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More of the Mundane

24 Sep

Iphonehappy

The happy view from my new I-phone.

Call it commercialism. Call it blatant distraction from pure mystical awareness. Call it what my hubby does (with disgust) when we’re both relaxing at night next to each other tapping away – “look at us – we’re such yuppies.” Call it whatever you will, but I would like to thank the mystical powers that be for creating a device that has kept me on time, on schedule and on task for almost two weeks now (almost). Any contraption that can pull this hippie-dippy girl’s head out of the clouds and put her feet on the earth must be a divine inspiration. J’ai!

As for me, I will call it the “anti-planner”. I’ve chosen simple, clean apps to keep my life simple and clean. There’s Zenbe, the list maker that spills everything out of my head and onto a list (and can be synced with my hubbies I-phone – even mid trip to Trader Joe’s!), making meditation much more free, the calendar that syncs off of my computer, the alarm – my most used feature – that I set 5 minutes before I have to leave for anywhere and has kept me almost on time, there’s email for emergencies like today when the babysitter couldn’t make it to The Dog tonight, there’s the meditation app that dings every 10 minutes in gong audio for a zen reminder of how long you’ve been sitting and NOT thinking about how long you’ve been sitting. The cream of the crop? There’s even an app to keep the kids occupied during the carpool and commute in zen fashion – it’s a chubby Buddha who laughs when you tickle his belly.

So yea, Satan has finally gotten to me. (hee hee) I have been distracted by modern technology. The world is such a scary place. Be careful, Apple is out to seduce you. You may be next.

(Now look above again? Who can tell me what terrible disease my poor tomatoes have?)

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desire and attachment

6 Aug

What a fun week here in Utah with our families. My 12-year old neice Amber (AKA my new nanny) is thrilled to have her own bank account and debit card with which to do her back-to-school shopping. I chauffered her to Tar-get and Old Navy and helped her put together cute outfits. We bought a new outfit for Drew to start Kindergarten in (love the clearance racks here) and that just leaves the boys.

They say that it’s not the object of your desire that makes you happy, it’s the absense of desire that makes us happy. OK… well the interesting thing is – my boys don’t want any THING, they want to keep their attachments:

b's shoes

Both boys need new shoes. Kieran loves the attention and is happy to go pick out something new. Brandon (shoes above) desperately needs new shoes. Notice the worn in insides, the ripped toe, the blood stains. (don’t ask) He’s starting high school, I was figuring that he would at least be interested in some new footwear. His response? “I just got them broken in perfect.”

So, we’re either managing our desires, or breaking our attachments. Either way, it keeps me hopping.

PS – (added later) While shopping for shoes today and teasing the man-child about the blood on his shoes, he laughed. “Mommmm… that’s red paint from helping with that Eagle Scout Project.” That’s my boy, Mr. Goody Two Shoes. Yes, we did replace the shoes – and he was shyly proud that he went up a size.

I still want one

29 Jul

Lisa thinks it will be hard to develop a WHOLE class based on this thing. Something tells me I’ll never get bored with it.

dogma shopping

25 Apr

Why am I constantly surprised when I find the words for things I can’t find words for? So what if I wasn’t the one to use them first..

My beliefs have radically changed over the last several years. As a result, things have become more clear and I am less attached to my beliefs. When my old paradigm dissolved, it went with a big fight. I was really convinced that the belief structure I was clinging to was absolute truth. I had a long list of reasons why. I was still open-minded, but there were certain core beliefs that were Dogma for me: doctrine set in stone. Any new information I was considering would only be accepted if it fit into that given construct of what I already viewed as True. (And why I couldn’t for the life of me fully grasp, The Power of Now the first time I read it!)

Thankfully for me, I hit a huge, massive depression. It was either drive off of the freeway and leave this earth quietly (which seemed like a refreshing thought at the time), or try anything and everything to survive and scramble some semblance of happiness together. I looked at my little boys and I knew I wanted to figure it out. For me, healing started with physical yoga and opening my mind to try ANYTHING that might help. I was in desperation and I knew it. I tried aura readings, meditation, counseling, medication. Piece by piece I was able to glean little things here and there that helped. What I discovered was that my past spiritual framework provided me with very little REAL knowledge on the subject of happiness, what it was, where it came from, and how to live in it’s abundance. I had no clue before hand, what the architecture of the Spirit, or the Mind were. I started to wake up to things that were right in front of me that I never saw before. I couldn’t get enough yoga and buddhist philosophy. I still can’t. Not because it’s superior, not because I feel that it’s truth with a capital T, but because I see so clearly that much of it is helpful, and much of it matches up with reality. I have found that by living what Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Your own life is the instrument for which we experiment with the truth”, that I’m waking up more every day as I work honestly through these teachings.

Now that I’m well versed and practiced in this yoga world of mine, and I feel very little suffering in comparison to years past – I’ve been wondering… Have I become a DOGMA SHOPPER? You know, switching one paradigm out for another, hanging on to my new beliefs and dogma so tightly that I can’t see the clarity around me? I’ve decided that I’m hugely relieved to be asking myself that question. 

A while back, when having lunch with a friend who shared my old belief system and had really helped me back during my dark depression days, she was asking about my shift and I was able to share with her how happy I am now. Her response was “I’m sorry”. She was so upset that I had left behind what she saw as true, that she couldn’t see happiness right in front of her.  It’s true, we need some structure of belief in order to function. We need a helpful viewpoint of the world in order TO function in peace and happiness. Having said that, I don’t want to end up living in a kooky world of magical thinking, replacing one set of self-soothing man-made beliefs for another, but still having no proximity to deeper awareness. I do not want to spin my wheels in quicksand.

It seems to me that the key to functioning healthfully within the given belief structure, is to just hold on softly and gently. To hold those beliefs in your hand and keep looking at them from every angle. Work them. Feel them –  but never feel that they are yours to hold on to for dear life. Only hold on to what works and what is simple and clear right out in the open. Dogma seems to be the death of personal enlightenment and to be a little selfish here, I don’t think I can go on living without those a-ha moments. Those times when we discover truths so obvious, so simple that they are hiding right out in the open, under our noses. A-HA… click, got it! 

No, I don’t want to just be a dogma shopper, simply replacing one set of beliefs for a new-improved version. I want to experience more clarity. Not because I want Truth, but because I want peace. I want happiness. 

In true yoga fashion, things are working in synchronicity. I found myself listening to Adyashanti again tonight, and of course – he is speaking much more eloquently, the exact ramblings of my mind. 

me too!

22 Apr

Check out Drew’s Upa! It’s probably not a yogic thing to be jealous of your 4-year old, but check out that range of motion.

drew-upa

Today we were walking into preschool with her friends Sabina and Tony. They were all running to the door and Drew was straggling. I caught up to her while she sat on the stairs catching her breath. “Mom – my legs are BORED.”

Yep, me too. Maybe I can use this line on Dan, the personal trainer next week. Although, I don’t think I have the right to complain to him ever again after he gave me the news this week that I am not eating enough. That’s right, you’re reading correctly, I’m not eating enough. Maybe there IS a god after all. And, let’s say she like chocolate. I SO know already how I’m using those new-found calories. You are officially sworn to secrecy.

I resolve!

6 Jan

How are these for Buddhist/Yogi New Year’s resolutions?

1. To speak more clearly.
2. To be more comfortable being uncomfortable.
3. To stay in present – especially with my kids.
4. To take care of myself as well as I take care of others.
5. To master pincha mayarasana – consistently and not just on a whim, wondering how I got hanging out there stable as a rock?
6. To fill every Cosmic Dog class until the place is bursting.
7. Dare I say it? Lose those pesky 10 pounds – which is really going to help my pincha.
8. Gut and get rid of every single piece of clutter in my life that is either non-essential or not beautiful.
9. Organize the garage, file and/or destroy every single piece of paper floating through my space, maintain folded clothes in the kids’ closets, alphabetize my spice rack.
10. Save more than I spend.
11. Finish reading books instead of stopping 50 pages before the end.
12. Finish my year of Vegetarianism, thus reaching my goal and never having another issue with wanting meat. Again. (September)
13. Oh yea – have more fun.
14. And – put a stop to the “wanting mind”.

Ha! The mind is a funny, funny thing – isn’t it?

Seductive

17 Sep

Today I was accosted at the mall. I only hit the mall a couple of times a year. If I take the kids in July, they ask if we’re going to see Santa. But – my little one needed a second back up blankie. She loves her blankie from gymboree and I know if I get the same fabric, same style, from the same store, she’ll accept a new version. I know I said Drew needs another blankie, but we all know that’s a lie – the only way I justify spending on low-priority needs (Notice how I can’t bring myself to say wants) is to purchase them on sale. You guessed it, there is a sale at Gymboree.

Walking from my car to the Gymboree store was like walking through a land mine! Those carts full of vendors in the center of the mall are staffed with insane people. I was attacked by the cell phone guy, the skin cream girl, and hair extensions sales person. I ask you, do I look like I need hair extensions? Name one person on this planet who needs hair extensions less than I do… It was very annoying. I wanted to say, “Duh. Look at me!” I found myself avoiding eye contact and getting really annoyed when “not interested” wasn’t enough and I was battered with follow up questions! I felt so attacked and vowed not to go back to the mall until Santa comes.

Then I went out to my car and started to think about what I want to plant in the sad old yard of mine, how I can’t wait to organize my garage, which pictures to hang in the front windows at Cosmic Dog, how I really wish I could justify buying a hybrid car (no sales on those), and whether I have the guts and money to wallpaper my bathroom. Wallpaper?

Then, I heard my stream of consciousness talking. I really heard it. It was just as annoying as being accosted at the mall. Duh – will you look at me? Do I look like I need anything? Interestingly, I was fascinated by my own thoughts and really, really bought into them and attached to them. I have no desire for a cell phone, hair extensions, crocs, or skin cream. Very easy to stay non-attached when the thoughts come from outside my brain. Those thoughts inside my head? They are very seductive.

I’m watching desire in a new way. The things I think I need, think I want, which ones have that sticky quality and come back over and over. (No matter what, I continually fantasize about getting both of my knees behind my shoulders for sleeping yogi pose someday) Desire is fascinating. We are so happy when we get what we want – not because we have what we wanted or needed, but because for a brief period of time, wanting ceases. When wanting ceases, aaahhhhh – that feels good. So now I’m playing mind games with myself. Watching my desires, my needs and wants. So far, I’m seeing a direct link to my thoughts about desire and a sensation of trying to control my world. I think about having a my environment under perfect control and I start to feel a chemical reaction in my body. Immaculate closet… little vibration. Papers filed away in perfect alphabetical order, bills all paid…. bigger vibration. A car that doesn’t have cracker crumbs or scratches or dented bumpers…. now I’m really humming. What fun is this – thinking about it! I tell ya, it’s pretty sexy.