Zen Mornings 12/12/11
Yesterday I learned that The Buddha taught about four states of mind in which one should reside–the Four Divine Abodes from which a nirvanic person relates to the world: Loving Kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity. My biggest struggle is that of sympathetic joy. The best example I can give for this, since the holidays are coming up, is celebrating in the joy of others as they celebrate Christmas. Coming from someone who looks at Christmas for what it has become rather than its meaning, this can be quite challenging. I witness the absurd increase in consumerism, the drooling mouths of corporate greed, the stress of putting together Christmas parties and big feasts, and the pressure of gift-giving. In my opinion, everyday should be celebrated with such enthusiasm as the holidays–which often seem to be nothing more than an excuse to binge on holiday food and give each other stuff we could have bought for ourselves, stuff we don’t need anyways. But in all of this, I have to remember the joy that comes from celebration–the happy children, the grandparents who live for days like Christmas, for days when they can finally see their entire family, and members of their family who are in school or never around. I have to remember the true believers of Christ and the Christian religion, and what a wonderful celebration of life and love this is for them. I have to remember the joyful, blissful, wholesome energy that will be released into the universe in mass amounts on Christmas morning. Just because the source of joy is not something I share, I can share in the bright eyes, smiles, warmth, and reunion that Christmas promotes. I can be happy because others are happy, and share in that happiness. I can understand what it is like to be joyful and blissful in my own life, for my own reasons, and remember how great it is when others are able to celebrate in my joy as well. What a wonderful feeling! It’s a feeling that I hope to promote this holiday season–Sympathetic Joy toward all beings.
Yesterday I learned that attraction is ruthless, silent, unknown. Attraction is sometimes shared– creating excitement, and sometimes not– creating desire. It can crush and destroy but it can also blossom into something fun, pleasurable, or even loving. It can take ones mind far out of the present moment, causing distraction. It can also turn into pure energy flow, and radiate the world’s natural compassion, joy, and love with its power. Attraction can be meaningless, meaningful and everything in between. It can be sensed but not grasped for–never a measurable entity. It can lead to suffering, and great happiness. It can be a useful tool for practicing the calmness of mind.
Yesterday I learned that nothing quite compares to the immense source of information and knowledge available on the internet. It has promoted infinite growth as a species -new ideas and new ways of thinking spread like wildfire. Sometimes, it can be a better source of information than what is available to us in our immediate area. Sometimes,something we need to know may not yet be common knowledge, but if we look to the internet, with the entire world participating, there are bound to be others that can help. That’s what it comes down to–the spread of information, the connection of life all across the world–our super brain grows, and it contributes to the growth of us All. Take a very small, but very important example. Pets can be a scary responsibility. You never know when they are going to need to be rushed to the emergency room, and for someone like me, who is very poor in this point of my life, this is very disconcerting. Two days ago, my dog began to favor his tail–it seemed to be causing him great distress, and he was constantly biting and liking it about half way down. It was also completely limp–he couldn’t lift or wag it–it looked like he may have even broken it but strangely, he showed no signs of pain when I touched it. He even walked a bit funny, right at the onset. After an hour of calling vet offices I received no help beyond “apply for this pet-health credit card and bring him in for an exam because we have no idea what’s wrong with his tail without seeing him.” After many calls of this, I realized that I hadn’t even tried to figure out for myself what it could be. I went into panic mode first. Upon a quick search for “limp dog tail, biting and liking”, my answer became clear. This is something common, known to owners but for some reason not to Vets, that occurs in Pointers, Labs and other hunting breeds. (Xander is a pointer/lab mix). The symptoms listed fit Xander dead-on. It is compared to extreme muscle soreness onset in humans. It can be caused by overuse of the tail (from hunting) or even cold water (Xander had an outdoor bath the day prior). Sure enough, just as everything said, it has been 2 days and he’s no longer favoring his tail. He still can’t wag it much but it should be back to normal in less than 2 weeks. All of that worry and no help from anyone in my area–but my answer waited for me in the giant crock-pot of information that is the internet. Dog saved. Money saved. Done and done.
Yesterday I learned that laughter feels best when it is occurring for reasons you can no longer remember, walks are a fantastic way of getting to know a person, craving fast food is one of the most unnatural and drug-like cravings I’ve experienced, nothing beats seeing good music live as it is being organically created from great passion, fat white cats who roll in essential oils will smell like marshmallows forever, and that I can feel a big tide of change coming my way. And I love it.