Tag Archives: zen

introducing zen-log

9 Feb

As a way to keep myself on track with my meditation I decided to record my sessions on my blog. This is mostly for me so I can hold myself accountable and write about anything interesting that comes up during meditation.

If you are uninterested in such things, feel free to ignore any posts labeled zen-log.

If you are a fellow meditator, feel free to have a look. I welcome any guidance that you may wish to offer.

you ride the waves and don’t ask where they go

14 Sep

School update:  I did get a volunteer for my project and I did the initial interview with her yesterday. It seems like they’ll be a great family to work with. We ended up talking for quite a while after the actual interview was done.  It was quite nice. It seems that, once again, I may have freaked out for nothing.  But, it’s hard to change your old patterns.  I’m trying.

Meditation update: I slacked for two days, then got back to it yesterday.  It went much better than on previous days.  I still had monkey mind for the first ten minutes, but then it calmed down.  I think getting some extra sleep definitely helped.  When I try to meditate when I’m sleepy it’s infinitely more difficult. This awakening stuff is hard work.

Emotion update: After about a week of deep loneliness my emotional state has switched over to anger. Maybe this is just the progression of my grieving process or something. I’m angry at myself and at some other people.  But mostly at myself.  I’m starting to realize that I shouldn’t apologize to people for feeling how I feel….about anything. This is doubly true for when I’m in a relationship with someone. My emotions and needs are valid, whether someone else agrees with it or not. I’m angry at myself for forgetting this and losing perspective. Trying to accommodate someone else is not always the right thing to do, even if you love them. Especially if you love them.  Sticking up for myself has never been something I’ve been good at.  But again, I’m trying.

Cheesy concluding sentiment: Recently I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my life and the decisions I’ve made. I’m starting to believe what people say. Your experiences, bad and good, teach you something and if you’re smart you’ll use it as an opportunity to grow. In my younger years I chalked that up to optimistic bullshit. I guess I’m getting wiser or <gasp> turning into an optimist.  In any case, it feels like progress, and that’s all any of us can really hope for.

gloomy

5 Sep

That’s what the weather is like today and that’s how I’m feeling.

I was doing so well the first two weeks after the breakup. Now I feel lonely and stressed out. I cried and now my face feels all crusty.

I know I’m probably feeling worse today because I didn’t get enough sleep the past two nights.  I know that has a big effect on my mood. I guess I’ll do my meditation and see if that helps. I’m going on faith that if I meditate every day that I’ll have some sort of positive change in my perspective.  I guess the only way to find out is to keep doing it.

there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in

18 Aug
Image by Lynn Park

Image by Lynn Park

Like many people, I’m turning to my spiritual side in a time of turmoil. I’ve called myself a Buddhist for a few years now. I’ve joined Zen centers and gone on retreats and practiced meditation on and off. Now, I’m committing myself to a regular meditation practice.

I’ve started reading a lovely book by Susan Piver called The Wisdom of a Broken Heart. It has been very helpful for me. It looks at dealing with a breakup from a Buddhist slant, but could be helpful to people of any faith as it is not overtly dogmatic or religious. This Buddhist viewpoint tells us that it is best to acknowledge and allow ourselves to feel what we are feeling. We should lean into the pain without grasping on to it or pushing it away. Piver gives suggestions for a meditation practice and useful exercises peppered with personal anecdotes and observations about love and the human heart. I’m not usually into anything too new-agey, but this book is just right. Piver brings the good news that with a broken heart comes the opportunity for total transformation. She writes:

Although it is tremendously disorienting on one hand, on another, you will never see so clearly as you do when your heart is broken. If you’ve ever wanted to get at the truth about your life, your character and destiny, the depth of your friendships, you can choose to see these things now.

Something else that she brings up that I wholeheartedly agree with is that when one has a broken heart one has a unique opportunity to feel emotions more intensely and to empathize with others more completely.

When your heart is broken, sadness begins to soften you whether you want it to or not. Your normal defenses are gone. When you think of the pain you feel, the tears come. A sad movie or song could make you cry, but so could a happy one; the poignancy of any genuine emotion is inescapably touching. When you see that others are in pain, you cry for them, too. The world actually seems alive in a way it never had before – every moment seems laden with meaning.

…Heart break presents a very important choice: you can either open to it and allow it to soften and strengthen you, or you can fight it tooth and nail and turn away from it, which is tantamount to giving it permission to harden your heart.

In my experience this is utterly and completely true, and I intend to take full advantage of it.

buddha-wagon

9 Apr

I’ve fallen off the Buddhism wagon.  I didn’t want to, but it just sort of happened.  So many things have been taking up my time and I haven’t really been taking care of myself very well.

I need to figure out a way to devote some time to my own well-being.  And I need to stop being nervous about it and go to the Zen Center that’s near Bellefonte.  I’m just attached to my old center in NC, which is very un-Buddhist of me.

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