Sunday, July 31, 2011


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


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.

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