Meditation Haiku Poem Present Moment Practice

I’ve been watching an HBO show that’s been on AMAZON PRIME.  I view it on my TV set using my ROKU device.  It’s called IN TREATMENT.  In the moment of a recent episode, the shrink asked the young man, “What are you thinking?”  The youth replied, “White noise”.

I had to laugh at that one.  The laughter of recognition I suppose.  My own mind registered that.  Not thinking anything really.  Yet not being mindful either.  I ‘m most aware of that white noise when the decision is made to write.  Like now.  It’s a rain filled, raw, cold day here in North Carolina.  Write, I said.

All levels of me self-agreed to write something.  A blog.  Here I am.  What have I got? White noise just like the kid on the program.

Lately, I’ve thought to try my hand at writing short little Japanese Mindfulness Poems called Haiku which are Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.  Cutting written language, relatable to anyone and maybe paradoxical in some way.

Sounds easy.  Not so much.  You’d think the white noise would help but the instant that pressure is felt to come up with even one word, the mind is suddenly filled with nonsense and resistance. No no, not always, listen . . .

I really like the idea of clipping out a moment that is a pure now moment – a reflection of whatever catches the attention of the psyche.

The other day I sat down on the sidewalk in front of my apartment to experience a moment or two of sunshine.  Looking down at the ground before me, there is one pear tree flower all by itself in the dirt–alone and separated from the tree and other flowers on the branch from which it blossomed.

What struck me is that even though it was alone there, its center filaments seemed to still be reaching up toward the sun, the light.

Spring flower in dirt

Alone, apart from its branch, tree

Looks up to the light

My Haiku poem.  Is it legit?  Well, I guess they’re not really required to rhyme to qualify.  Here are a few from one of the supposed greatest Haiku Poets, Basho:

An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

Autumn moonlight—
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.

In the twilight rain
these brilliant-hued hibiscus –
A lovely sunset.

The translations from Japanese to English do not follow the 5, 7, 5 syllable rule.   Anyway, none of those rhyme but they do describe the moment in time, a now.  Seems a good use of spare time to use Haiku poem writing endeavors to help a person remain aware of their now, mindfulness.  I guess you know what I mean, reader, right?

The small flower all alone there just seemed to say to me, “Look, I know that I no longer am connected to the life force upon the earth that sustained me (the tree) and I’m aware that I will soon just become the earth itself, whithering away here.  And I know my family of flowers on the branch above me–they are all looking down upon me aware of my fate, but I can still be nourished by the light, the sun.  The filaments, the anther, the stamen of me are still reaching up to the light even in my death here and in my departure, the ground here before you where I lay is bringing you some joy and beauty before I disappear completely. ” Looking at the singular flower was my meditation.

After writing those last words my head turned toward the window where I see the tree with all their beautiful white blossoms knowing that soon they will all fall upon the ground as the green leaves push them off their branches.  They too will end up in the dirt and on the sidewalk.  But they will return next spring to do it all again.  There is no death, only transition into yet another phase.

 

 

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What is the Mind and Where is it When We Leave the Physical Body? (Or where do we go when we die?)

What is the Mind and Where is it When We Leave the Physical Body?

(Or where do we go when we die?)

Where do we go?
Where do we go?

As a psychic and a medium, is it any wonder that these types of inquiries are natural for me?  What really ‘is’ mind?  And where is it when we leave the physical body? What about death?  Where do we go when we die? Do we keep consciousness?  I’ve spoken with or better said connected with the consciousness of loved ones on the other side who are communicating in tandem with their loved one’s here—current exchanges so that I don’t need a lot of convincing that there is something of us that remains connected.  It’s not easy to make those connections and they are fleeting or quick and then gone light lightening in the sky but there have been enough of those flashes over the years that I no longer need convincing because the client validates those quick impressions that are received during a reading.  But that’s not exactly the point that I want to make with this blog post.

It’s just that a moment ago I came across some information in an email that puts into words that which I described (or tried to) in my last blog post concerning mind and consciousness.  I lost consciousness due to a severe infection of kidney which is very untypical for me.  (I am in excellent health, verified again via various test in the hospital where I was treated when I did faint– passed out as they say.)  I passed out of the every day level of consciousness and into Continue reading

Loss of Consciousness Gives Glimpse of the Non-Self–maybe?

time imageI was somewhere peaceful.  Not really a dream you see? It was rather a space of no stress, no time, lovely floating.  I was a non-self –sort of I guess or how I’d image it to be a non-self… I wasn’t me.  Where I was there was no “me” as I am accustomed to knowing it.

In coming back (and I don’t even remember leaving by the way), there were the following impressions.  I didn’t see anything that I can recall – no form of any kind but I was not in the body and not in the space my thoughts usually occupy.   No time, I say, because when I slowly returned to my body that was on the cold hospital Emergency Room floor the first impression was that I didn’t know how long I was gone but it seemed to me like I was gone for a long while.  There, where I had just been, time was huge or non-existent; it had no meaning or significance.

I think that the reason that it felt like I was gone a while is that I had to remember myself again and what was happening.  Like I’d been away for a long time and had to jump back into a life that I could hardly remember—like that life was a long, long time ago.

Voices and shouting brought me back.  The cold floor on the side of my face made me wonder what the body was doing here.  I had to work really hard to re-enter the point and time and re-join the body and the life circumstances… to come back into being a “me”.

It was like Continue reading

Contemplating Halloween or Samhain and The Celtic New Year

samhain CollageLook.  Maybe it’s because our family has experienced a recent death and a few close calls or maybe it’s the leaves blowing off the trees this time of year…. evidence of death and transition everywhere.

And today being All Hallows Eve as I write this,  it seems to me more-so this year than any previous, that what we’re really doing by dressing up our kids and making pumpkin faces and putting pictures of ghouls in library windows (a recent experience of mine) is really all about this subconscious cry into the darkness, “Death we do not fear you!”  We make fun of you and laugh at you and gorge on sweets to help ourselves feel better about it all!  

The more serious minded and religious will call this time All Saints [Souls] Day time and honor those who have… well, all the ‘faithful departed’.

‘…. may the faithful departed, through the mercy of god rest in peace. amen’ –– part of the religious liturgy.

And then on the other hand, and I’m knowingly repeating myself now, without the liturgical point-of-view we use humor and ridicule to confront the power of death and subconsciously teach our children to do the same.  Its just fun holiday we may say and that’s most of us–we do things just because the neighbors do and without really looking more deeply into the reason why.

I’ll never forget the irony of seeing all these Baptist Christian mom’s out walking the town streets in the dark dressed up for trick or treating in the attire of the costumed Halloween witch. “Give their kids some candy and maybe the scary Christian witches will go away!”  LOL

I think Halloween might just be the twisted joke of some who refocused the holiday to  make light of the Gaelic festival Samhain in which cleansing and protection rituals were/are performed as well as divination. The word Samhain (pronounced “sow-en”) comes from the Gaelic “Samhuin”.  It is said that at sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The meaning being that the old year has passed, the harvest has been gathered, cattle and sheep have been brought in from the fields, and the leaves have fallen from the trees. The earth slowly begins to die around us.

If you’ve had a loved one die in the past year, this is the perfect night to celebrate their memory and/or to do divination or message work.

Anyway, my point is that it feels so much like a time to go within and be quiet this time of year and all the noise and chaos of trick or treating and the partying is such like a disassociation.  Sort of like people watching TV or texting on exercise equipment.  We’re so good at that–denying what is really happening by unplugging from it and doing something else entirely and completely.

“I’m not really going to pay attention to my body when I exercise, I’m going to try to forget that and text.”  And, “I’m not going to honor the ancestors or contemplate the ending of the year and look squarely at death and the transitional nature of life, I’m doing to dress up in a costume, go to a party and pretend death doesn’t happen.”

Right?  You see the point that I am making?  Oh, I didn’t give it a 2nd thought either when I was a young mother with little ones–you are in Rome in a way and do as the Romans.  But when the noise of the world and the chaos of the kids quiet in the reflective years of maturity, you contemplate these things. And even blog about them!

Yeah, unfortunately,  I live in proverbial Rome and if I have to, will hand out candy;  but would prefer to spend the evening very quietly as have been my Halloweens of the past.

It was such that in the mountains the kids and parents trick or treated in the main street of town.  Homes there were few and far between.

And here where I reside now, until this summer, my back facing apartment location didn’t entice kids to knock on the door. And I could meditate and do divination in quiet.

This year may be different because the apartment that I rent with my sister is front-facing and the kids will definitely come around.

HalloweenCollageBakersvilleI am remembering the mountains today as I often do and in doing so must say that in the ole mountain town where I used to live,  the effigies of departed ancestors hanging from the street poles were awesome!   If that didn’t have ya’ contemplating the transitions of life, nothing else would!

Hanging on the poles that way would remind me of “the burning days”–all kids of stuff those effigies trigger within.

BOTTOM LINE:  I say, eat candy, dress up, have fun but don’t fully disassociate from the old Celtic/Gaelic meanings in favor of a more commercialized and secularized celebration.

That’s all I’m sayen’. Meditate on the meaning; be aware of what you’re really doing! Death is not to be feared, it’s a part of life.  And as I said to my daughter earlier this week, quoting the Jedi Code, “There is no death.  There is the Force.”  And to the Celtic among us, “Happy New Year!”

 

When the Moon Transits the 8th House

Moon in the 8th House

Blending with the Moon are the archetypes of Pluto/Scorpio.  Deep waters!  The 8th is ruled by Pluto/Scorpio after all and so here we could have double feelings… like a double Moon … or at least double water!  Okay so what’s that mean?  Emotion—water is emotion—and the 8th house with the Moon is like sink or swim!  I can write this with a certain amount of emphasis and… duh, emotion as the Moon is in my 8th house today and Luna is rubbing shoulders with the South Node of the Moon as well as Uranus.  In my way of seeing it, this configuration could trigger past life (South Node) and subconscious (Uranus) issues no matter what house your Moon is in– the unconscious could become conscious with an emotional twist.  The universal alignment of a triple conjuction with SN, URANUS and MOON is happening for all of us right now–no matter what house your Moon is in, transiting Uranus and the South Node of the Moon are with it.  Anybody besides me having flashbacks today? 

8th House Lunar Transit

Well, let’s stick with the archetype of Luna in the 8th for now in order that this post is consistent with the other Moon transit houses posts.  Merging with someone or some ‘thing’ is a typical desire in the 8th.  Here’s an example.  I know someone who merges with information and excludes everyone and everything that does not fit with it.  This person will read a book and make it a bible and get really righteous about it and become so ‘at one’ with the book that she does whatever the book says, giving power over to it in the process of merging wholly with it.  People will do the same with other people too—obsessed with the beloved ‘other’ to the unreasonable exclusion of everyone else and won’t even listen to what others have to say about the beloved.  Well, that’s some of that Pluto ruler of the 8th house and ruler of Scorpio archetype.   The person reading the book wants to become the book itself and/or the author and the relationship obsessed person wants to possess or be possessed.  Those things are possible in the 8th house.  That type of merging fills an emotional need and the Moon is all about the emotions and needing to feel secure.

The 8th house relates to joint finances and ‘other people’s money’ also so there may be some emotional triggers involving people you owe money to or vice versa.

This house is thought to relate to ‘the shaman’ and ‘the paranormal’ and then also ‘death’.  It is the house of rebirth and regeneration and the Moon moving through here would be helpful if you would work on self-healing efforts.  It’s deep; remember?  Why not go with it?  Use that depth for healing.  What kind of self-healing?  Answer:  any kind–physical, emotional or spiritual.  Luna will move out in a few days so why waste the available vibe when the Moon is there in the 8th.

Key words with a lunar transit of the 8th are Deepening, Healing and Undercurrents of energy.

The Moon moving through the 8th will seek some type of deep bonding—just don’t toss everybody else out of your life when you bond with a person, place or thing!

The Moon here will want to go into some type of ‘self-protection’.  I am laughing at an example of this.  I feel ultra-sensitive now with Luna in my 8th.  Someone in the woman’s locker room made a remark about how she could walk out without a bra because she was so flat chested but that I (being busty) could never do that.  I cringed but pointed out that I’d come down several bra sizes since I’d been working out and she ran with that claiming how her problem then must be that she works out too much. Yeah, I didn’t want to talk about it anymore and hurried up my locker room routine although knowing I’m sensitive today just smiled—she didn’t mean anything unkind I’m sure. There were two others in the shower that I thought best to avoid and walked out with my hair not dried just to… well, to do the “self-protection” thing that is typical of an 8th house response.  “Moody isolation” goes along with the whole “self-protection” thing as far as an 8th house archetype.  And the Moon wants to feel secure and safe and happy and therefore self-protective isolation due to heightened emotional sensitivity is the 8th house Lunar response to that.

The 8th house is an emotionally difficult house along with the 4th and the 12th.  These 3 houses have been given a name—the Terminal Triangle—which rules the disillusion of energy and physical death.  Yeah, there’s that D word that nobody wants to hear.

On a spiritual level the 8th house will show us the struggle between soul and personality or between the spiritual life and the material life.

Also if there is any possibility of losing a loved one or even an X-loved one (my X-husband of 20 year and father of my 3-daughters  is in the hospital with severe heart and lung problems), this can lead to deep feelings of loss.

There also may be an emotional feeling involved with wishing to contact a loved one through mediumship when the Moon passes through your 8th house—you may dream of a loved-one who has crossed over to the other side at this time as well.

A Moon in the 8th is a highly sensitive placement or transit and when the Moon moves through your 8th house, it’s good to remember  and accept that death and loss on any level is a natural part of life.

Tomorrow my Moon moves into my 9th house.  I’ll see you in the 9th if you’re following.  🙂

(If you want to know where your Moon is, you can find out by casting a chart at www.astro.com if you know your date, time and place of birth.)


What do you need to survive? Venus in Pisces conjunct Neptune–the need for water

WATER FROM WELLSome say life is a constant struggle to better our chances for survival. That its a law just like birth and death. I’m not sure I’d use the word struggle but I do see some truth in that.

I’ve seen people who have so much want more; and in some ways (it’s all relative, I suppose) that’s me too. I think the word survival may be defined differently by each person.  What do we need to survive?

Our water went out last night and everybody in town is having to boil water today. There’s a survival need if there was one–sort of like that book,  CYBER STORM, that is going to be a movie.  In that scenario there was snow to melt.

Two ladies at the pool today said that they also had a boil water warning but not from the water main break.  Rather it was because someone stole the computer that regulated the pressure and water levels in the well that a number of people rely on.

What’s with the water situation lately?  Venus moved into Pisces a few days ago; shall we point the finger there?  Pisces, after all, is a water sign and Venus is getting pretty cozy (within 3 degrees of orb) with Neptune, the ruler of Pisces itself.  Venus, it is said, regulates recognition of our personal needs and desires.  Who said?  my astrology teacher.  Anyway…

To survive:  to persist, to succeed, to outlive an event, to go on and to outlive the problem or issue at hand.  What’s the problem or issue at hand?  Life Itself?  Is Life a problem to survive?

How do we better our chances of survival? (or better our chances to flourish)?   I think that’s what motivates many people each day.  What do you think?

Most people want to flourish and others are happy to survive; and then there are those that define surviving in terms of flourishing.  Just sayen’–or rather asking, as a contemplation, a meditation.

We need water to survive because we depend on it to keep our bodies hydrated. Our bodies are made up of between 50% to 70% of water and amazingly our brains comprise over 80% water. It is therefore obvious that we need to take water to keep our bodies functioning. We can only live several days without it; if lucky, up to 5 days if you’re in good shape–or so they say. 

 

When Life Sux, is it ULTIMATELY Real? Taking Refuge in The Three Jewels

take refuge
Taking Refuge in the Heart Sutra and Also in the Three Jewels

I went back to my last post to read it over.  I was looking for a quote.  After reading it over I thought, wow, sounds like she’s depressed–if I didn’t already know she wasn’t, I’d think she was!  I’m not, I just go deep to find answers–right down to the moment of death and gloriously beyond if need be.  People in the West and mostly young people think somebody is depressed if they talk about death.  I didn’t want to ‘go there’ either back in the day when I was in denial about that particular fact of life–some things people just avoid thinking about. If we ‘really’ thought about some things, we’d never do them at all. Take flying in a plane or driving a car—if we fully contemplated the complete possibilities of what could go wrong and were honest about it, we’d never do those things.  It helps to go into denial about those things–the dangers at least.  And another thing that helps is that somewhere at the back of  our mind we know this is all just a dream that we’re supposed to row our boat merrily along!  And because we know that we say things like, “Oh well, when it’s my time, it’s my time.”  I think part of the reason we say that is we know on some deep unconscious level that this life ‘is’ an illusion…a dream.

I know this stuff–or do I?  I mean the study of the mind and so-called ‘reality’ has been my focus for years–but maybe I expect too much of my own intellectual understandings.
There’s reality that is conventional and there’s reality that is ultimately simply energy and a dream illusory state–both true at the same time.  But darn if conventional reality can’t be a real heavy duty battery sometimes!  I have no idea why I said it that way….battery just seemed to want to come after the words ‘heavy duty’.  Some old commercial that stuck in my mind just came up probably.  But maybe that’s an important observation–mind is everything and excludes nothing.  THAT really does blow your mind–to use some hippy slang from the good ole’ days!

A friend/client of mine was just in a horrific car accident–horrific.  Yeah, I know I said that, but  the word horrific fully deserves the repetition if you could see what was left of her car.  Now you think I have trouble convincing myself that my irritating Indian downstairs neighbors are simply a dream that I should row my boat gently around–somebody who had to undergo numerous operations with pins and plates and screws in her arms, hips and leg… try telling her that at 2 AM when everything’s throbbing and she can hardly move.  She’d probably throw something at me ( and I wouldn’t blame her ) if I suggested such a thing to her!

Life–illusion or not, dream or nay–can get intense sometimes!  Fact:  my mind is irritated by the neighbors.  Fact:  I must do what soothes my mind.  Big revelation that came to me in meditation.  I can’t begin to work through this until I do that first.  I’m trying to figure out how to deal with the’ in-your-faceness’ of it like I’m sure my friend is too with her circumstances (much worse than my own of course)–yeah, it’s an illusion but the illusion hurts and sometimes life really sux.

Strange how it goes though. For people in pain they try to get them to go to the level of getting them to stop identifying with it, separate out from it.  The therapist say give your pain a name and give it a color and mentally do all this stuff step-by-step to control the pain in order to it and see it as the illusion it is–in those ways. That’s got to be tough to do–makes the challenge of my situation barely worth mentioning in comparison.  I suppose it’s all relative as they say dependent upon how real you make it all.  So anyway working with the mind comes into play in all of these cases somehow, eventually.

Yeah, we can try to escape and I’d say she probably wants out her badly damaged body at times the way I want out this apartment situation with my loud neighbors.  It is aggravating and frustrating –my friend’s situation is admittedly 1,000 (or more) times more serious and intense than my own.   But in both of our cases, we deal with it via the mind because the mind makes it real and the mind can also detach from that reality.    At least as a coping mechanism until something changes it can.  The neighbors will move and my friend’s body will heal.  That’s the nature of life–impermanence!  It was change an impermanence that got us into these situations and it will get us out too; meanwhile we have to do what we can to take care of ourselves.

I just flashed on a scene from the movie THE MATRIX.  Neo comes out of  the Matrix after just having just fallen, landing onto the pavement and his mouth is bleeding.  He says, “I thought you said the Matrix wasn’t real?”  Morpheus replies, “Your mind makes it real.”  –a great scene!

But, just how I am in my own mere situation , if I have to suffer it (and apparently I do until further notice)… how do I, despite that mental suffering, let it be for a good purpose?  And if it isn’t something obviously purposeful–trust me, I will find one and assign it!

It simply occurs to me that… well… Is it a co-incidence that at this same time I find myself the Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying? (again)  Anyway, it brings to mind that when it’s time to go—oh, hush, we all have to go eventually, so you may as well face up to it when you’ve got the courage–anyway, when it’s time to go I can look back and realize that I used some of this irritating, frustrating B.S.mental  stuff as prep work for THAT in-your-face experience (death)!  Now that’s an experience that I can’t get out of our face. No way around that one.

So, look. Sorry,  but if you are looking for a blog that gives you fluff and lace and soft pillows, maybe keep looking because you can probably see by now that I use this blog to work stuff out….and in doing so, I assign a purpose to the effort that goes beyond just this self here. I hope the effort helps someone else.  YOU possibly if you’ve read this far–who knows?

Yeah, so what’s the conclusion? (me asking Self) Well, mind gets irritated especially when you make the irritation too “real” so what cha’ gotta’ do to take care of that?  And then I remember the lines that I posted on Facebook today:

Wisdom Teacher’s say: Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion What others do will not matter so much when you see life as a dream. Do all you can to keep positive intentions during the dream.

I’ve got to get back to reciting The Heart Sutra again — and also got to go back to the chant, “I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha!”

There will probably be more about this–I feel that there’s still more insight and wisdom, but it’s nearing 2 am and I have to be up at 6!
But then again if I can get back on my path with all this and not let the delusions below me distract me further (am asking the Angels for help!), then I may not ever have to write about these downstairs neighbors again!@  I’m getting rather weary of it.

What would a Bodhisattva do about loud neighbors? And the resulting Anger? And Self-Cherishing? Living Buddhism

Living Buddhism

What would a Bodhisattva do about loud neighbors?

And the resulting Anger?

And Self-Cherishing?

Bodhisattvas cave muralYeah, I’ve been kvetching about the loud neighbors but rest assured I’ve been not only externalizing a solution but internalizing one too.  I’ve used the scrape-your-fingers-down-the-chalkboard type of setting your teeth on edge irritation as charnel ground meditation; but even there one knows the exit or path that takes one away from that graveyard—in case it becomes too much, we need an escape button, don’t we?

Is it any co-incidence that as I consider those matters, I’m also contemplating death, dying in such a way that one can be liberated while still living and breathing?  Well, as much as one can anyway.  And I’m having a more serious look at The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva.  Factor that into the loud Indian neighbor situation, the contemplation on death—stir well and sprinkle with a generous handful of Practice #20.

Most blog readers will know the meaning of the word Bodhisattva but the short version of a definition is spiritual practitioner—practice of compassion for altruistic benefits.  The 37 Practices describe the enlightened qualities of an aspirant (my own words) which come about due to causes.  (Causes such as loud, boisterous, inconsiderate neighbors?)  And in the list of the practices we see definite references to those types of situations and how to integrate these difficulties of earth living into spiritual practice.

I clearly realize the ‘enemy’ if there is one in my situation with the frustrating irritations of the neighbors is within me, totally, entirely, and completely.  I got that part; so no finger-pointing please.

Do I run from it, push it away or go toward it or do nothing?  I’ve sat with it and the aversion is so great that I think I may cry if I do not put on the white noise so I cannot hear it.  I’d be the first one to run down the path and back to the monastery if I had do to real live grave-yard charnel practice!

I don’t think there’s any teaching that says that the thing that drives you the most crazy you should go seek it out just to see if you can handle it—or maybe there is and I’m wrong about that.

If you want to talk about aversion for a second—let’s do.  My aversion is to myself for having the reactions of intense, acute and profound irritation to their voices in the first place.

Before you start thinking it, let me say that I know it all comes from self-cherishing and self-grasping and attachment to an idea that my living quarters should be completely free from gawd-awful vocal intrusions. Got that too!

The wisdom teachers say that when we cave and just “can’t deal”, to use the situation to bring up compassion for all others who have the same situation in life. One great comfort is that if we reflect for even a nano-second we realize we are not alone in our suffering, whatever it is, no matter what!  With (what is the number we hear others give?) something like 6-million –or is that billion?–people on earth, there has to be at least one (and usually thousands) who are going through that exact same situation right at that exact same moment.

This brings comfort—we are not alone.  So then we bring up the ole’ catholic training and say I will suffer this and for all who suffer for the suffering souls including myself.   It gives the suffering (which is plainly everywhere on Earth, look around) a purpose, a meaning and brings it into a workable (at least for me) and relative perspective.

There’s a certain surrender in that—grant me the serenity to deal with what I cannot change.  I’ve changed what I could already—speaking to them directly (which was like speaking to a wall that is in denial that it’s a wall – for lack of a better example), and I’ve tried speaking to the management and one night I took the management’s suggestion and called the police to give them the word.  They were screaming after all and it was well after midnight and I even brought the altruistic reason into that one—“I do this act of calling the police for all the neighbors, not just myself.”

Oh, sure I can have compassion for the couple—of course.  I think they drink or drug a lot especially if you consider loud never ending conversations a drug.  And they are in a strange country – from India and you know we all have problems.  It’s not hard for me to feel compassion in those ways.  But sometimes my own frustration and self-cherishing and attachment to how I think my life should be when it isn’t gets the best of me and it seems a simple thing not to have un-welcomed human voices permeating my living space.

So yeah, I crank up the white noise (see my last blog post) as my escape valve.

But what about death? I mean that’s one experience where there IS no escape valve really.  I mean we have to deal with it and can’t go anywhere else then or we can’t turn up the white nose to drown it out.  It’s intense and frightening and irritating and we have to really let go of self-cherishing at that time, don’t we?  Well, if we don’t we suffer more.  I’m reading The Tibetan Book of the Living and The Dying (again) and this is my 2nd go at the modern version of the text by Songyal Rinpoche.  It’s more a text about living but the stages of dying are fully described both from the perspective of the dying person and the family and caregivers.  Really useful stuff for when a family member dies or we ourselves—our time will come.

How can I let go when I really need to if I cannot let go in this situation with my neighbors?  I’m working on all that.

Meanwhile, I do love the references to the point in the death process when we reach such a state of luminosity of mind that the – well, the Buddhist call them the 3 poisons leave us completely.  We can get there in this life and do if we’re successful with our meditation practice.  We reach a state where there are no attachments, and it is give a name by the wisdom teachers:  sky consciousness.  The three poisons (anger, ignorance and desire) —gone!  Have you been there to that place? A peaceful lifestyle helps and a crazy couple from India who rocks your world doesn’t!

Let me take a breather to say that I’m grateful they go to work during the day and I’m grateful for when they run their central air unit (even if they have it on fan which I’ve enlightened them about doing).  For when we both have it running, I barely hear them.  I say barely and again it’s not their fault or mine this building that we over-pay in rent to live within is so poorly insulated (paper thin walls).  I’m grateful for electricity and I’m grateful for the fact that they’re gone during the day; thank you thank you thank you thank you!  Amen.

I don’t like my inner reaction and if I’m honest it’s the first of the 3 poisons that most Buddhist text refers to—anger.  Their anger triggers my own?  Maybe?  I don’t know exactly.  But I don’t like that intense feeling that makes me feel like I’m about to lose control.  Like fingernails down a chalkboard I want to cover my ears and run; but HA, I live here!  Some things you can’t run from and this situation as well as my own eventual death someday down the line is another something that I cannot run from.

All this is preparing me I’m sure; everything is somehow always inner-related.  I looked up The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva online (http://www.dharmadhatu-center.org/the_37_practices_of_a_bodhi.html).  I’m sure I have a Book on the 37 Practices here somewhere on my bookshelf; later today I will try to find it.  (Note to self to do that!)

I should blog my way through the 37 practices as I deal with the hell realms below me (downstairs neighbors).  In the end, it may help me to be able to die well and use that moment-of-death that they talk about to enhance enlightenment.

So anyway for now, for today, OM MANI PADME HUM, what about Practice #20?

Practice 20
Taming the mind
If you have not tamed the enemy of your own anger,

Combating outer opponents will only make them multiply.

Therefore, with an army of loving kindness and compassion,

To tame your own mind is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

Generally we think we must defeat outer opponents. If only we could get rid of them, we would be happy. Or so we believe. But we cannot overcome all adversaries, and when we try, their numbers just increase. At first we have one, then two, then many. So what are we to do? The only solution is to tame our anger, tame our mindstream through bodhichitta. Armed with the attitude of loving kindness and compassion, we naturally no longer have any external enemies. Because the Great Teacher, the Buddha, the Bhagawan, had tamed his mindstream, he prevailed against the Maras who tried to distract him as he sat meditating beneath the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya. The Buddha was armed with the forces of the samadhi of loving kindness, and the Maras could not harm him. The Great Yogi Milarepa tamed the enemy of ego-clinging with the force of the wisdom that realizes selflessness. And he conquered the enemy of anger with the army of bodhichitta. Because he defeated his inner foes of ego-clinging and anger, he became so skillful that even his bitterest enemies eventually became his disciples.

http://www.dharmadhatu-center.org

Maybe in my next blog post, whenever the neighbors are ranting below me (which is usually the same time I’m blogging as a coping mechanism), instead of kvetching, I’ll blog about one of The 37 Practices of the Boddhisattva.  That’s the lose plan, time permitting — stay tuned?

Let’s see if blogging my way through this can help others, I’ll do my best.

“Namaste!” which is what I said while giving a slight bow to my downstairs neighbors about 3 weeks ago (sigh!)  Meanwhile, reaching for my copy of The Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying, lifting it to the sky, making a bow to you and the wisdom teachers who have gone before us…. I bid you good day!