the mercer weave

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Archive for the tag “stillness”

Lovingkindness is Hard

There are a few reasons I decided to investigate meditation several years ago.  For one, I felt I was sorely lacking some kind of spiritual foundation – something intangible I know, but for me it was important. The faith in which I was raised (I’m a cradle Catholic) wasn’t speaking to me. In fact, when it did, the words were not consoling or welcoming. As I wrote this, I noticed that I used the present tense to refer to ‘my Catholicism’ and that speaks volumes, I suppose. There will always be a part of me that craves the ‘smells and bells’, the ritualistic communal gathering on Sunday morning and the regimen of the liturgy. But the human element of the faith in which I was raised has (in my opinion) created obstacles too high for me to overcome.

Lovingkindness is harder the longer you put it off. I find that if I don’t include a metta practice at the end of my meditation session, I struggle to stay on task. And that struggle invades those parts of my day when I deal with difficult people. Taking the ego out of the equation is imperative. Being able to stand back and understand there is nothing personal about the interaction takes patience, equanimity and more than a passing familiarity with the power of selflessness.

But as they say, practice makes perfect. And I get a lot of practice.ht_nypd_homeless_man_jef_121129_wmain

Love, War and Spring

Love:

Birds at 4:30 in the morning.

The sun sneaking up over the horizon before my eyes open.

Trees putting on their Sunday best.

New growth struggling up through the still stiff soil.

Raindrops just a tad warmer but drops nonetheless.

The promise of sun.

War:

Pollen. Damnable pollen.

Sounding like Kermit the Frog.

Kind of looking like Kermit the Frog.

 

We Should All Be So Easily Amused

This is what I love about dogs. Well, one of the many things I love about them.  Pure, unadulterated joy. Curiosity that knows no bounds. Like children, but without the potential for purposeful heartache.

 

We should aspire to be more like these lovely souls.

Happy for a Reason

I’ve been pondering the whole idea of working with difficult emotions over the last couple of days. I guess I’m a little behind the curve with the book but that’s how I roll…

I am one of those people who have always managed to distract myself from difficult feelings and emotions. Not that I don’t acknowledge them – I just don’t dwell on them.  And I think that’s a good thing to a certain extent except if the ‘not dwelling’ part is really more about trying to ignore them. That’s not so good.

I’ve been trying to practice just being with feelings and not working hard to replace that sensation with something that feels good. Every now and then (and thankfully it really is very rare that I feel this way), I will just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. It’s like I should know why I’m pissed off but I don’t even know what I’m angry about. And nothing makes me madder than not knowing why I’m mad.

I used to spend a lot of time pushing the nagging feeling away, trying to think of something that made me feel better.  Now, I try to stay with the emotion, roll around in it and not fight it. It’s not as fun as being ‘happy’ all of the time, but I’ve developed the mantra “resistance it futile” and it seems to be working for me.

Happy is great. Happy for a reason is even better.

 

I Guess I Should Have Read This First

Pico Iyer says it far more eloquently than me.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/opinion/sunday/the-joy-of-quiet.html

 

Now skedaddle away from that television.

 

h/t  Justin Whitaker http://www.patheos.com/blogs/americanbuddhist/2012/01/loving-stillness.html

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