Zen Mornings 11/26/11
Yesterday I learned that staying present begins to happen on its own with no effort from me to bring myself back. Last night, at an event with dozens of amazing artists work, music, colorful people, and wide eyes and great energy, my mind was so alert, so there. I felt calm, confident with absolutely nothing to fear. I thoroughly enjoyed being there, there was no reason not to because nothing pulled my mind away from exactly where I was. I look forward to more of this.
Yesterday I learned that when thinking positively while living through a stressful situation, such as finding work and writing projects, there is nothing to fear. I put my feet forward and applied to everything I was even remotely qualified for. In the past, this financial situation I am in currently and the stress of finding a job would be just about do me in. I would be a pile of stress, negativity, and teary eyes. This time, I stayed present in the task of searching for work, stayed positive when the future did pop into my mind, and calmly allowed thoughts of the future to move along, like a passing cloud, not allowing myself to dwell. This seems scary at first. It seemed like by not worrying and stressing all day about the future, I wasn’t doing enough work! Absurd. It simply means I am allowing my mind to stay alert and strong, rather than let it wear down my spirit by worrying. Things have begun to happen. Great things. I will not stay and dwell on these things either– I will put hard work into it and see where it carries me. It’s kind of adventerous this way–life can feel like an exciting adventure rather than a scary unknown, if you let it. You get to choose, because our minds are free! (Really they are. No, really).
Yesterday I learned how quickly children are growing on me. This is absolutely terrifying, and startles me more than any other changes taking place by bringing Zen to my life. And how fast it grows! Perhaps much of it is biological, but I did not foresee going from extreme squirminess and mild disgust around babies and children, to being wide-eyed interested in a matter of less than two years. I still do not know how to act around them, but their lack of ego, their newness in this life, fascinates me.
Yesterday I learned that my entire life direction has changed. Maybe change isn’t the right word. My whole direction has formed. I had no idea where I was going before, not even a little. I turned in circles and back and forth again, with no clarity in my steps. I still want to head in many directions, but I know exactly what they are, and they are really quite simple, because I’ve begun to realize just how much I already have.
I don’t have a car or money. I’m in debt with friends and with student loans. I’m perpetually single. I own absolutely nothing of monetary value. Nothing. At. All. But my value and someone elses value might not be similar. What I consider value– good people, good times, creating, learning, teaching, exploring, and living, well– I’ve got this treasure by the boat loads. I am rich. And what I want in the “future?” Same. Except maybe to be free of debts, be traveling, and perhaps raise a child. Specifically and quietly, I work toward the freedom of earning my income by telecommuting, the ultimate lifestyle freedom for myself. I move toward this specific goal, but not pushing. Moving, freely as the wind. If I must change direction on my way, or if the direction changes for good, then I will happily move along with it.
Yesterday I learned that part of this change in direction is a result of Zen inevitably simplifying my desires. As I begin to see the way things are, the impermanence becomes clear. The importance of materialism is nonexistent. A basic understanding unfogs, and from that, anything can be simplified to deep that it dismantles before your eyes, and you can easily reconstruct it from the ground up, from its very foundation. This takes some “magic” out of some things, but, what feels like much more real magic is increased in other areas, in simply being alive.
Yesterday I learned that eating three leftover thanksgiving meals in a row while usually eating healthy makes for a very angry stomach.