Thursday, November 25, 2004

Things to be Thankful for

My life which keeps teetering onward inspite of the removal of various body parts. Next removal 16th of Dec.
Anya whose emergence and development are a source of delight
Maya and Jay the family where I belong at last
This morning which shows the bleakness, the bare branches, a few persistent leaves and grey sky of winter reminding me of my childhood.
The stillness of no traffic
The showings of the condo
Three Thanksgiving dinners including todays on the actual day with rack of lamb and duck
Finding Middlemarch on VHS
Massachusetts and California two homes both blue
My practice
That I lived so long a life surrounded and surrendered to nature
Cooking with Maya
Earl Grey tea
Katherine's wisdom
Bouncing up and down with Anya
The nest in Hyampom, now burned
Marion's discrimination
Maya and Jay's new house
John Ann's loyalty
Old friends
Planting bulbs at the new house and meeting the neighbors
Madison and Darcy
Connie and Cara

From Nov. 15th

It's snowing in Boston. I had to go out with Anya
yesterday as they were showing the condo and I walked
with her to Porter Square. Forgot the hat and snow
kept falling on her, making her cheeks and nose red
and her bangs curl with dampness.

It was suddenly winter. Everyone was out in their
black coats and wool caps, umbrellas and boots.

This morning I awoke to three inches of snow and wind
blowing the rest of the orange leaves from the trees.
It took a half an hour to scrape the ice and snow off
the car and by 4pm everything had frozen solid again.

In the meantime, Anya has learned to wrinkle up her
nose and out of that has arisen the whole gamut of
facial expressions--even saw a little sneer yesterday
just passing through, awaiting the experience to lock
in the attitude. Is this how things work? Or is the
attitude there with the sneer and it picks out the the
experience to justify itself. At any rate, she is a
little human and good company, a subject for endless
hours of contemplation.

I see her constructing a self from bits and pieces of
experience and am made aware how I am deconstructing
the same with my meditation practice. So we have a
joyous mingling of energies.

Greed, hatred, delusion--letter to a friend

Politics isn't a very nurturing arena. I have taken a
break from it, other than the usual email alerts.
Being near a dharma center is changing my meditation
and has been a huge help in maintaining balance since
the election--I have let go of hope more than ever
before and that is a huge relief. Politics has been
such a source of suffering for me, and the illusion of
some control--well, an illusion. There is something
much larger at work, and it may not be very pretty if
it's greed, hatred and delusion running full tilt, but
I don't know enough to know. Uncertainty is the only

The time on the cushion is well spent. Did a weekend
retreat and was having a tantrum(internally) with
angry energy. I wasn't getting any happier, that the
world wasn't better, I have to have another fucking
operation. I bashed and banged around inside my head
until all crescendoed into a huge insight!!!!!

Saw implacable hatred--the traumatized child curling
in on herself with bitterness and unforgiveness and
blind to everything else but the wound and the hatred.
At the same time some very very fine energy was
coming into awareness, something I could call love,
but it was finer and and purer. I kept trying to
ignore it--it was sooo hard to admit it into awareness
because the impalcable hatred didn't want it to
interfer with its truth. Slowly slowly I let it be
there and was able to hold both the hatred and the
fine, light energy of emptiness.

The cool thing was that until I admitted the hatred, I
couldn't see the emptiness. And after a few days of
reflection, I realize it was my shadow self I was
seeing finally fully and once having seen it and
allowed it to be there, a shift has come, a new
configuration of my inner world which has much more
equanimity and acceptance. After all, how am I
different from all the other humans in the world? I
have the full package of humanity inside me--it can't
be helped or denied. And from that understanding, it
is more possible to watch "the magical display"

I was curious about the moveon meeting because
I love the characters involved, but was glad I didn't
have to sit through it. I think we hold a space that
is important--the work has to be done on ourselves.
The Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King,
Jr. all show us it is possible to be an activist and
a spiritual leader. That's what we don't have in the
country right now. And although I've always echewed
the idea of a "leader", I think humans aren't in a
place where they can do without it. Right now we are
being lead by great examples of the three roots of
suffering--such example is so obvious and blatant that
it is fascinating in my more detached moments.

So yes, the cushion calls and we answer and that is a
good thing.

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