Dreaming Again (#1143)

13 07 2018

1.R – Last night I had a dream that I was invited to a place to reduce stress. It was run either by the military or the United State Government. The layout included two high chain link fences on each side of a path of grass about 15 feet wide. I was only privy to the path itself and not where it went; there seemed to be nothing else of note. One thing was that people were walking dogs there; a sign said “Your dogs must be on a leash so they do not cause others stress”. The fenced in area kind of reminds me of the containers I used to dream about. Was my mind trading one negative for another? Does it think I need to be fenced in to reduce stress? I know better.

2.Gr. Remembering to be grateful for this day and loved ones. I had a play date with a one year old this morning. We read and sang and went for a walk.


A Whim (#1142)

6 07 2018

1.R – Sitting here working away in late afternoon, I remember the mindful clock and turn it on. Good time to remember to be grateful for this day. Spent the morning with a wee one reading books, singing, putting together rings and looking out the window. I re-injured my back a night ago but it appears it is less injured than last Spring. It is making me do my exercises.

2.R – Second Bell. Pondering Awareness. Am I properly aware of why I am working and is it for others?

3.R- Third Bell. Supper soon. Working keeping me in the present today.

4.R – Fourth Bell. Still here and working. Was concentrating hard when bell rang. Stopping and looking.

5.R – Fifth Bell. that was a very fast 15 minutes. Whew. Still here and working. Back getting a nice rest.

Back Again (# 1141)

3 07 2018

Adams Rubble: Good afternoon!
***: Hello to you. What brings you here.
Adams Rubble: You are acting strangely.
***: Me? What do you mean?
Adams Rubble: You installed a meditation bell on your computer and you are just ignoring it.
***: Oh no, I am not ignoring it, just postponing my stopping. I am getting some things done that I have been needing to do. Looks like you found a way to get me to stop. I don;t see what else I am doing that is strange.
Adams Rubble: Buying a snow thrower at the hottest time of the year.
***: Oh  that. I thought they might be cheaper and we can’t go through what we did last March. I am only just recovering. Since you are here lets figure out what we should be doing.
Adams Rubble: I think we know what we should be doing. It might be a matter of stopping more often.
***: I agree. That’s why I installed the mindfulness clock.
Adams Rubble: Hearing the chime is one thing; stopping is another.
***: Does awareness require one to actually stop?
Adams Rubble: Nothing will get written in the blog if there is no stopping to write.
***: Aha! You are concerned that nothing has been written.
Adams Rubble: It is my name on the blog, not yours. Whoa, what am I saying. Have I become attached to writing in the blog?
***: Filling up space with letters and words is certainly is not our goal here my diminutive friend. Finding some equilibrium in our daily life is a partial goal. Learning compassion and helping others is a larger goal. If the bell ringing helps with awareness, do we actually need to make a full stop.
Adams Rubble: Nine seconds is a long time but I can see it is not enough time to write. So you are acknowledging the bell?
***: Something like that.
Adams Rubble: How have we been doing?
***: You’ve been fine for the most part.
Adams Rubble: (looking out) not so bad yourself. (There goes the bell again) If there is anything you need it is more compassion exercise maybe once or twice a day.
***: There is the story of Milarepa and the deer, hound and the hunter. When the noises begin to disturb his meditation, he goes out and sits on a rock and does compassion exercise. It is interesting that he needed to do that in order to see the individual needs of the three conflicting beings. That has made quite an impression on me. You are correct in your suggestion that there is much to do to toward loving the oppressors. They are not going to find happiness separating children from parents, shooting people out of fear, or sending them back to places where their lives are in danger.
———————————————–Another Few Bells————————————-
Adams Rubble: Yes, it is one of the two things percolating in your mind. Have you finished the Cross and the Lynching Tree?
***: I have taken a little unplanned break. In the interim I have read two novels of Fitzgerald and Hemingway.

The other day I was struck listening to “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. James Cone has sensitized me to the hope and faith rising out of dispair:

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered;
Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

Adams Rubble: I know you still have some work to do with coming to grips with what has been done in the name of White Christianity. Let me know if there is a way I can help.
***: Awareness is a start. Thanks for coming and helping me work this out a bit.
Adams Rubble: It is always nice to have a chance to talk.

2. BrM – Just a stop on the road thru July 2. I got a nice piece of work done today and managed to stop here besides.

Traveling in the Present (# 1140)

28 06 2018

1- I did some light traveling the past week (three separate trips). I found it interesting how I was able to stay in the present during most of this time, even when I was traveling into my past.

2. Gr. A little gratitude practice never hurt anyone. I have been so blessed.

Tenth Anniversary (1139)

10 06 2018

1.R – It is the tenth anniversary of this blog in that it started on the second Sunday in June 2008; the date happened to be the 12th which will be next Tuesday. However, the Sunday part looms large in my memory, three days after Adams Rubble first attended a PaB session and learned about the practice of meditating for nine seconds every 15 minutes. When used, it is a powerful practice. The blog initially was the notes from these meditations as I tried to understand what I was sensing in those 9 seconds or so while also wondering what I should be seeing.

Last night I wondered how I had changed in those ten years. I was looking for progress. At the end of the paragraph above I hit upon one change. I no longer worry about what I should be seeing, feeling or knowing. I am at peace with that. That first year I had a vision of finding myself in a large brightly lit, white space. I felt euphoric. I got there in the first place by mentally connecting with everyone who has lived before me and with everyone who will live after me. Once I tried to stay there, I lost the connections and it all faded; I have never been able to get back to it.  I do feel it was some kind of brief brush  with absolute knowledge. I think I know what contentment and peace feel like. I may have this wrong but I think there is a description of people becoming Buddhas when they dissolve and merge with all matter.

I have learned to watch my mind and how to see things arise. I have learned that we take negative or positive energy from one moment into the next. Once negative energy takes hold it can ruin many moments, even a whole day or week. Anger is a destructive force. Love is the antidote.

I have learned that my mind does not like change. I have seen it lie to me on at least one occasion. The body also needs time to react to change. I do not understand body wisdom outside the mind but I have learned that my body has functions not controlled by the mind. We could not exist otherwise. I know that some force in my cells is causing my body to age and eventually die to make way for new members of my species. It is the way of things. I have learned to be grateful for each day of life knowing that any day could be my last. Change happens.

One thing that has not changed is that I am still trying to learn how to be a more loving person. I have much work to do yet with this little mind or mine. Maybe that is what I should be seeing when I meditate.

2.R – I thought I would get more written today but was working hard on my project all day. I guess the point I was trying to make this morning was that I came into this with goals and wanting an assessment of progress. Ten years later most of that desire has dissipated. I am satisfied with gratitude and expressions of compassion when i can. I could do better on the latter. Too often I allow my “self” to rule the roost. This reminds me of something I read today. Frederick Douglas once asked Ida B. Wells whether she got nervous before she spoke to a crowd like he did. She told Douglas that he was concerned about his performance as an orator while she was only a mouthpiece to talk about lynching. That is a nice example of self vs no self. Of course Douglas’ writing style is a pleasure to read so we can be grateful to him for his suffering.

Unto the Least of These (# 1138)

1 06 2018

Lorenzo Harris. Christmas in Georgia. 1916. This image appeared in the December 1916 editions of the NAACP’s publication The Crisis: a record of the darker races. Vol.13, no.2.

1.W.E.B. DuBois was known as an agnostic but he often made Biblical parallels. One might say be believed in the Gospels but not in the churches, especially the white ones. DuBois apparently was responsible for this print to be inserted in the December 1916 Issue of The Crisis. While the image does not directly portray the parallel between the cross and the lynching tree, Christ is telling the mob that they are torturing and killing Him. There is no room for anyone to think that this mob committing this terrible act are sanctioned by Biblical scriptures. They are the torturers of Christ, the killers of Jesus.

A Cross to Bear (# 1137)

27 05 2018

1.R – It is raining. The front and back doors are open to let the house cool down so the rain feels somewhat intimate. I am dry and can enjoy the raindrops splashing in the puddles and the rivulets of water running down the driveway and down the street. The branches are deep green and moving from the breeze and the water hitting them. If one were planning to picnic, this would be what one would call a washout. I am not so it is easy to be grateful for another day of life.

2.R – Now to the title topic of this post. James Cone, in The Cross and the Lynching Tree, mentions that Martin Luther King talked about his “cross to bear”, i.e. his suffering due to his campaign against white supremacy. Dr. King also referred to the redemptive power of the cross. These two thoughts were on facing pages and I felt they were opposing statements. I have since realized that a path or action can be painful and  redemptive at the same time. I like to compare things that strike me in Christianity to the Buddhist teachings, and vice versa. This may be a cross to bear for any readers of this blog. Buddhism teaches ways to alleviate suffering. But the Buddha left his family, including his wife and young children, to go off and become an ascetic. There had to be some suffering to go along with that including knowing how his family was suffering. Back to MLK. White supremacy caused much suffering. Martin Luther King’s Cross to Bear was the work to alleviate that suffering for an entire country. It is compassion and love that are the common threads here. Love and compassion are redemptive powers.