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Monday, March 20, 2006

When In Doubt
A friend has a saying by which she lives. She says that when considering options which are complex and confusing--when she has doubts about which course of action to take-- she does the laundry.
Changing your focus from wrestling with the pros and cons of a position to doing something practical can provide the space in which to get back in touch with your feelings and away from your anxious thoughts.
Physical tasks and actions can give us perspective on our situation and a more practical sense of our own limitations and abilities may come into play. We release the busy-ness of our minds and allow ourselves a break from our self-created tension.
Jack Kornfield has written a book, AFTER THE ECSTASY, THE LAUNDRY. We get back to the basics, the sense of our own limitation and humanity even after moments of ecstasy in order to regain a sense of ourselves and of life which is more balanced and authentic.
We know ourselves in the daily tasks which seem so routine and so small, but they may be large in providing awareness and answers we can discover through no other means. The small seemingly insignificant tasks may provide us with the largest opportunity for reconnecting with ourselves in thoughtful, caring ways as we simply fold sheets, towels, slacks and shirts. Fresh clothing fills our basket and we walk back upstairs.
When in doubt, do the laundry.
Insight and imagination are within you.
10:45 pm est 

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Buddhist thought and scripture invite us to "take refuge" in the Buddha and the teachings of the Buddha, the Dharma. In silence and stillness or meditation we come to the present moment and open to its depths. In following the movement of our breath we return to a more natural encounter with ourselves and with life in its fullness.
We are a culture and society which turns outward for solutions. The materialism we live with tempts us to believe problems or desires can be solved by acquiring more objects. We become addicted to shopping as well as to food and pharmaceuticals. We believe we must have something we are lacking. We are addicted to doing. Being is difficult.
Our sense of lack progresses because we do not stop to take good care of it within ourselves. When we recognize that we are grasping at externals we may develop some compassion for ourselves and become more capable of nurturing ourselves from within rather than from externals. We "take refuge" in the teachings of the Buddha, which guide us in this process. We breathe and stop grasping, merely to acknowledge that we are grasping. We allow ourselves to accept and encounter and to take care of that grasping which can never be satisfied from outside. The "constant craving" which leads one to believe that "I can't get no satisfaction" can be witnessed and perhaps embraced as well as nurtured, comforted, and perhaps released. Acceptance comes in a moment of quiet, peaceful breathing.
There's nothing to do. We can be more. We can do less.
Insight and imagination are within you.
7:15 pm est 

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