Saturday, December 31, 2011

I always feel

by JEFF GUNDY

I’ve decided that I’m religious but not spiritual.
— Gregory Wolfe

I always feel more religious in the sunshine,
especially if it’s not hot and the place is pretty
and most people can’t afford to get there or just
don’t bother. Morning has broken and all that.
And so the rattle of rain on the tarp doesn’t really
make me count my blessings, the stray drops
beading my borrowed rain pants don’t bring
me bliss, the fact of fewer mosquitoes
than yesterday does not make my heart leap up.
But I know that one day I must learn
to give up for good on getting dry,
to love the hiss of water meeting water,
the gray lake accepting the gray rain,
so little between them, our slender place
between the great sky and the stones.
Hold tight, I tell my heart, here we go.

Good night to 2011

Things were nice tonight ...calm and serene. Detaching with love.
When I can practice this act all else follows as it's supposed to.
But I attach out of fear I suppose wanting things to be different between us.
HP has plans for me I don't have to figure it all out.

Before we left for the restaurant I had a chat with Y. What do you think we could do differently to enjoy ourselves tonight? I asked him. He threw me some bait and I didnt bite. No really lets make a plan to enjoy ourselves. He agreed eventually.. to set aside his differences for New Years. A plan was made but I knew it could change and turn as life does. Then we had the driving episode come up. Do you like to drive yourself or can we ride together? He asked that I drive slow and he would be Ok..
I drove slow.
The dinner was wonderful! It wasn't a loud place it was muffled conversations with smells of good things cooking.

The desert was a buttermilk pana cotta. Smooth and soft with subtle blended flavors.

2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Assorted frozen berries (such as blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries), thawed

I was present and enjoyed myself through the entire meal.

This week I prayed for him at night, I also prayed for myself during the Holidays.
Opportunities for growth is what came to mind as the evening progressed.
Life has much to offer if I can practice patience and compassion.
One day at a timer for tonight

Good night 2011 ...

This year we lost Gil Scott Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Unpleasant things

I had a full day today met with a friend and her two children. The museum was packed but the kids did pretty well.
Every holiday I try to make an effort to spend time with the girls. I have fond memories of events I did with my
relatives on the holidays. But there are also the horrible memories of drunken violence. This often happened during the joyful season....Oh my the past. I no longer have to dwell on it.

I jumped on the carousel after the museum. It went spinning around the girls were laughing. Watching them laugh and have fun
with simple pleasures is enjoyable. The fog rolled in later in the day chilling us back into our homes.

As the evening wore on Y came home talking of work. Most of the time at night I wont talk with him about his work. All he engages in is work till around 12 at night and then he collapses. He has started a new business which is taking time to make profits.
Being around him these days is difficult. It is like walking on broken glass entering near his world.
Tonight he began one of his rages. I wasn't able to detach and had to leave the home before things got ugly.
I am praying for myself tonight and him. His behavior forces me to work my program deeper.
This is not who I am the insults he throws at me. It's embarrassing to write this on my blog but this is where I am at in life.
back to step One....I am powerless. What choice do I have in this situation? I feel sicker than the qualifier tonight
Practice compassion for where I am.

Worrying now about New Years Eve and his antics during the Holidays. Let go let god

Gratitude
1. HP is there for me
2. Alanon will never abandon me
3. I have tools

The unpleasant things other people say or do have no power to destroy my peace of mind or ruin my day unless I permit it.
Do I allow myself to respond to the words of a sick person as if they were the ultimate truth?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Space Santas

I was told a pink package was dropped off at my front door....and oh they are driving a white car. It was our lovely translator dropping off organic foods. She has been through so much this year with the death of her husband but still retains a positive attitude. I called her early in the morning to thank her. We met for a walk along the ocean the crab boats were out. The markers were bobbing up and down on the waters.

N took me to T's favorite place where he practiced his tai chi. She had made a small circle of pine cones in his memory.
The sun was bright the wind had a chill it was beautiful. We sat in silence I thought of T and his long eight year battle with cancer.
Life is so short.

It was a full day some of it was wonderful other parts as the day wore on were challenging. I am choosing to remember both
sides instead of focusing on what didn't work. I enjoy the night of christmas. A fire is crackling in the living room. The trees lights blink off and on as space santa ornament waves Merry Christmas to the world!

Merry Christmas everyone! One day at a time
Got to get going on the chocolate cake for tomorrow.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Do your work then step back

The sun is shining and the city is clearing out. I love the streets that were once full are now empty. Neighbors can be seen filling cars up with things to take the post or to leave town. I watch from the window as a semi loaded with drywall beeps down the street. I hope that no one close with be remodeling this Holiday. Nothing worse than hearing the bangs of hammers during days of rest.

It seems this time of year is a struggle for me. It is much calmer than before I have tools to help me get through the hard edges.
My husband is working non stop HP has a plan for him. I keep the focus on myself. Detach with love is my holiday mantra.

An Alanon friend has invited me to their home for Christmas. I will bring my flour-less chocolate cake. It is one of my favorites, dense and chocolaty. They will make prime rib. Makes me laugh these are also my Zen friends and meat is such a no no...
Rules and regulations don't work well for addicts most of the time. Grateful for my life it is whizzing by .......

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.
Laozi

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oh yes Holidays

The Holiday is going smooth so far. Today I felt a sinking feeling and sadness enter into the day. I have no plans for Christmas day. Is this so bad? Well in some ways no it is just another day in the year. There are many expectations that I have attached to the Holidays. I want to be invited to friends homes and be together.
This doesn't happen too many years. Why doesn't this happen for me?
In the past I made dinners and had people over. I wanted the Holidays to change and be invited to a home, and it has some years. In the past we sometimes went to a friend's home and celebrated. The last time I went to his home he was snorting cocaine and drinking bottles of wine. This also is not how I want to spend the Holidays.
Wanting something else. This is where I also feel my Alanon issue lies in being uncomfortable with me. What can I do to take care of myself?

I have time to plan something for Y and I. He is working nonstop. This weekend was a work all weekend kind of weekend. The Holidays are when Y works the most. I would like to be with him but he cant be there for himself. I am not responsible for his happiness.
HP has a plan for him.
I am not God
I dont have to feel alone the program is always there for me.
Turning it over to Hp for right now

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Compassion

Incredible day at the Z Center with a dear teacher. We sat all day from 9:30-5:00P
All day watching the brain chatter. It is such a learning tool to not attach to the
lanes it wants to take me down...lots of worry talk
I try to have compassion where I am at. My teacher mentions this frequently.
My mind starts to focus on what is not working in my life. It wants to keep the old way alive. The old part of me the worried child still waiting for a catastrophe to occur at any time. Today I have tools and choices. But for most of my life I was a reactor. Being mindful is a new freedom.

Compassion
The Buddha taught that to realize enlightenment, a person must develop two qualities: wisdom and compassion. Wisdom and compassion are sometimes compared to two wings that work together to enable flying, or two eyes that work together to see deeply.

I sat with my teacher on a one to one conversation. It was frightening to have someone be so present for me. He looked deeply at me it was very uncomfortable.
I can handle distraction but to bring in someone who is willing to show up
is unusual. So grateful I walked through it all and showed up for myself.

I’ve been told—but I don’t know for sure—that you’re like me. If I could speak for you, I would say that you have a deep longing for oneness, a deep urge to return to your original face before your parents were born. Reb Anderson GGulch

This quote just about sums up the day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tis the Season

Wonderful meeting tonight. I sat outside the church talking to a friend about giving to organizations in particular. In Buddhism they call this dana giving without attachment.
I have been volunteering my professional services to the Z Center. At times I will ask also for donations as restaurant coupons, I accept this exchange and enjoy being at the center. A big job is coming up and I asked for a coupon for the job as I have volunteered quite a few days to the center.
Well this has stirred the pot my co worker has informed Buddhism involves dana and I should look at my motives. Well this doesn't sit right with me. They ask for monies but yet ask me to evaluate my motives. This will require some discussion. This is an opportunity for growth in my life. In the past I would have caved in but not today this is an important shift for me speaking up. Grant me the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Tis the Season but i like to investigate my feelings around this issue.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Each moment

Waking up early for a shoot one of the last before our lead character has her baby. She is still working seven days a week
only days before her child will be born. They have to work many hours as they are living on the edge.
We are working hard to bring her story to a one hour piece. This will be challenging and take time.
I do the footwork and turn the rest over to God.

As i get ready to leave for the early shoot old rock music plays in the background. I remember some of the songs but it was difficult times for me as a teenager. Today I have alot more serenity in my life. My parents were in the thicks of their disease.
My mothers lovers were circling waiting for the chance moments to be alone with her. I was stumbling through high school
grateful to have some good art teachers.

Just for today I count my breath from one to ten and sink into my body. When I am present for myself all else falls in place.
I have alot of tools today to help guide me. My attitude is also a part of my plan I have choices.
I can deal with situations that in the past used to baffle me.

Grateful
1. Love my life through my connection with HP
2. To have health and a great medical program in my city
3. husband who tries his best
4. In each moment I have a choice to be present for myself
5. The season is on me and I am enjoying it!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Some days

Beautiful day here with difficult moments. Recently one of my brothers reached out to me with some kind words. I called him to chat as I crossed a long bridge over the Pacific. It was not a good call in fact it was a shame and blame dump. He is very dismissive of my career after I have spent twenty years creating some pretty good pieces. Other words were deposited over the phone and I became defensive. But in the end I did feel like I did keep some serenity. It is up to me to practice my program and decline their offers of Alcoholic thinking.

I called a friend today very upset with the conversation. She replied you must be ready to deal with some of these issues. This response actually makes sense to me. In the program everything can be treated as a spiritual lesson. I trust the universe has a plan for me. Working my program is the best gift I can give to the myself and others. I see with some clarity how I allow myself to get drawn into others problems.

I forget to mention this conversation took place after an incredible Zen Dharma talk.
The speaker spoke of the love he received from his teacher. He cried and I too cried with him they were tears of joy. I don't cry that easy but he was so present and sincere that I was moved. The center is a beauteous gift so close to my home.

Quote from Suzuki Roshi
“When you become yourself then Zen becomes Zen.”

Tonight I will pray for my brother. I pray for myself also. It would be nice to have compassion for myself and our difficult relationship at times. He was very mistreated as a child. There are choices I can make to take care of myself when he gets abusive toward me.

Gratitude
1. I can feel love for myself and others-
2. My peace of mind does not depend on what others think of me
3. HP has a plan for everyone
4. I can let go and relax to take care of myself

Regarding, “We should be like a boatman,” in Shobogenzo Zenki (Undivided Activity), Dogen states (Tanahashi and Brown translation):

Birth is just like riding in a boat. You raise the sails and you steer. Although you maneuver the sail and the pole, the boat gives you a ride, and without the boat you couldn’t ride. But you ride in the boat and your riding makes the boat what it is. Investigate a moment such as this. At just such a moment, there is nothing but the world of the boat. The sky, the water, and the shore are all the boat’s world, which is not the same as a world that is not the boat’s. Thus, you make birth what it is, you make birth your birth.

When you ride in a boat, your body and mind and the environs together are the undivided activity of the boat. The entire earth and the entire sky are both the undivided activity of the boat. Thus, birth is nothing but you; you are nothing but birth.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gratitude

Grateful
1. Ability to reach out and trust there is a HP
2. For my precious human life
3. My program
4. The incredible city I live in
5. My husband and his love toward me

Love Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

HP has a plan

Letting Go. Today it's foggy the neighbors are putting on a new roof. I watch as the crew scrapes off years of tar leaving the wood bare. Its interesting to watch it being remade the rolls of tar paper, heat torches and new chimneys. My father taught me to appreciate the art of watching and appreciating construction. He was an engineer and would stop at many sights to watch bridges, roads and buildings be constructed. I miss him. He had tremendous struggles in his life and was not an easy man to be around when he was drinking.

My project is going along at a fast pace right now. Lots of shooting, last minute calls and cameras to be prepped. We have worked hard on this project watching near it's end and begin another phase causes some anxiety. This might have to do with control issues on my part and fear of the future. Practicing my program around these issues is key. Turning over to HP and do the footwork. Trusting the future will unfold as the universe has planned. I am not God. Let Go and Let God

Gratitude
1. HP has a plan
2. I cannot control others
3. My life is full
4. My new hydrangea bushes are looking healthy
5. My home is warm and cozy

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turning it over

Cold day the ocean is reflecting back a large chunk of sun.
The relatives have left for home at 9:30A and should make it to LA by 2:30.
It was nice spending time with them.
I admire their willingness to be a part of the family.
The boy's father passed away this year from affects of a serious drug addiction.
He was a highly functioning doctor he had his choice of drugs and most days took advantage of this opportunity.
Due to visa problems the boy could not attend his fathers funeral. My father crossed the RR tracks and was killed by a train on the day I left for Eritrea.
My first documentary project going solo. It took months to plan the film as the country had been involved in an ongoing thirty year war. There was no internet at that time it was very time consuming to plan. I too could not attend my fathers funeral but his image visited me in dreams in Asmara. I found his image comforting it gave me relief to dialog with him in my unconscious life. Today I can still recall his image from those talks. He wore a tuxedo and looked so handsome. He was sober the last ten years of his life. My struggles have added to my life it all depends on the perspective I choose to take. Some of my gifts have taken me down to depths of self but this led me to Alanon, and meditation.

M is a caring person I look at him and remember the struggles I had at his age.
His mother is the martyr which also disturbs me knowing this scenario as my mother jumped on the poor me vehicle. Again I need to stay out of detailing his problems.
Keep the focus on myself. HP is there for him and will never leave his inner most self.

It has been a few days since I have been to a meeting. Looks like I need to get
myself into the rooms and receive some experience, strength and hope.

I once viewed my life as a victim and was powerless over what life dealt me.Today I know I have choices and a tool box that is with me no matter what happens.
My program has enriched my view on life, I am a wider deeper person. Turning it over the HP. Going to get ready for a brunch.

"When it gets dark enough you can see the stars" Charles Beard

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Take care

Tonight I sit with myself all guests have left. For the first time in years I had a nice Thanksgiving. We hosted the dinner relatives came from LA to join us.
They are nice kids I enjoy their company.
The girl has some anxiety issues that are pretty severe she goes into spins mostly in the morning. She jumps around arranging the day asking very detailed questions. I dont feel well today so I also began to spin with her. It was natural for me to detach which shocked me and I was able to take care of myself.

I am grateful for my program
Off to sleep

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sitting by the fire

Tonight I sit by the fire. We had a peaceful Thanksgiving. This is one of the gifts of the program and I am grateful.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Just fine

Wishing all a peace filled Holiday Season!
Had a wonderful day today despite my little disappointments.
Life is just fine this second.
Enjoyed Pema's wisdome before I joined the sleepers.



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dry Drunk

Woke up to a slow steady rain, fog surrounded the hills. We need water the garden is drinking it up in gulps. Turned on the stove for the espresso pot to boil up the ethiopian drink of the day. My life was calm the committee began with it's wake up calls, I counted my breaths. I tried not to attach to the insanity that took place in my brain. This is one of my big struggles for the past year my negative self talk. Surrender to HP and trust, I also do the footwork despite myself.
And yes I try to keep a good sense of humor and laugh.
I don't have to figure it out there are tools to be used just for this purpose. The program surrounds me guiding me through the day.

I headed out to a meeting first thing to begin the day. A newcomer shared his pain of living without drugs and alchohl. He is filled with rage he mentions. As his share progressed he mentioned a sponsor is not in his plans or working the 12 steps.
I make sure to turn around to take a look at this fellow, it must be painful to run on a dry drunk.
How do I know? Well I traveled the same halls for a few years willing myself sober every day.

ANALYSIS OF DRY DRUNK BEHAVIOR The alcoholic who rationalizes their own irresponsible behavior are also likely to find fault in the attitudes and behavior of others. Although not denying their own shortcomings, they attempt to escape notice by cataloging in great detail the transgressions of others.

It's important to be patient with others and myself. I am a perfectionist and in the past would judge others at times harshly.
The more I work a program the better able I can take care of myself.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Grateful

1. My HP is there for me 24/7
2. There is a plan trust it and - surrender
3. My camera is incredible and my shoulder mount was a great price
4. Most of the time - It's not about me
5. Husband is sleeping peacefully

I can push gratitude, and within a very short time, feel as I do writing this - hugely grateful for all my blessings.
TAAF

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grateful

1. For the ability to let go and trust there is a plan in the universe
2. 12 steps help to guide me through my day
3. I don't have to react to others One day at a time
4. There is a Zen Center Farm near my home and today a dharma talk
5. The tea I make is just right for the early morning

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” — Buddha

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Grateful

1. Had a wonderful day despite some negative committee lingo
2. My life is pretty good
3. Love my home it is comfortable, warm and clean
4. My garden is thriving
5. Enjoyed an art show next door, very talented youngsters
Liking some cartoon art


What Was Told, That
by Jalal al-Din Rumi
translated by Coleman Barks

What was said to the rose that made it open was said
to me here in my chest.

What was told the cypress that made it strong
and straight, what was

whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made
sugarcane sweet, whatever

was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in
Turkestan that makes them

so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush
like a human face, that is

being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in
language, that's happening here.

The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,
chewing a piece of sugarcane,

in love with the one to whom every that belongs!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Grateful

1. There is a plan in the universe
2. For this day it is perfectly beautiful in it's day like qualities
3. I have been given a curious nature
4. my husband
5. For my new espresso pot it makes a great cup of coffee


"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice." - Meister Eckhart

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Grateful


1. HP watches over all peoples including myself
2. Beautiful morning and it's warm sun
3. The program is always there for me even when I cant be there for myself
4. My living wall is growing and thriving
5. For friends love and support

A simple grateful thought turned heavenwards is the most perfect prayer.
Doris Lessing

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gratitude

Gratitude

1. Given this precious human body
2. That I can show up for my life by working a program
3. Can sit with my feelings in meditation
4. Mindfully respond to the moment
5. My husband is a separate being that HP watches over

“Real life isn’t always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgement of what is working in our lives can help us not only to survive but surmount our difficulties.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Iron Skillets

Woke up early had trouble sleeping last night. I counted my breathe to ease the anxiety. Not sure what was brewing in me but things didn't seem to mix well for a good nights sleep. The early morning brought some relief but oh then the committee started in. I reached into my bag of tools and pulled out the detach and turn it over to Hp wrench. It took some extra lovin to ease into the day.

The zen center was first on my stops. I sat near a friend who also works a 12 step program. He went into great detail about his facebook post of a potato gratin dish.
I tried to engage by bringing in my love of the iron skillet. They are an under rated
pan a treasure from the past.
Engaging in fellowship takes me out of myself. The room was full of frowning mediators sitting to try and make things right with their world.
These days I try and upturn my mouth when I meditate. Intention. Attitude of Gratitude.

The talk was on FEAR. I listened carefully but my mind was like a wild monkey thoughts came and went.
I fantasized about a work situation. Things are going well with my company but there are challenging moments. My breath brought me back into the moment. A young monk who sat in front of me was attractive, his robes looked like he might have surfed in them this morning.

This was my day time moved along I traveled through it. My life was comfortable today. This precious human life I was given had some serenity. Tonight is peaceful.
Rain pounds against the window music from the radio moves through my bedroom.

Gifts of the program turning it over to HP

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Went to an arts center for dinner tonight. It is an incredible deal with fresh food, artists, and a beautiful location. The night was warm the sky was full of stars.
I enjoyed myself it is nice to go out meet up with a good friend.
When I stay in the moment life seems to turn out fine whatever happens it works itself out.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Turning

Tonight I sat with myself in meditation. It felt nice to be present for myself before jumping into a trick or treat session with my three year old nephew. This is his first year in the United States. He is a cute boy I turn over alot to HP worrying about him.
Keep the focus on myself and not what they need to do for him.
He had alot of fun tonight dressed as a pirate, superman, spyderman.

Earlier I also listened to a Zen lecture regarding a Sejiki ceremony.
It has been a nice holiday thanks to the program I can sit more with my feelings.
Sejiki is a traditional Japanese Zen Buddhist ceremony for the spirits of departed ones. This powerful ceremony summons forth all restless spirits and pacifies agitation and violence within and without. It includes a reading of the names of close friends and family members who have died.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Apples

The sun warmed up the morning. I watched my garden thinking of fall plantings that need to get in the ground.
Birds ate seeds at a feeder while a hummingbird buzzed a bottle brush tree.
My apple tree is such a lovely jewel producing fruit each year. There are a few apples I left on the branches for further ripening.
Every McIntosh apple has a direct lineage to a single tree discovered in 1811 by John McIntosh on his farm in Dundela, a hamlet near Morrisburg, in Dundas County, Ontario, Canada.

I remembered a strong dream, it was clear full of messages. It involved friends that had disappointed me with their behaviors.
I felt compassion toward the women in the dream. They were similar in action to my mother.
Maybe someday I can find more forgiveness toward her. I am working on this issue in the program. It would be a lie to write i have forgiven her when this is not the case as of today.

I don't have to run though with this feeling. It is one of many feelings that I have it is not ruling my night. The boat is not heading down into the river of darkness and sorrow. This is really an incredible freedom given to me by working a program. I can watch these thoughts come and go. I do wish my mother a wonderful life full of peace. I wish myself a peaceful life. May all beings be happy may they live in peace and harmony.

Time for bed
Tired.

Purple

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Happiness

Tonight I am sitting with myself reading and listening to lectures on TED.
My class on Happiness at the Zen Center is forcing me to reach out and investigate for class work.The title itself annoys me...I told the teacher I am leery of Happiness.
I listen to Matthieu Ricard it fascinates me to learn more about mind training. Alanon has helped pave the road to a new way of being with myself. The pure consciousness that lies under each human before it is covered over to deal with the world. Showing up for my life and doing the footwork all else follows.
Classes stretch my life.

Today I went swimming with my dear friend of many years. She brought her boyfriend, the Alcoholic along. As time progresses with her Alcoholic boyfriend she is more difficult to be around. The rage shoots out of her mouth. Yet today I called her and wanted to spend the day with her.
It is frustrating listening to her talk negatively to her boyfriend. Alanon is a progressive disease, I see it in myself and today in her.
My part in this is I know my friend is suffering from the disease. She is choosing not to get help for her life. I have a choice to continue to be her friend and set boundaries for myself or I can choose not to be around her anymore.
What boundaries can I set?

I practice compassion for myself as I watch a dear friend turn into a demonic monster from to the disease of Alcoholism. I will turn it over to HP tonight. Everyone has a HP -she he it- will watch over her just as they watch over me.


Matthieu Ricard
Consciousness is like a mirror that allows all images to rise on it. You can have ugly faces, beautiful faces in the mirror. The mirror allows that, but the mirror is not tainted, is not modified, is not altered by those images. Likewise, behind every single thought there is the bare consciousness, pure awareness.
So, because the basic fabric of consciousness is this pure cognitive quality that differentiates it from a stone, there is a possibility for change because all emotions are fleeting.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Accept Yourself

Began the day with a nice cup of ethiopian espresso, made at home. I jumped into my car to pick up media to deliver to a client. This client N has become a friend of mine, last month her husband passed from cancer. As all this delivering was whizzing by in my life the sky turned blue the sun began to glitter through the few remaining clouds.
It has been challenging sorting, scanning and placing photos of T for his memorial. I knew T when he was barely able to create sentences his vibrant life has been swept away by cancer.
After the delivery I had to troubleshoot the electronics to assure everything would go smooth. Things did not proceed as planned most times they don't with new equipment. Her parents, dog and brother in law were swirling around us as I tried to keep an order to the troubleshooting. Hours passed and in the end it all seemed to work out we will see what unfolds tomorrow.

What does the program teach me when dealing with death, expectations, and worry...Turn it over sister to HP before another negative feeling emerges to add fire. My business partner is one on the bonfire I forgot to mention. Feelings are not facts.
I like to step back and let god take care of me tonight. Yes I am repeating myself I still mistrust the universe holds me in a loving caring manner.


“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This too shall pass

Returned last night from ten days in New York. I enjoyed my time staying with friends and relatives. Fall is a time of melancholy for me life is moving in a new direction. I sat in the warm sun many times being present for myself with not much tripping into the past or future. This is the beauty of vacations some time of rest both emotionally and physically. My minds chatter seemed less by not having it's key to begin the committee sessions.
Going to an Alanon meeting in New York was rewarding knowing the program is there for me when I reach out.
Gazing around the room I noticed a woman from meetings out west. Nice to see familiar faces.

I like to also believe working my program has brought me moments of serenity and I am able to feel it.
Gratitude for my life and the deepening and widening of my emotional self.

My friend and I are still working through a dark patch but I trust the universe has a plan for both of us.

Fall Season back East

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Turning it over

Speaking too soon on a blog about how things were going well for me. Yesterday I was feeling productive but had a slight migraine which turned bad towards the middle of the day. I took a pill which cured the pain and this allowed me to go out to dinner with a new acquaintance. I felt fragile physically though but didn't want to let her down. We've had so many broken dinner dates. We sat outside a restaurant she suggested which was closed. I mentioned to her doesn't look like it is opening
maybe we should check the sign? We walked across the street to another restaurant.

There was an uncomfortable edge through the meal, she was high I believe. Then she mentioned a planned vacation with a good friend of mine, this vacation break was also suggested to me. I began to feel rejected, unworthy, and less than on many levels now I realize. 1. She was high and really wasn't present. 2. Maybe I shouldn't have gone when I wasn't feeling up to par. Learning to take care of myself is important. I begin to feel sorry for myself and retreat into a world of self pity. This spiral is very painful full of horrible torturing reruns. There are program tools to help guide me.

This morning writing about my night helps give me relief. Sitting in mediation might be in the works. Learning to have compassion for where I am at in recovery is healing. Turning my will and my life over to HP. We will know a new freedom and happiness. It is rewarding and difficult to wake up to my life in a new way. Turning with life a sufi dancer....

Pema Chodron

Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have.


Dzigar KongtrĆ¼l: That’s quite right. Your attitude in the moment will determine whether you use the experience to manifest positive qualities or enhance your negativity.

To have positive attitudes under negative circumstances undercuts the power of the negative circumstances. Rather than falling down and then trying to get up again out of desperation, only to slip on the same thing, except harder, you can take a positive attitude toward your suffering and pain. The problem is that when you are hit with pain, it is so easy to act automatically. So, you need to go through a little bit of a withdrawal process, to learn to simply be with the experience rather than react or try to fix it. Once you get some strength to just be with the experience, then the experience of the pain will begin to lose some of its solidity and power, which gives you a chance to reorganize your whole mind. In the end, you might actually come to appreciate the pain.

This is written by a master but what it gives me is a new approach to deal with negative feelings. Feelings are not Facts.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Giving rise to peace

Had a full day at the Zen Center retreat. It was a beautiful fall day, sunny and warm.
Sitting with a room full of women in silence is rewarding and challenging. My mind clings to the annoying one in the room.
She wants to leave and ride her bike it's too nice a day to sit inside. I wanted to wake her up! Walk through it lady with your
head up, is the first thing that came to me. I picked up my chair and moved away from her, I just didnt want to get caught in the net. In the corner I heard her mention needing to leave shortly.
Despite my clinging to the negative "one" it was a beautiful day. In the past these situations would spoil my days. Hiding out behind the disappointment is a place that I choose not to reside, of course just for today.
Today was satisfying, full and sometimes sad. A full range of feelings came up for me. The gift of the program allows a full range of feelings to arise and then I might be able to identify them.

As the day began I heard a small voice whimpering,"I thought I would be cured by now. It is not going to happen this time around."
Yes I wanted the pill to make my life full of daisies and Doris Day movie tunes.
What has taken me down to the depths of who I am is teaching me lessons that would not be examined otherwise.
I do have an incredible life today.

One topic we covered today was Equanimity. It is one of the most sublime emotions of Buddhist practice. It is the ground for wisdom and freedom and the protector of compassion and love. While some may think of equanimity as dry neutrality or cool aloofness, mature equanimity produces a radiance and warmth of being. The Buddha described a mind filled with equanimity as “abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will.”

The English word “equanimity” translates two separate Pali words used by the Buddha. Each represents a different aspect of equanimity.

The most common Pali word translated as “equanimity” is upekkha, meaning “to look over.” It refers to the equanimity that arises from the power of observation, the ability to see without being caught by what we see. When well-developed, such power gives rise to a great sense of peace.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Compassion

Detachment with love allows us to hate the disease of alcoholism, yet step back from that disease in order to find love for the alcoholic.

Speaking with my brother today on the phone filled me with sadness, anger and disappointment. He was in AA for over twenty years but after back surgery became addicted to scrips due to pain. He is in the disease. I can not cure him. HP is watching over him and I am not God.

Tonight I will practice compassion. I will extend love and kindness first to myself and then offer it out to others.

One day at a time

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It seems to be fine

I am enjoying tangents radio tonight. Ole Dore Stein draws me into his world with music from around the world. I listen to Ravi Shankar Indian tunes such dreamy night music.
Feelings come up melancholy, happy, satisfied, sad, they float in and the float out of my mind. Getting to know myself more as I work my program gives me gifts.
Sitting without wanting to be somewhere else is one luxurious Alanon gift.
Anywhere was better than where I was at in the past. Meditation, sitting with me is
healing, It's all fine and dandy right here.
There are the crazy girls ready to dive into the pool of anxiety but not tonight.

My neighbors dog is barking outside it echoes through the neighborhood.
Probably has cornered a raccoon so many out and about these days.

Just for tonight I am content
It's been a nice night

Fred Neil---

Monday, September 5, 2011

Conflict

Beautiful day went swimming to spend some time in the sun. When it is foggy on the coast I hop in my car drive across the bridge and hope for better weather. Not more than fifteen minutes away usually the sun is shining.
Good thing as it has been a cool summer.
My apple tree is full of crisp fruit getting ready for a harvest in a month.
The lemon tree has not fared well due to our cooler temperatures. I notice ants are also harvesting aphids on the tree. This will require some attention they are aggressive creatures.

I drove to an Alanon meeting today not a soul in the room. The next room over housed a single fella from DA we chatted for a bit. In retrospect it might have been nice to combine the meetings for an hour and share our experience strength and hope.
We both left the church I walked back to my car.

This Wednesday is my weekly AA Buddhist meeting with my sponsor. It has been nice meeting with her once a month studying both Buddhist literature along with AA.
She is teaching a happiness class which I hope to be a part of.
My home group meets on the same night as the class. Unfortunately for me as I enjoy my group but I also like to take the class. To top it all off my favorite recovery Buddhists teachers have been quarreling with each other for over six months. They have been the best of friends for over thirty years, now they pass in silence to each other in the halls.
They live two doors down from one another at the Center.
The monk wants nothing to do anymore with his dear old friend.
It saddens me to watch the disintegration. Is this what the program means?
In some ways this is where they are in their recovery I get to keep the focus off their quarrel. They obviously have an HP..But what the fuck happened to them?
Both are wonderful people who cant get along. It is like a divorce.
Nothing remains the same maybe one day it will shift.

It has helped me to read recovery literature. These days I prop up at night with Loving Kindness by Sharon Salzberg.
The difference between misery and happiness depends on what we do with our attention.
Do we in the midst of water look for something elsewhere to drink? Transformation comes from looking deeply within.

The pit in my stomach reoccurred this weekend, old feelings came into play.
It was different though the self hatred has softened. The fella is still running the race but the rules are changing. Learning to have patience with this part of who I am.

Tonight I read this quote send it out into the blogger world in cyberland

I teach one thing and only one: that is, suffering and the end of suffering.
the Buddha

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Taking Care of Buisness

Taking care of business means keeping the focus on myself. I try my best to have compassion toward myself. Negative self talk is one of my character defects which haunts me like a bad circus ride.

Recently I have gone through quite a bit of loss. This is where my program gave me the ability to have compassion toward the raging alcoholic my stepfather. H was most of the time rude, angry and a racist. My mother would speak in low whispers around him as he would listen to her every word. Often times there was a feeling of uncertainty surrounding his presence, you never knew what would happen. My mother was a victim again and H was the perpetrator. This was the same story line she had with my father. I followed her lead my father was the bad guy. My relationship with my Dad was strained although at the end of his life we did get a chance to talk. He went to AA trying his best to get sober. Although at his retirement store he did sell pot...oops he tried his best. I am still learning to accept my mother in the disease. My mother does not drink, I have never seen her drunk.

It has been difficult to care for my mother in her untreated Alanon life. There has never been much care and love from her. I get sad writing this but I do know she has done the best she can. She herself was raised by two drunks who did not work a program. What can I do about my feelings toward my Mom to take care of myself?

I go to meetings on a regular basis, work the steps, have a sponsor, and do service. Reaching out to the new person is also very important. I share my experience strength and hope. I can still have a great life whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not. My happiness is up to me to take care of. I try to remember to work my 12th step turning it over to HP. I have learned to sit with my feelings and not react to others outbursts. Most of all there is a new freedom although small that has become a part of my life.

From Kevin Griffins book One Breathe at a Time

Turning our will over means that we now are clear about how we want to live, that we've committed ourselves to living skillfully and wisely. That doesn't mean we'll always succeed (far from it), but it does mean that we know what direction we want to be aimed, and when we lose our way we know how to get back. In the same way that when we are meditating and get lost in thought, when we realize that's happened, we come back to the breath, to our intention to be present. This shift of intention has a profound effect on the direction of our lives.


Friday, August 26, 2011


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Monday, August 22, 2011

True self

The meeting topic tonight was on theft. There are various forms to stealing intentional acts or unintended acts. How do we work our steps around these issues. One fourth step for me using the Blue Print for Progress gave me insight into my character. When I hurt myself by stealing
the world around me also suffers. Keeping my victim self alive requires food. This means I don't have enough nor am I enough. The program gives me back my life, it allows my true self to emerge.

A beautiful story was told regarding giving to the thief...similar to La Misreable.
Generous action breaks the thief. Working with sponsees gives me insight into the building of character defects. I hear them mention how worthless they are, liars, thieves the list is endless. In all this I hear myself and the horrible self talk I practice which keeps my alanonic self alive. Generous giving to my sponsees by sitting and listening to them share thier program is rewarding. This action teaches me to also be loving toward myself one day at a time.

Suzuki Roshi said, "When we think we do not posses something, then we want to steal. But actually everything in the world belongs to us so there is no need to steal." He took his glasses as an example. "They do not belong to me or to you, or they belong to all of us. But you know about my tired old eyes so you let me use them." This attitude of just using whatever we have without identifying it as mine, or belonging to me, is helpful in loosening up the solidity or fixedness of what we think of as the self. When we treat our possessions and even our body as something we have been given temporarily to take care of and use, then we won’t have such a strong tendency to define who we are by what we have.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Taking care of ourselves

Just arrived home from a beautiful trip up north to the Hot Springs. It is such a beautiful spot
two hours drive. There is a large swimming mineral pool, hot plunge, cold plunge and saunas. Hot water bubbling up from a volcanic source soothes the soul. I particular like to rest in the hot pool and then jump into the cold plunge and begin again.

I camp it is nice sleeping outside it relaxes and comforts me. This is not the roughing it kind of camping I bring a thin mattress with good bedding. The stars are incredible in the city they lost. A woman today mentioned it is good for the body to sleep near the earth. Sleeping with the night sounds of animals, insects and water in a stream relaxes me deeply. I feel so refreshed when I wake up in the morning.


There are no cell phone towers or computers allowed. Grateful I get to relax in such a beautiful environment. Taking care of myself means allowing vacations to be a part of my plan.
My HP is there for my partner when I am away. I am learning to trust things work out just the way they are supposed to. I can have gratitude in my life shifting the negative attitude that was my storyline it keeps the disease alive.

"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances." Martha Washington






Sunday, August 14, 2011

The world has it's own magic

Went to an insightful film tonight "Another Earth." I was moved by the storyline which took me deeper into concepts of personal exploration. The idea of perceptions, having to let go to become more aware, illusions, being able to look at who you are with an objective lens, these were just a few of the ideas I gathered up in a bundle. At times I feel as if I comprehend a new way of looking at the world. This knowing is brief. Building up my moments helps guide me through the trouble times.

My storyline is held together by past events that i cling to as my life. But i do know there are promises of the program, the unraveling is slow...a new freedom and happiness.
Underneath it all is a where understanding, acceptance and serenity rest.

Going to Alanon meetings allows me to deal with my disease. If I can stay present life seems to feel much better.

Suzuki-roshi says: "The world is its own magic"—


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Let Go

Just trying to keep it simple today. Don't feel I had better attend my Alanon meeting tonight.
Taking care of myself means being mindful of how I feel physically also.

This regular Tuesaday meeting that I loved in the past is becoming a challenge for me. One particular member who has 24 years in the rooms regularly declares she has not worked a step.
Just last week she declared again that she hasn't worked a step.
Her partner does work the steps ? They are cornerstones of this one particular meeting.
I have spoken to my Sponsor about my issue with this particular person. I have not revealed her name to anyone nor will I.
I keep reminding myself, "Principals before personalities".
She is leading the group but not working a program. I count on the rooms to guide me. It is difficult to trust in some situations.
Am I attaching to this one particular situation that does not work to distance myself from the rooms? I do attend several meetings during the week.

I will sit with the discomfort and watch myself around this issue. Maybe I will find another meeting to attend. I do have choices around this problem. Keeping the focus on myself and not attaching to her problem will be a big lesson for me.I am powerless over her recovery program.

This is where I turn it over to my HP and meditate.
Let Go and Let God










Sunday, August 7, 2011

3 c's

Wonderful hike today with friends. I stayed at home for half of the day then made a phone call to friends. They suggested a hike I decided to take care of myself I left and let Y have his time at home working. He mentioned I work with him on a project. His need to work seven days a week is not my choice on how I want to spend my Sunday. Instead I hiked a beautiful trail with friends in the mountains. I tried my best to detach with love from Y. Turning my will and my life over to the care of HP as I understand. Trying to keep the focus on me helps the whole situation. What can I do to take care of myself in the moment.

In the past I felt responsible for his workaholic choices. What had I done to cause our relationship to suffer? Everything was my fault.

Lately I again notice some anger arise toward him regarding his constant need to work. I don't have to fix him is one of my mantras. He complains constantly about his employees and his life. I get sad when I hear about his anxiety. He has a HP just as I do. I begin the vigilant watch over his behavior. He calls me a cop and it might be true. I am watching him to do something wrong so I can vent. This gives me a chance to release steam that has been built up.

The three c's
Didn't cause it, can’t cure it, and can’t control it. We begin to learn the basic Al-Anon premise of taking our focus off of the alcoholic and keeping the focus on ourselves.

Sitting in meditation helps me take care of myself. Having a meditation program is a tool I can take with me wherever I go.




Sunday, July 31, 2011

Valuable

Today the sky was filled with fog..I woke up a little frantic, sad, with feelings of loneliness as time progressed it lifted. These feelings used to be common for me each weekend was to be endured.
With time some of my character defects have lifted. No longer must we each depend on our own unsteady will power. Turning my life over to HP on a daily basis allows my world to unfold just as it's supposed to.
I walked in my new shoes to the Asian Art Museum to see an exhibit. It was nice to take care of myself without expecting others to fill me up. What a difficult position to put others in as I
have in the past. I made a phone call to my sponsor but she was in a retreat and unable to answer. Things ended up being just fine I listened to museum guided walks.

Having gratitude also is a good reminder of what I do have in my life. In so many ways I am grateful ... There are many women who struggle in the world for a simple glass of water. I take it for granted that tomorrow will be fresh safe water to drink flowing out the tap.

Alanon has given me many gifts. Tonight I have some serenity and realize one day at a time works for me.

" I am learning to treat myself as valuable. I find that when I practice long enough I begin to believe it."
In All Our Affairs


Monday, July 25, 2011

Counting Breath

When the student is ready the teacher appears. Zen Buddhist

In meditation I sit and try not to attach to all the story lines that whirl through my mind. Tonight I couldn't relax. This used to be a constant state of being for me.
Not attaching to my feelings is freeing, it's a shift of how I am in the world.
This allows me to stay in the present, when this happens I feel peaceful.

Counting my breaths helps to keep my focus.
From one to ten.
This moment is all I have, the past and the present are gone..


So I would propose a very simple practice to you, the practice of mindful breathing: "Breathing--I know that I am breathing in; breathing--I know that I am breathing out." If you do that with a little concentration, then you will be able to really be there, because in our daily life our mind and our body are rarely together. Our body might be there, but our mind is somewhere else. Maybe you are lost in regrets about the past, maybe in worries about the future, or else you are preoccupied with your plans, with anger or with jealousy. And so your mind is not really there with your body.
Between the mind and the body, there is something that can serve as a bridge. The moment you begin to practice mindful breathing, your body and your mind begin to come together with one another. It takes only 10 to 20 seconds to accomplish this miracle called oneness of body and mind. With mindful breathing, you can bring body and mind together in the present moment, and every one of us can do it, even a child.




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Peace

Today I felt ill at ease, sad really. A dear friend's husband passed away after a long battle with cancer. They live down the street, I have dropped by spending time with her family.
Such sadness fills her eyes. She has many friends stop by during the day dropping off food.
Her brothers in law have surrounded her. I watch them down cocktails on every visit.
They look so well put together why do they need to drink so much?
This is where I keep the focus on myself. What they do is none of my business.
It saddens me to think they have to check out in life.

With my sadness it is a good opportunity to become more mindful. Watch where I try to hide out when feelings come up for me.
Recently I looked up the word Equanimity which is often used in Buddhist teachings.
Equanimity is a state of mental or emotional stability or composure arising from a deep awareness and acceptance of the present moment.
Just for today I will try to be present and not run from my feelings.

No one can bring your peace but yourself.
Emerson

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Teachings are everywhere

Beautiful day today the sun lasted till 8:30P ...It began with fog and ended with golden rays.
That is the beauty of life it can end in ways I can't even fathom.

A friend stayed with me this week from Nashville. We were good friends and have remained so over the years. She pursued her music career and I followed film. Her boyfriend broke up with her leaving her with a broken heart or should I say withdrawing from her fix. It was difficult watching her go through crying fits along with self pity bouts. In all of her madness I tried to stay present for me and still have compassion for her struggles. I watched her, a woman now in her fifties act even crazier today in relationships than she did in her thirties. The Alanon disease has progressed as it does with time if untreated. HP is always with her, when she is ready the program will be there.

As she was driving fifty miles an hour down the freeway wailing, a sponsee called me. I answered the phone listening to someone who works a program.
God works in mysterious ways. It was just what I needed to hear grounding me into the moment.

Hoping that my old friend can show up for herself and work a program. I can not force her into recovery but I have benefited greatly from this commitment made in my life. What can I do to help take care of her it to take care of myself. People learn from my example when they are ready to see it.

"Today I will keep my hands off and keep my focus where it belongs , on me"
In All Out Affairs

"Buddhas teaching is everywhere. Teaching is in each moment in every existence"
Suzuki Roshi

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Staying present

Today I ran along the ocean trail navigating crowds of family's sharing the same path.
When I arrived home my sponsor called me back I didn't want to answer the phone but I did anyway. I try to answer calls when I can it keeps me showing up and not avoiding.

I gave her the rundown on my character defect " negative self talk." This record plays far less than it had in the past but the music still spins in my head. I have to say it is painful to wake up to it some mornings and today was one of the bad days. In the past I would have spun with it deeper and invited this conversation to stay a while.
Today it lasted a few hours. As the day progressed the voice was quieter, I sat and even meditated for ten minutes. Not running from my feelings is progress. Compassion for where I am at is healing.
It is only when we begin to relax with ourselves as we are that meditation becomes a transformative process. When we relate with ourselves without moralizing, without harshness, without deception, we finally let go of harmful patterns. Without maitri, renunciation of old habits becomes abusive. This is an important point. Pema Chodron



Nurturing our lives

Meeting up with old friends these days visiting from the East. It was sad having both friends leave it was as if a piece of me went with them. Tonight we went to a Chinese restaurant and chatted of old times while eating soup dumplings. The meal was great I watched as they drank a bottle of wine another glass was poured for me. I had no desire to join them in the drinking offering my drink to S.
It has taken a deep commitment learning to be with me so at this point I am not interested in leaving my body. Learning slowly what nurtures my life and how to take care of me unfolds daily. I expected others to take care of my as I sacrificed so much for them. This was my disease working.
Tomorrow more guests hope to attend an Alanon meeting like to connect with others working a program.

Better to keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world. Geroge Bernard Shaw

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Forgiveness

Today flew by ... I had a difficult day with feeling unwanted, unloved but pulled myself out of the old groove by going to a meeting. Some days I forget the small voice in the back whispering old familiar slogans " your defective" "you are unlovable" so on and so forth.

We have relatives in town from NY they are visiting another family member R who lives ten minutes away.Although we went to University together we don't communicate. I have made efforts in the past to R but they were ignored. I use this as a way to prove to the old self the whisper messenger was right I am not worthy of love. My victim-hood is reinstated and the disease is alive.
This is sick but at least a part of me realizes I am playing out a story line. Working the program has given me insight into the workings of my insanity.

To be honest R and I were never close. We are very different people. But I choose situations to feed my monster, he needs food to keep the addiction alive.
Tonight I am going to pray for R and also myself. I deserve care and support and the first person I look to is myself. With the help of the program learning how to care deeply is revealed.
We will enjoy a new freedom and happiness.

I have a HP that loves me as I am. When I learn to love myself as my HP loves me, I believe I am doing God's will.

THE PRACTICE OF TONGLEN

two children and adult with candleIn order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves.

In particular, to care about other people who are fearful, angry, jealous, overpowered by addictions of all kinds, arrogant, proud, miserly, selfish, mean —you name it— to have compassion and to care for these people, means not to run from the pain of finding these things in ourselves. In fact, one's whole attitude toward pain can change. Instead of fending it off and hiding from it, one could open one's heart and allow oneself to feel that pain, feel it as something that will soften and purify us and make us far more loving and kind.

The tonglen practice is a method for connecting with suffering —ours and that which is all around us— everywhere we go. It is a method for overcoming fear of suffering and for dissolving the tightness of our heart. Primarily it is a method for awakening the compassion that is inherent in all of us, no matter how cruel or cold we might seem
to be.


true Nature

Almost at the finale with the doc reviews. I will have to drive to the office of the director for my final scores. This last event involves the ability to recount the film's assets and failures.
I have done this in the past my memory was sharp but I wasnt working my program very well.
What does this have to do with working a program you might ask?
It has to do with speaking up for myself without feeling ashamed. Yes I felt that speaking up meant that I had to be willing to make mistakes publicly. My core belief was shame of who I was.

I am not responsible for what people think of me. If I am setting a right intention and doing the footwork with my program Hp has a plan for my life.
tonight i can go to sleep knowing Hp is here within me

Suzuki Roshi
The only way to understand or to realize our true nature is just through practice. Without true practice it is impossible to realize our true nature. Of course, what we do, whether we are aware of it or not, what we do in our everyday life is based on true—our true nature. True nature drive us to do something, but if you do not understand, or if you do not realize your true—what is true nature, and if you have no system to know the actual meaning of your true nature, you will get into confusion.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Care taking

Tired tonight trying to rest today. It was a busy day finishing up compiling round one of documentary films for a festival. There is an elderly woman from Alanon that I invited into the jury. She is not showing up in a way that is needed for the festival. We were to submit our final decisions today and she didn't have her list completed, the other members had to wait around as she scrambled to get it together. I felt like her mother.
She decided to go out and listen to Jazz last night instead of complete her submissions.
I have to step out of my expectations. I had to guide her through her list making. Was I care taking her? In some ways .... I have been gently guiding her through the process this being her first time to jury films. She is a literary agent and very clever for her 77 years but lacks a cinematic language.
Maybe I expect too much from her? This is where I work my program. Step back from her problem and look at my part in this episode.
One step at a time
Trust there is a HP who takes care of us all




Saturday, June 4, 2011

Passings

It was a difficult challengin week. H family is involved in politics in the old old country. His uncle passed away after years of fighting the government publicly. He was in and out as a political prisoner for over thirty years. I have to say he wasn't my favorite person but I admired him. But his daughter H I did both like and admire. She was a devoted political activist fighting injustices openly in public. Her latest prison sentence was fighting voter fraud and it got her two years in prison. She was not afraid of the government speaking out against injustice was her life's calling. The goverment let her out of prison to attend her fathers funeral. As the family walked toward the cemetery she was killed by secret police. H's sister was by her side as the secret police beat her, she died shortly afterward. The police placed her body in an unmarked grave to hide the evidence. She knew the dangers speaking out meant and was not afraid.
I mourn her passing tonight in this blog.



May I be filled with loving kindness,
May I be well,
May I be peaceful and at ease,
May I be happy (or free from suffering.

May you be filled with loving kindness,
May you be well,
May you be peaceful and at ease,
May you be happy (or free from suffering).

May all beings be filled with loving kindness,
May all beings be well,
May all beings be peaceful and at ease,
May all beings be happy (or free from suffering).

- Loving Kindness Metta -

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Restless

It was a soft day full of gardening then ending with a walk on the beach. I began the day feeling anxious wishing I had attended a retreat yesterday. I was tired though and felt I needed rest more. This is what happens somedays I don't feel content. I end up thinking I should have done something else than what I chose. I remember this too shall pass..Sometimes I get caught up in trying to figure it out when HP has a plan and I can always turn it over.

Restless Irritable and Discontent
Spiritual progress turning my life over to the care of HP
This is where I work my program do the footwork


"When you are practicing Zazen meditation do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in and go out, it will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears that the something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind and if you are not bothered by waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer...Many sensations come, many thoughts or images arise but they are just waves from your own mind, Nothing comes from outside your own mind...If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm. This mind is called big mind."
Suzuki Roshi in Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Turning it over to HP

The day is ending with a rain. I look out at the ocean watching the golden light the last of the day. The sun sets and another day as ended.
It was a difficult weekend. Our translators husband is in his final days on earth. N has worked tirelessly for our documentary. It was a practice in letting go and turning to HP to sit with him as he cried. He can no longer put sentences together a man who translated Russian space documents.
I realize his passing challenges me to look at life. A japanese friend commented when my grandmother was passing "remember without death there is no life." This sentence calmed me years ago sitting in a hospital waiting room.
Turning it over to HP who has a plan for the universe frees me to be present without worry and anxiety. If I can sit with him without trying to fix it this is a great gift I can give to him in these last days.


May I be well, happy, and peaceful.
May my teachers be well, happy, and peaceful.
May my parents be well, happy, and peaceful.
May my relatives be well, happy, and peaceful.
May my friends be well, happy, and peaceful.
May the indifferent persons be well, happy, and peaceful.
May the unfriendly persons be well, happy, and peaceful.
May all meditators be well, happy, and peaceful.
May all beings be well, happy, and peaceful.

If you wish, add the following prayer:
"Om Mani Padme Hum" ("Hail to the jewel in the lotus")

Friday, May 13, 2011

Acceptance

It was a long day today. I was lucky to end it all with a meeting and mediation.
Knowing that this meeting was going to end my day helped bring me peace.
Letting my mind rest with the moment is freedom. Thoughts move in and out
I watch them and try not to ride the pony. But I get caught up and put on the bridle.

Suzuki Roshi states mediation is one big mistake. We count our breathe and then get lost and start all over again.
In our daily lives and meditation practice we watch mistakes arise and try to deal with them with acceptance and kindness. Kevin Griffin

Gratitude
1. for my life today
2. This too shall pass helped me get through the day



Sunday, May 8, 2011

I am not responsible for others happiness

Agnostic and Freethinkers
Today I decided to check out a new meeting in my neighborhood. Unfortunately I sat between two very large men, this was uncomfortable but I stayed needing the rooms today.
I ended up seeing my florist who I liked never knowing she was one of us. This weekend I made several calls to my sponsor it was good to connect to her. She has been there for me. R made a couple of comments which brought me back into the moment.
Alanon is a good program it has helped me enormously.

H is in one of his rages working too many hours. This uncomfortable place with H is where I get to work my program. My life has changed and the way I react has shifted.
In the past I felt so responsible to make him feel better, especially about me. His big bait to engage me is verbally downgrading who I am and what a failure I am etc etc. It is sad to read this but I was given Alanon to guide me through these difficult lessons. What H thinks of me is none of my business. Love this saying because I care so much at the expense of my serenity. Being freed today of one my character defects I have compassion for myself. Sitting with myself in meditation helps me to learn acceptance. In my mind I do believe that I am responsible for his happiness. Also I can be upset with H and still love him. He is in charge of his happiness. I am but a mere mortal .......oh my

I am enjoying my night reading blogs and getting ready to listen to Buddhist lectures.
I have a HP who loves me as I am.
"He who would have beautiful roses in his garden must have beautiful roses in his heart"


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Zen

"The way to ascend unto God is to descend into one's self"; — these are Hugo's words. "If thou wishest to search out the deep things of God, search out the depths of thine own spirit"; — this comes from Richard of St. Victor. When all these deep things are searched out there is after all no "self" where you can descend, there is no "spirit", no "God" whose depths are to be fathomed. Why? Because Zen is a bottomless abyss. Zen declares, though in somewhat different manner: "Nothing really exists throughout the triple world; where do you wish to see the mind (or spirit, *hsin*)? The four elements are all empty in their ultimate nature; where could the Buddha's abode be? — but lo! the truth is unfolding itself right before your eye. This is all there is to it — and indeed nothing more!" A minute's hesitation and Zen is irrevocably lost. All the Buddhas of the past, present, and future may try to make you catch it once more, and yet it is a thousand miles away.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Live in the Present

It is a wonderful night took an incredible restorative yoga class. I felt at peace and present for myself. This feeling of serenity felt like an eternity but it last probably only a few seconds.
Taking care of myself emotionally and physically is a gift I get to give myself due to working a program. When I take care of myself instead to thinking others should take care of me this is a shift.
I held strong resentments after taking care of others and then expecting them to take care of me in return. Well most of the time they never did return the favor and if they did it wasn't quite right for me. This helps keeps the disease alive. My happiness is my responsibility.

I like this quote from Alanon.
Living in the past is VICTIM, Living in the future is MANIPULATING. Live in the present.

Being content is an incredible experience. I have gratitude for the full life I live today. I can enjoy the fruits of this moment in the past I lived in lack of.............

“Be yourself because everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde



Saturday, April 23, 2011

Freedom

The topic tonight was anger. The speaker spoke of his well of anger which bubbles up from time to time. He watches it and tries not to ride the dragon or be a slave to his emotions. He is active in his recovery and I have been given alot of support from his experience, strength and hope.

I turned my anger inward which surfaced as depression. I was afraid of my anger my emotions were deeply hidden. It has taken quite a bit of time to bring them forth into my life into this moment. My parents did not hide their anger, in fact it was one of the few feelings that surfaced constantly.
My father was a violent man, cars were wrecked, my parents hit one another and I listened in fear. Some nights I wasn,t sure if my mother would be alive in the morning. At eighteen I left and never came back to my parents home.

My husband a work-aholic is also an angry man. I would tip toe around his feelings trying to avoid his down days. If he was mad I was mad it was horrible and I felt like a slave to his emotions. It was one of the lowest points in my life the year I came back into the rooms.

Today my life has slowly changed. My H can be upset and some days I can step back from his
feelings without riding them. I practice the three c's and let go. I fumble and make mistakes but I keep coming back. My program is not about perfection it is just me practicing my program.
Sitting with myself frees me and allows me to learn to be present for myself.

Gratitude

HP is always there for me, others and the world
Learning acceptance

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Watching

Mindfulness meditation has value in two distinct ways for people in recovery. First as a way to bring some calm and serenity into the heart and mind. People in recovery, especially newcomers, experience a lot of stress, and having a regular meditation practice goes a long way toward reducing that stress. The second way mindfulness meditation helps is by giving us insight into our destructive mental and emotional habits. When we take time to carefully watch our thoughts, we begin to see how we create many of our own problems, and we learn to let go.

Tonight was a good meeting. A newcomer that left for a few weeks was back with her rage and grief. Sitting beside her tonight reminded me of my childhood. She spoke of her place in the family as the raging child. It felt scary sitting beside her. She cussed, screamed and cried.
We told her to keep coming back it gets better. I can make this promise to her it does get better....

As a young adult I raged and lashed and withdrew and then left. That was how I dealt with my feelings abandoning myself. In recovery I get to come back to me. Within I am still there waiting for the return. Sitting in meditation helps me to quite my mind or at least watch the thoughts and then detach from it all. Letting go turning it all over to HP. I dont have to figure it all out HP is there waiting.


Gratitude
for HP being able to sit with myself



Annie

Annie