So it’s been quite a while since I posted. Well, I admit, I mentally and emotionally crashed. I am disappointed in myself that I let that happen but knowing I have seen even the strongest people crash now and then, I feel hopeful and ok with letting myself wallow for a little while. Mourning and grief are normal and natural, I have to remember that. Since my cousin was murdered in the beginning of August, my life seemed to nose-dive. Two of my uncles were diagnosed with cancers that are not treatable. My dog needed surgery. I was in a minor car accident. My mother’s myelodysplasia (MDS) was upgraded to acute leukemia and she’s been in and out of the hospital. She also requires a lot of help that of course I am so happy I am able to supply it. Everything just seemed/seems to go wrong lately and I began to learn things that were sad and unpleasant – I learned that I have been wrong for a long time about people I thought I knew so well and I am very disappointed in who they are. I hope they can find some spiritual guidance to help them become who they are capable of being. I am certainly not perfect and now is a time I am taking to also improve.
I was listening to a podcast today about Zen and Buddhist Dharma hosted by Zencast.org entitled “Practice Simplicity.” I found so much comfort in its insight. Gil Fronsdal introduced me (and his audience) to a tremendously important Buddhist instruction to, “Set your mind at ease, and notice what takes away from that.” It’s one of the hardest things to do – to set your mind at ease. But it is easier to see what takes away from ease – these people who are purposefully hurting others and are not who I thought they were. The only problem with this instruction is that’s the end of it. So… what do we do about what takes away from our ease? There’s nothing more, no more instruction. Fronsdal also noted that issue but said this instruction in itself is difficult, so to start – just “notice.” Notice the moment, don’t react to it, don’t let your mind do anything about it, just notice. So as I listened to this program as I drove, I practiced and noticed something that made me really, truly smile and appreciate the beauty of everything – the leaves are changing colors. Even walking to my car this morning I pulled a couple leaves stuck on the back of my car and STILL didn’t notice the leaves were changing. So from today on out I will track one beautiful thing each day as I do nothing else but “notice.” Today: the leaves are changing.