Lojong Practice 17: Be Grateful to Everyone, REALLY?

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 seventeenth weekly installment.  To start at the beginning go here.

W14 11 LOJONG_2“9: In all activities, train. . .”

Lojong interruptus, again.
Today I am behind largely because of government bidding deadlines.
The government ate my homework . . . whaddeva!

I want to talk about what is relevant anyway.  It just doesn’t happen to be the next
slogan and not last week’s either so I am making the rules up as I go
and I am going off in a bit of a new direction for this post.

I am here to say that meditation is a practice, yoga is a practice,
but frankly, there are practices that we don’t think of as practices.
Art is a practice whereby when you have a great moment
(like a great workout) you end up with a sell-able piece.

Patience is a whole big practice for me.  I should write a book on patience, so I can learn all about it, because I have a little more than I did 20 years ago but not nearly enough.

Sobriety is a practice.  And that is what this week is all about.

This has been a hellacious month.  I mean, a grand slam emotionally
surprising month where things that I loved became the utter pits (thank goddess not
my marriage kenahora), where groups that I looked forward to became hurtful,
stress and more stress, juggling new tax forms (and I hate accounting), jobs walked
in the studio then were pulled only to be replaced by jobs that had to be done before Christmas (really?) and then some stayed but were moved to next year and every single thing is a rule breaker.  We don’t store furniture and gads I’ve said several times
until I have to admit we have nine pieces of furniture we are storing!
I stopped sleeping.  I’m an insomniac anyway but wow I really went back to
3-4 hours a night tops and no drug worked, believe me, I’ve tried prescription and homeopathic and herbal and Chopra’s meditations and chamomile tea and warm milk and kava and lunesta and. . . (though I won’t discourage any suggestion, ever.)

Not sleeping turns up the emotional heat.  No resolution makes me cranky.
(See last week’s post about the turkey I was grateful for.  Really?  Patience.)

And so, for the first time in goddess-knows-how-long, I really wanted to drink.
Just a glass of wine followed by tequila and coffee, okay, forget the coffee.
I tried all the normal things and nothing worked: accepting it, talking to my husband about it, thanking my crazy booze-hound mind for sharing, doing a half-pint of vanilla ice cream for several nights, and rich dark German chocolate cake.  I have not drank yet,
but when I say nothing worked I mean the energy didn’t shift.  I’ve been at this a
loooong time, and so, I am probably going to a meeting tomorrow at noon.

Sobriety is a practice, and that gift reminds me that all of life is a practice right up
until we are in the urn or ground or shot from a cannon (thank you Dharma Liberty Finklestein Montgomery.)  We are never completely done with anything because as soon as we think we are, it sneaks back into our life in a new form, “Hello, forgot me?” 

I’m in my 60th year.  I’m going to share it all because frankly the only thing I have to offer you is my truth.  Perhaps some bit of life experience will be a nugget of wisdom for you.

Namaste, and off to a dinner of fries and a China Cola.

Culture Monk I had you ringing in my ears to day, “really?”

I am interested in hearing about YOUR life or how the lojong
affected you or your practice awakening in some manner.  


©D. Katie Powell.  My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to zenkatwrites.  Art (unless stated) is also by me; please link to dkatiepowellart.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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2 Responses to Lojong Practice 17: Be Grateful to Everyone, REALLY?

  1. Lucia Maya says:

    I am so sorry you’ve had such a miserable time lately! Not sleeping makes everything so much more intense and challenging! I can’t imagine adding it on top of all the other stuff… Thank you for sharing it all, being vulnerable and opening yourself. I hope it helps, along with all your other great tools and resources, inner and outer.
    Are you doing some things for self-care? Massage, Reiki, acupuncture – whatever brings you back to your center and that deep still place within…Sounds like a “re-set” would be really helpful!
    sending love, Lucia

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