Monday (# 1225)

13 11 2018

It is late afternoon or early evening depending on one’s point of view. The sun is in the process of setting so evening is not far off in any case. Whatever schedule I had put together for most of the fall has gone out the window. I have been spending more time outside getting things ready for winter. I even got the snow blower that I purchased at the beginning of July from the cellar to the garage. That required making space for it. While I was moving stuff around in the garage I thought about Yaksha’s comment to Yudhistira that the greatest wonder is that “Each day death strikes, and we live as though we were immortal”. What are we doing with all this stuff?

I did some work on the big project twice today but have been procrastinating since coming back inside. Reading email, Facebook and stuff sure can chew up time.

In any case the mystery of what will happen today is mostly passed. I can still remember it is enough to be alive and that today is a gift.

1.R – In March 2015 I explored intentions. There seemed to be some specific issue I wanted to correct in myself or maybe it was something I picked up from Shantideva. In any case my explorations even included some Youtube videos. There was one surprise for the current me. I think of intentions as existing only in the mind, not specific actions although intentions may lead to actions. The synonyms and antonyms point to action:

Synonyms for good intentions: generosity, compassion, affection, altruism, benevolence, cordiality, courtesy, decency, forbearance, gentleness, good will, goodness, grace, graciousness, hospitality, humanity, patience, solicitude, sweetness, sympathy, tenderness, tolerance, understanding, unselfishness, amiability, beneficence, charity, clemency, consideration, delicacy, heart, helpfulness, indulgence, kindliness, magnanimity, mildness, philanthropy, serviceability, solicitousness, tact, thoughtfulness, fellow feeling

Antonyms for good intention: Animosity, hatred, hostility, ill will, indecency, indifference, intolerance, meanness, mercilessness, selfishness, thoughtlessness, barbarousness, cruelty, harshness

Now there is some food for thought.

2.R – When I took my Talmud course I observed or was taught how later writings offered commentary on earlier writings. It’s kind of fun.

3. On Sunday April 5, 2015 I emptied out the Museum of Sacred Art for the coming demolition as the Play as Being sim was contracted. “The museum is empty now and I feel an emptiness. The dropping of stuff is well underway.”

4. On Mar 28-29 2015 as part of my exploration of intentions I posted a few videos as well as links to the lyrics. It is odd that the one that is standing out is a sappy country song by Randy Travis called “Good Intentions”. The young man has “good intentions” not to be like his father who left the family on their own. His brothers all got in trouble and the singer does too. The tune however is very catchy and the singer has a pleasant voice so it has been playing over and over in the background as I have been reading and writing. “But Mama my intentions were the best”. But “it looks like I turned out like all the rest”. I have a feeling that this happened back in 2015 as well, not failed good intentions but listening while writing.

5. Note to self: Look back over April 15, 2015 tomorrow or Wednesday. There is a dream there but there obviously at least one part left out and it does not make too much sense to me now. Tomorrow we get up early to bring the little one here for the day. Tomorrow night there is an event with the county prosecutor to discuss reporting police misbehavior and what happens when someone does so. The passage that may have triggered the dream was:

“[There are] three lamas: 1) the outer lama or teacher, of course; 2) the inner lama that understands and applies the teachings; and 3) the inmost lama where the innate “Buddha nature” resides.” from Introduction of Life of Milarepa translated by Lobsang P. Lhalungpa who also wrote the introduction.

I seem to have interpreted that that one does not need a teacher. I would not think that today although my teachers have been few and far between.


I Wonder What Will Happen Today II (# 1224)

11 11 2018

Sunday morning and we will try Pema Chodron’s mantra (?) again. The day started with some chores and some good work done on the big project. Next is a Veterans Day parade and an outing. I definitely wonder what will happen there.

Some disturbing dreams last night but they were forgotten. When I woke up I put them into a category and then forgot. I should try to stay away from the newspapers.

1.R – Lots happened today. Went to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I celebration and parade. Took the birders to hunt for a grosbeak. Then went for a late afternoon walk in the woods. It is not often we are out at that time. After that we went to a diner and then came home and worked on my photos. It felt so good to be out of the house doing things.

2. The End (for tonight). Remembering it is enough to be alive.

I Wonder What Will Happen Today (# 1223)

10 11 2018

I woke up with Pema Chodron’s advice to wonder what will happen today. So far the first big surprise in the house was a medical issue that will change plans fro today. Fortunately other than a change of plans, everything should be OK.

I had two sets of dreams last night. One was about Trump which at some point I said “No more of this”. In the second I was an underage young woman in a rich family who was impregnated by her half brother. The succession of dream sequences dealt with the consequences and the inequality of the half sibling’s situations. Each scenario was unsatisfactory and led to more pain. There were the reactions of her two parents. Expectations of society. Her love for her half brother. His weaknesses. I have been thinking quite a bit about gender equality the past few days with the election results and Michele Obama’s book excerpts. I think my dream was a pushing of my envelope. How much of this dream was patriarchy?

I wonder what else will happen today?

  1. Mid afternoon and there has been an appearance of some depression. What do I do to turn this into positive energy?
  2. Got a little done. Went out to eat. Just read newspapers online for 3/4 hour. Yikes. What am I doing?
  3. Not the day I expected but I guess I found out what happened. I did get a decent amount done on my project. Now it is time to wind things down. It is enough to be alive. The Dalai Lama said something to the effect that it is all in our minds. This was in relationship to God.

Posting at End of the Days (# 1222)

10 11 2018

The past few days I have posted at the end of the day. It would be better if I did first thing I think. Then I could follow Pema Chodron’s advice and wonder about what will happen today. I can start thinking about tomorrow. Will we have a good walk?

I got lots of things done today. It was as if I had a written list the way I went from one task to another.

Unfortunately I did not take to heart the pointers from yesterday’s post. perhaps if I had posted earlier I might have.

On March 24, 2014 (# 1010) I had some productive thoughts arising from the Bill Moyers-Chodron interview the day before. Hmm, I don’t seem to have that kind of memory these days. Steven Tainer said one studies the view and then implements it in Buddhism. Sounds like playing with Being. We play and learn.

WHO is Impatient? (# 1221)

9 11 2018

1.On October 14, 2014, as I was lying on the slab, with my body in the machine, with my head out watching the machine turn around me, I thought of Pema’s loan and was amazing how patient I had become. I already have commented how peacefully I took that whole thing back then. Today, as I am impatient about the political situation in this country, I wonder if there is a path to feeling more patient while the “take over” of our government is play out taking its course, and battles  against it are taking their course. I was peaceful facing my mortality while feeling impatient about the threat to my country.

2. Well here is a start from the March 22, 2015 post:

“It is not the things that happen to us in our lives that make us suffer but how we react to them” – Pema Chodron.

3. From same post:

I had not listened to the whole Pema Chodron interview when I posted the link above. As I am listening now, Pema recounted the Shantideva analogy of covering the whole world with leather as opposed to covering just our feet. The analogy is to our minds, and we need to work on our minds rather than trying to change everything that is bothering us.

4. From the Bill Moyers Interview with Pema Chodron:

“Shrink from suffering, but love its causes.” – Shantideva.

5. “…we like to be angry at other people’s wrongness” – Bill Moyers

6. Well there are some pointers there. I love how when we identify a problem with our approach, that alternate methods of action suddenly begin to pop out of the wood work.  May be all find peace and comfort from the news battering us.

The Bhagavad-Gita and Hell (# 1220)

8 11 2018

On the posts I am reading yesterday and today there are a number of quotes from the Bhagavad-Gita. Recently I have been listening to it recited. There is an English version read by an Indian man that I really like because it reminds me of its cultural origin. However one thing very much bothered me the last time I listened. In it Krishna more or less tells Arjuna that if he doesn’t act he will go to hell. Arjuna does act and still the Pandavas end up in hell for various reasons–Arjuna for being proud of his prowess. Eventually they will all join Yudhishthira in heaven after serving time for their shortcomings. Note: I researched this while writing and it ended up in a different place than was my intention. Since the Bhagavad-Gita probably was an addition, any minor dependencies with the story should not distract from it. If the two armies could wait while Krishna taught Arjuna, surely I can turn my attention more to the teachings.

1. September 5, 2014 I am reminded of Divna and Melodi, a Romanian choir and the communion hymn: “The Lord hath sent deliverance unto his people. Allelula.” I had a few CDs of Melodie and use to play them at work when I needed to bring some peace into my work life.

2. I forgot that for about eight to ten weeks in the fall of 2014 I got to work early, worked for about an hour, and then left for radiation treatments which took me out of the office for about an hour. I returned every day five to twenty minutes after the official start of the work day. My assistants would open the office. I did this five days a week from the beginning of the school year until early November. I was surprised because I took it in stride. My training from Play as Being helped me maintain a positive frame of mind. The people at the hospital were super nice. Still I remember being very relieved when it was over and celebrated the day.

3. Another post reminds me that I meditated during the treatments. I also remember thinking myself into a forest at the start before meditating. None of this is in the blog.

4. Remembering that it is enough to be alive. Must remember tomorrow that the new day is a gift, if I am fortunate enough to be a recipient.

What is the Greatest Wonder (# 1219)

7 11 2018

I set out to write tonight and did not know how to start. Today is election night and we are awaiting the end of the voting to begin to see the results. All day people on Facebook were telling everyone to vote. They might have gotten better results if the went outside and urge strangers to vote.

Last night I remembered that I had dropped the reformatting of the older posts of the log into a Word document. So I decided tonight. The later sections are not as fertile as the earlier posts but I found the following on August 31, 2014:

from the Mahabharata asked by Yaksha to Yudhistira.: “What is the greatest wonder?” answer: ‘Each day death strikes, and we live as though we were immortal”.

I am working on a Mahabharata project at the moment and remember that line in the Peter Brook film but obviously at an earlier time it stood out a bit more.