Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lessons from a Rose

Breakfast: grapes, strawberries and two slices of lean turkey.
12 oz glass of ice water.

Reading: Heart of Compassion

Workout: I changed up my routine somewhat after having a brainstorm. The idea is to incorporate elements of body speech and mind into one 30 minute workout. So Here's how it worked for today:

1. 12 tibetan prostrations (taking refuge)
2. 3 sun salutations
3 short yoga practice, cat rolls, warrior 1, 2, and triangle. Then leg stretches.
4. 10 standard crunches, obliques work and pelvis tilts.
5. weight training, lunges, chest and arm presses, bicept curls
6. 5 minutes of meditative resting (sky gazing while lying on my back)
what is this? letting go. x3
Letting go x3
7. End practice. 3 more prostrations (taking refuge)

It worked great for body and mind, not so much for speech. I'm still tinkering with this practice. I do know that afterwards I had more energy than I knew what to do with. I bathed the poodle, swept floors and emptied the trash and the litter boxes. But it's a jittery kind of energy that scatters the mind so again I'll have to tinker with this practice a bit so I can find the right level of energy. I'm sure Lama Jigme will have some excellent suggestions.

Yesterday I went to pick up Danny's (the poodle)supper bowl. I automatically went into a four fold bend and with minimal knee bending, picked up the bowl. JW was extremely impressed. Hee hee. I'm sure that gave him some interesting ideas.

I know.I'm a bad girl.

Yesterday afternoon I went to town with JW. We stopped by the store to pick up afew things. Next to the pharmacy there's a wall filled with flowers. I'm sure you've seen the same thing. Seeing the most beautiful bouquet of orange roses I couldn't help but bend down and stick my nose right into the petals. I inhaled, hoping to catch a scent just as glorious as the petals, but alas, there was nothing. I stood, confused, bent over, sniffed another bouquet. Ah, again, no smell. My little rose bush puts out smallish red roses, but the scent is heavenly. With these, they're all show.

I thought about this during my afternoon walking practice. Small creatures come out to gawk at me while I walk the length of our lot and the empty one next door. A jackrabbit paused in front of me and watched as I made my slow progression up the driveway towards him. Mockingbirds and great black crows soared overhead. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a squirrel making a trip up the elm beside the house pause and watch as I passed by. As I did my routine, troubling thoughts arose. Doubts, some about myself, some about others, and some that just arose from nowhere at all seeped into my mind. I did not ignore them, nor did I explore them. I watched, putting doubt into the path of the Chest Cauldron practice, and let them go. They were, after all, only phantasms of the mind and not real.
(If you want to learn how to do this practice contact lama at his website )

Like the roses in the store, a person's practice can be outwardly beautiful but inwardly sterile, without a scent. Without a connection. Without the incredible smell a rose can be as superficial as as a silk or plastic rose, and just as disatisfying. I want my practice to be like the little antique roses in my garden. Smallish, sure, no where near as beautiful as the perfectly manicured roses in the store, my roses ramble along, are a bit worn around the corners and occassionally bug eaten. But the scent they exude is bliss. Walking up and down the lot with my mala swinging in one hand and me muttering OM MANI PADME HUM while I practice may look messy to some, perhaps even silly to others; even to summer brown jackrabbits, but its meditation born like my roses, from graftings and sun and wind and rain, through difficulties and lots of love and good food; and most of all authentic practice. Not beautiful, not sterile, but real, from the heart.

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