But this issue of Tricycle circles around the theme of simplicity. Having my mobility restricted has really forced me to live simply, and really focus on the here and now, really getting to know who I am.

*Just one more thing I enjoyed was actually an advertisement. Samadhi Cushions. It wasn't the cushions that caught my eye, but the logo at the top of the ad, which I don't see on their web site. It said "Don't just do something, Sit there." I LOVE IT. Had to read it twice because the first time, I read it as I have heard it "Don't just sit there, do something". But then I thought, ..that isn't what it said, let's try that again..."Don't just do something, Sit there."

I do see a need at times for me to do that, JUST SIT THERE, enjoy and be in the moment.

Again if you do not subscribe, go and check out their web site. Personally I love the magazine, and the web site. And maybe over the next few months I will try harder to find time to "SIT". Instead of trying to create a huge tradition out of it, I will focus on finding 5-15 minutes to just SIT, to be in the moment, to simplify. No grand ritual, just simply sit, and be.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Letting off Steam

OK, so I need to let off a little steam. We went to the movies today. Sunday early afternoon is the best time to go to the movies here in the south. I thought about it for quite a while and decided to just use my crutches. At the theater there are spots right out font for people like me, handicapped. So there isn't as much walking, thanks to whoever thought of those precious spots. Anyway, my wheel chair was inside the house and is kind of a hassle to get in the car. So we just left it there.

Got to the movie theater and all the handicapped spots are taken. Well there were only three so that didn't surprise me totally, although I was disappointed and more than a little nervous about walking that far on my one leg and crutches. My right hip gets a little sore with a lot of walking. OK so I can sit once we get inside, that will help. Jackson parked the car down the street and I walk the distance to the theater. We are at the door, only needed to stop once to rest a bit. Get inside and all the seating is taken, OK not a problem, no one is moving, so I can lean on the counter a bit and rest while Jackson gets our tickets.

Phil and I took two tickets and went to the theater while Jackson and Dallen got popcorn and drinks. OK....I can do this, I keep telling myself. We get in the theater and I am tired. The seating that is at the floor level is all just two together and one spot where there are three seats together. So I try getting up the steps but my leg and arms are just too tired I can't do it. Feeling really bad, I am so sick of not being able to do the things I WANT to do, I sit on floor level with Jackson and the boys sit right behind us, as the theater is far from full. Again early afternoon in the south.

Movie is over, now I start thinking about getting back to the car. Not sure I can make it that far. So I get outside and sit on the bench, Jackson goes to get the car and drive up to the front of the theater. Behind us were the people in one of the cars with a handicapped tag. Obviously a family, two adults, and two children...about early teens. And they walk by me sitting there and hop into their car. OK I know, I know, not all disabilities are obvious. It could be some heart of lung condition etc. But they are now sitting in their car smoking. And they sit and they sit and they sit. Just smoking and taking up a PRECIOUS SPOT. Their kids start fighting in the back seat. They still sit there. Maybe their disability is that they have 1/2 a brain or maybe it is that they are crappy parents, or don't seem to care that the children are obviously fighting about something. Jackson parks in the street right behind them, blocking them in and I hobble by the driver's side door on my way to our car.

OK...OK I know that was not called for. And I am trying to change my thinking right now. But if you are one of those that uses a handicapped tag even though you are not disabled, please think about it next time. And if you are the ones that were in that spot and you really are disabled, I apologize. I am really trying to let this go, and not let this ruin a wonderful family day. And I am trying to be grateful for what I have.

OK off to do "the work" now.
Thanks for listening, writing it out helps.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More Winter Fun

The boys bought these full face masks for playing airsoft. They have been using targets and safety glasses. But the targets were getting a little boring so they decided they wanted to really play. Of course they also covered up any bare skin showing. Well with the exception of Phillip who did not wear gloves, and was hit squarely on the hand. He now has a tiny sore where that little plastic pellet hit. But they had a blast, Dallen, Phillip and Jackson.
The came in chilly, and warmed up by the fire with hot chocolate, telling me all about their adventure.
I love it when Jackson engages the boys like this. They so remember these moments. I know Jackson is busy and also helping me now. But he took out a couple of hours to dedicate to having fun with the boys. And they LOVED it. With plans in the works to have over some friends to play. I told them they looked like the characters from their video game Halo.