I am using Weeping Buddha and the lojong sayings and commentary from Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness by Chogyam Trungpa as a study, together.
I’ve been practicing tonglen for almost three decades, and it is my main practice.
This is the eighth weekly installment. To start at the beginning go here.
I’ve had several days, maybe a couple of weeks where I was overwhelmed with work.
Some of this was very very good news, good jobs to be had, which means a certain level
of long-term comfort in knowing bills will be paid, which is what small businesses
think about a LOT. Still, yesterday was a day where I barely had time to EAT.
(If you know me, I love food, and do not forget to eat.)
5:30 came and went, and Mitchell was saying, “Yoga. Now.”
I tried saying, “One more email I have not responded to for three days . . . ”
“NO. Yoga. Now.”
“Now you are part of my stress,” I tried. “It is all your fault!”
This is a long term game we play, along with “It is lost in Mitchell-land. . . ”
Omigoddess I got him to bite. “What do you need here?” he asked.
“I need three more days in this week. Seriously. I am so overwhelmed!”
I can’t take advantage of him, however, I simply can’t, and so I said,
“Yoga will be a good antidote for this craziness.
I will at least commit to sitting and the warm-up moves, they are so relaxing.”
On the mat, I settled into position physically but my mind didn’t.
I had just said to my brother that at least I could always settle into a quiet space.
I thought about this as my mind went crazy, and realized I had not said
“Kenahora!” to ward off the gods knowing I had it good.
A quiet mind might talk some, at a slow conversational pace,
“i’m hungry . . . breathe breathe breathe . . .
i can feel jai settling into my zafu . . . breathe breathe breathe . . .”
My mind last night was like this:
“YOU DIDN’T ACTUALLY RUN THE NUMBERS FOR THE TRAVEL JUST GUESSED DON’T FORGET TO RUN THE NUMBERS DON’T FORGET TO WRITE ORA THE MEETING IS SATURDAY MUST. LAY. OUT. FABRICS. NO CAN’T UNTIL THE OTHERS ARRIVE GADS I AM STARVING DIDN’T EAT OR DRINK MUCH WATER TODAY I NEED TO WRITE THIS DOWN STUPID STUPID STUPID. . . grab a breath . . .”
On a whim, I yelled loudly what was running in my head.
“I HAVE ACCOUNTING TO DO ORDER SUPPLIES AND I FORGOT TO PAY PATTI!”
Mitchell was startled and the cats scattered.
He calmly started to talk to me about meditating, the time of day,
and yoga was what we were doing NOW, my teacher-husband.
“IT ISN’T LIKE THAT I AM NOT CONCERNED WITH A SOFT PATTER BUT THIS IS WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE IN MY HEAD RIGHT NOW!!” and with that I began to laugh. Big belly laugh, laughing so hard tears were coming from my eyes and I LET GO.
I had exposed my inner Nazi boss and frankly, he sounded a bit loony,
because most of what I was obsessing about I could not do then anyway,
the lines are closed for that activity. My inner Nazi boss wants an A++++ student.
He has no ability to reflect on a full day of putting our fires, answering calls,
and working hard, in fact no ability to reflect at all.
He ALWAYS only cares about what didn’t get done, what is yet to do.
He keeps me up in the middle of the night unless I put New Girl on and laugh myself to sleep, or fall asleep in Mitchell’s lap. He cannot be in charge or I am miserable.
Another perspective would see a good day of work. Deep breath, sighing, oh that feels good. A different voice would be overjoyed at the possibility of good work, interesting work, and a road trip with Mitchell. Yay! Another voice would remember I started my day with a sketch, coffee in our Miracle Mugs (named for the miracle that they were found when the color Marigold was discontinued, and so impart miracles as we sip from them), and that we have a new project manager on a tough job and he is GREAT!
Mitchell has a yogi’s background and he likes to think about things like
“Do you remember a time whenever you were not?”
That is, of course, the crux of this slogan, “the nature of unborn awareness.”
But for me, that is too heady, and I like Trungpa’s take on it,
“Viewing things as they are in the ordinary sense, in your own simple mind.”
Next time you (or I) am having a nutty, it is time to see who is running the show.
Who in there is in charge when the nutty rules the day?
Give someone else a chance to have a say in reflecting on a situation.
(A special thanks to Hal and Sidra Stone for helping me find the voices within.
What a gift to be able to work with them, and I bow! I highly recommend
Embracing Ourselves, the beginning book on Voice Dialogue!)
In this weekly commentary on the lojong, I am not open to the feed becoming
a debate for people to nitpick Buddhism or my interpretations of Buddhist concepts.
(There are lots of places for debates.) I am more interested in hearing about
YOUR life or how it affected you or your practice awakening in some manner.
For more info about why, go here.