Thursday, August 11, 2011
Weather Misery Ended? and Inner Realization Glimpse
We haven't had a temperature lower than about 95 since June 24th. But lately we've been getting the relief of sweet, blessed, Rain and Clouds! Temperatures in the eighties to 90, normal for this time of year. If a humid 88 degrees seems too hot, all you have to do is remember that it's Twenty Degrees than a week and a half ago when it was a humid 108! We've Finally stopped having the "excessive heat warnings" from the National Weather Service!
You can tell the farmers and gardeners in a crowd. Usually they are the ones smiling while it pours. No dragging hooses from the creek to the truck garden, or hauling them across parched crispy grass to the city garden, no carrying Heavy buckets to water animals or food plants. True, the mosquitoes have revived and the grass must be mowed. But this mowing is lighter work by Far than hauling water. And Thankfully so far, no tornadoes!
Turned off the AC for the first time last night, stuck a box fan in bedroom window, left all ceiling fans running, slept to the sweet scent of cool water under Cool Air! A Treat.
Ok, so you've heard enough about the weather. But it Truly has been Hard on humans And others this Summer!
New Subject: Something I like about Buddhism: You can know a thing intellectually without it Ever touching your heart or actions. Somehow last night I Finally Got the idea of what Robert Thurman has called, "Living in the Light of Death." Sounds bizarre, doesn't it. Really it's just the terminology that sounds weird. It's the same idea as setting in your mind that this is Truly your Last Year of life, and seeing what changes come about.
Did I move, get a new room mate, change all of my daily routines? No. But I Did stop worrying about whether or not I would be able to start the very small busines I'm working toward. Did I stop working toward it? No, but I took a partial break and relaxed, knowing that nothing is guaranteed in this life. There may come a time when I need to accept a room mate to survive financially, not a pleasant thought, but no need to worry about it now. I may be called upon by life or the needs of friends or family to do something Other than what I want, the business. But since I haven't been yet, I'll be aware of the possibility and keep working toward what I want.
This all sounds like child's play doesn't it? But it Isn't if you have always felt you must struggle just to Get By. That kind of living easily breeds worry and overplanning of the future. So for me, getting a Feeling for the concept was a breakthrough. Did I do the dishes tonight? Yes, because they needed doing and dying while doing dishes isn't usually such a bad way to go. If something more important had come up at the exact time for dish doing would I have done the dishes? No, I would have attended to the needs of another or myself.
I guess my blogs sound pretty morbid, but I try to learn from whatever life presents. This year it has presented death, first of my partner Ann, then of a friend, and a friend has lost a couple of acquaintances or friends this year. I always am aware that cancer can return and am nervous when I eat American. Unfortunately, between being busy with sorting through our former rent house, packing, moving, and Unpacking, and also for comfort, I've been eating more American style than usual. Am trying to correct this, but it isn't easy.
So I allow myself to think about what life presents and am Very glad I don't know the future. If I get a definite feeling about something, I try to follow it. That, for me, is taking care of the future. That and common sense. But I know I would Never have had the courage to live through all I have if at some point a person had sat down with me and said, "Ok, this is how your life will be." Never.
One thing my trying to treat each day as though it were my last has done is free me for the most part from the Fear Sellers. Have the aliens landed? Does the Government control our minds with microwave beams? Will we all starve without a huge food reserve? Will another killer tornado get us? Will we live through another Great Depression?
The answer to each of these questions may be Yes. But if I cannot control any of these things, what Good does it do to Give away my Energy to them? I always respect tornado warnings, that is good sense! Having some nonperishable food in reserve is Also good sense, if one has the luxury to do this. I'm sure it is good to have a little silver or gold stashed somewhere, again, if one has the luxury to do this. But beyond this, the future is what it is and I Finally got a glimpse of dealing with it one day at a time by Choice.
Doing this by Choice is Very different than those times which are so Hard or so Painful that all you can Do is put one foot in front of the other or live through one minute or one task at a time. Living this way when Not in immediate crisis means making lots of little choices throughout the day and night. It means choosing to take good enough care of one's self to keep whatever health one has, to try and make sure one has a chance to Enjoy Something non-harmful to others each day, and to decide a moment at a time that this is the kind of person one Wants to be. It will be interesting to see what changes come from trying to live in this way, over time. It takes time to incorporate any Inner realization into a life. It will take me time.
Not fearing death and looking it in the face is a Buddhist teaching. Buddhist "heaven or hell" have to do with "reaping what you have sewn, not a God punishing you for sin and Certainly not Original Sin. Buddhists may speak of harmful or nonbeneficial behavior, but this is not sin. It is caused by one of the "poisons of the mind."
The chief among these poisons is "ignorance or confusion". Others are envy, craving, revulsion or hatred, pride, and greed.
It is these "causes of suffering" which we try to overcome in ourselves. They hurt each of us and they hurt others.
But long-standing guilt has no place in Buddhism. The only function of guilt or regret is to help beings change toward something more beneficial for themselves and others in the future.
Some Buddhists are honestly confounded with the notion of self-hatred which most of us Westerners carry around. They assume that each of us is born good, as we have acquired merit enough to Earn a human life and body. They tend to work on not getting selfish in what is considered a Natural self-love and desire to be happy.
Only recently have Buddhist teachers from Tibetan Buddhism begun to grapple with the self-loathing and fear and guilt of Western students.
For me, Tibetan forms of Buddhism fit best with what I understand of Cherokee teachings. I do not follow Asian rituals blindly, however. I am not Asian, was not raised in either an Asian or traditional Cherokee culture, and the Buddha urged his disciples to use those of his methods which worked for them and Not to use methods which did not help them learn.
I speak so much about Buddhism because as we humans face death, we each turn to our own belief systems. Also, there are a Lot of misconceptions about Buddhism in our country, Especially in rural areas, to which it is still relatively new. Please understand, I Don't want anybody changing whatever religious beliefs make their life more meaningful.
More than enough! I thank anyone who has taken the time out of their own life to read this journal/blog!