Friday, July 11, 2008
I have been slowly acclimating to this practice for the past few days now, and I am surprised to discover that although I had every intention of approaching this practice as though I absolutely do have only one year left to live; there was some part of my mind that was holding back and not accepting the practice totally.
It occurred to me today, however, that I actually am going to die, whether I like it... or not!!
But REALLY though... this is sort of upsetting to really poke and prod at and to internalize and accept; I am going (at some point..) to draw in a breath, exhale... and never, ever, EVER inhale again.
I won't be able to move, I will never feel anything again... I will never be able to set eyes on my loved ones.... never smell a flower... nothing.
I don't actually know when this will occur... though I can come up with a best case/worst case scenario in my head and narrow it down to what seems to me to be a relatively small window in time... which serves to underscore the point to me that my time really, truly, and irreversibly IS limited.
And do you know something that is fairly freaky, considering??
I am okay with that.
I am quite conscious of time passing now... of each breath... of my heart counting down the time that I have left.... and I find that I am waking up in the morning ready to face the day (rather than dragging my tired ass out of the bed, I wake up anticipating whatever the day has to offer... whether or not I find it 'good' or 'bad').
It occurs to me that in the blink of an eye, the vast majority of events, incidents, issues, and other assorted 'stuff' that I now attach importance to will become instantly meaningless the moment that this body of mine ceases to live. Just like that!
Soooooo.... it sort of makes me wonder why (WHY?) I seem to get suckered in to thinking that it is any more important NOW??
I think I will be rearranging some priorities over the next few days, weeks, and months.
Mr. Guinness, who left a comment on one of my previous posts, said something that has 'stuck' in my mind since I read his comment, and which has been bouncing around in my head, being turned this way and that by the fingers of my mind.... and I find that I very much agree with his statement and find that it is slowly becoming my truth, also....
Here is the (snipped) portion of Mr. Guinness' comment that I am referencing (the comment was on the "Mountains" post if anyone is interested):
"But the older I get the more the quality of that time becomes important, not the secular measures, but the time I can help others, the time I can just listen, and not talk, the time, finally, where the world is revealing itself to me, not I to it."
As for the practice itself, I am mainly working on 'Soft-Belly' meditation right now... I am doing my best to bring this practice into everyday life, but I am finding that I generally miss the cue and sort of apply it after the fact. I am remembering faster and faster, however... so perhaps with some work I will begin to apply it in a more timely fashion (where perhaps it will actually have some impact on how I am reacting/relating to others... we will see!)
It is becoming real to me now... that much I can say. I am 'carrying' this practice with me constantly, and I am noticing how many hitherto 'important' things are becoming more or less irrelevant to me; as though they simply no longer apply to me... or something. This isn't deliberate, it is just sort of happening... or, perhaps it has been happening all along, and I am just beginning to notice! Either way, I am seeing some small change.
Just 'being' is much more precious to me... I don't feel a need to be 'doing' or 'pushing'... and I have come to value silence quite a bit more. For those of you who know me personally, yes.. I am beginning to value my own silence also... I believe that I have lessened the amount of verbal littering that I have been imposing on my surroundings quite a bit. It sort of occurs to me that what I say doesn't particularly matter very much to me, either... and it follows that it most likely doesn't much matter to others if that is so. I actually got castigated for being 'so damned silent' at work... which is pretty much a first for me. I guess its a good thing.
I like this practice... and I fear it... both at the same time.... but the fear is beginning to subside a bit...
Stick around... maybe this will actually be of some benefit to me....
It's worth the effort, as far as I'm concerned.
In our Zendo, there is a piece of calligraphy that was written by our Roshi and given to our Zendo as a gift; it translates as "Don't ever be afraid to give."
I happened to let my eyes fall on this phrase this past Wednesday night... and afterwards I began to realize, (if the stark truth be told... and it must!!) that I was not giving completely to this practice. So, now I shall dig down deep and give everything that I am capable of giving... and then I will find a little bit more to give.
No more holding back! Damn the torpedoes!