I’ve been meditating for about 7 years, but I have had a really hard time sticking to a regular meditation routine. It seems like it is really easy to talk myself out of it. Any excuse will work for me. Meditation is, if I’m being honest, quite boring. All you do is sit there for 20 minutes. That’s it. My brain haaaates it. So my brain will come up with any excuse not to do it.
Since December I have come up with a way to the cushion each morning that has worked! First thing in the morning I have to take medication (for my hypothyroid) and I can’t eat anything or drink coffee for an hour after I take the medication. Since my brain is pretty much useless before coffee I’ve been able to negotiate with my brain that time for meditation. So my routine is: wake up, take medication, meditate, yoga. When I’m done with all of that I can drink coffee and do anything that requires thinking.
This has been a tremendous breakthrough for me! Daily meditation has changed my life for the better, boring or not. There is a part my me (the thinking part. stoopid brain!) that feels guilty or beats myself up that this is the way I have had to talk myself into meditating daily. But then I think about Zen Buddhism itself and all of the forms and routines built into it. Zen looks kind of religious from the outside because there are so many forms. It can look weird from the perspective of someone looking in without knowing what is going on. But I realized that the forms are there as a container. They are there to get you to do the practice and prevent your brain from talking you out of the practice. I realize that my little routine of taking my medicine and then meditating is a form that I have made up myself so I can do the practice. And it works!
Now if I could only come up with something for exercise and eating healthy! (my brain has sabotaged me today in both of these disciplines).
Here is another one from the archives, from my series of first photos.
This is one of my all time favorite photos. I love that my brother is sticking his tongue out at me as I take the photo. Doug and mom look like they want to sell us to the circus. Also, I totally dig the way the composition is shifted to the left, clearly I didn’t understand how to compensate for the viewfinder of whatever camera I was using (what camera was I using?!?).
I took this (I think) at Glacier Park. I think this was right before Doug and my mom were married. That Doug still married my mom after enduring my brother and I that week shows how epic his love for her was ;).
I remember fighting constantly with my little brother that trip, and listening to Duran Duran incessantly.
Yesterday, I found these instructions from the Buddha on right speech:
The criteria for deciding what is worth saying
 “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.
 “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.
 “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.
 “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.
 “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.
 “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings.”
—Abhaya Sutta: To Prince Abhaya (On Right Speech)
So I thought I would draw out a flow chart
I’m not sure my flowchart makes it less convoluted….
I am happy to report that I was able to run today! My injury is healing up and I am in significantly less pain. Actually, the pain is pretty much gone. I’m still healing but I am so relieved to not be in excruciating pain anymore. Today’s scheduled run was 4 miles and I took it very slow today. And also, as a related aside, I’m thinking about purchasing a running bra called “The Last Resort.” For reasons.
Today’s power song was not as much a power song, but more a nice happy grove. It was De La Soul’s Eye Know.