Sunday, September 6, 2009

Vegetarianism: Cherokee for Bad Hunter

Ordinarily I get up at dawn, because I love the early morning stillness. The peacefulness that comes just as the sun comes up on the horizon. I can almost hear my ancestors singing at that time, and I listen.

But one of the things I like the most about early morning is because there's nobody else awake. I can sit outside with a glass of ice water and relax and just enjoy the beauty of a soft teal and violet sunrise.

And also because I am a solitary creature by nature. Despite what people have said about me over the years--nay, should I say decades---I am certainly NOT antisocial. But I do take on a lot of other people's energy, be it positive or negative, and I just need time away to recharge.

Which is difficult when you reside in a 700 square foot house with three guys, three cats and two dogs.

The guys have been amazing, I have to say, and do their best not to interrupt my practice sessions. But even so, and despite how much I love every single one of them I find myself needing to get away, to rest, to recharge, and to be fully myself again.

And they understand that too.
That's not to say there's not interruptions and distractions to my daily practice. Take Danny the poodle, for instance. Danny, bless him, is 14 years old, blind and losing most of his hair. He's also lost quite a few teeth too, and JW who adores this little guy so much goes on the warpath whenever someone even hints that Danny should be put down. And I can't blame him. As long as he can still find his way to the door to be let out, can still eat (the next step is Gerber baby food) and the odd trim to what's left of his coat, he'll still be a much cherished member of the family.

There is however, he does have one annoyance that gets on my last nerve. He knows instinctively whenever I'm about to meditate. He waits until I begin my practice and then, bam! He barks to be let out.

Yes, I know, I've done what I know you're about to suggest. I DO take him outside before I meditate. And yet, at 7-11-3- and 7, he still barks to be let out. Since he's blind he cannot be left outside on his own. He has to be escorted. Sure Zack or Chris or JW can take him out, but that's not what Danny wants. Danny wants ME to take him out, and always during my practice time.

I've tried changing the times. Moving the meditation sessions fifteen minutes to either side of the assigned time. He still barks.

I've taken him out before practice...and yet, he still barks...

I've gone outside to practice and....yep, the little bastard knows. Without a doubt.

So do I get angry with the dog?

Yeah, yeah I do.

Do I scream at him or worse, kick him, threaten him etc?

No, I do not.

I heave a huge sigh, clip his leash on and we go out. While he's sniffing for the perfect spot, I meditate.

I've even begun incorporating his wee wee sessions in with my practice by tossing in a few sutric question exercises into the mix.

Then once he's done, I return to my meditation session. And voila! All is well.

Now. I know Im going to have to make some changes in my daily practice, especially on the weekends, because Chris is home during that time and I can't get into my office/shrine to meditate in the mornings. There's nothing quite like trying to do morning prostrations when there's a 17 year old boy sprawled out on an air mattress in front of the altar. (I'll have to have a word with him about putting his clean socks on my altar.) So the only logical alternative is to take my practice materials outside and do it there. Which is what I'd prefer anyway, as long as it's dry and I can find a seculuded spot to practice.

Which should be in the back yard. But there's still lots of lumber and other odds and ends back there that JW flatly refuses to let me pick up because (theyr'e important) so he'll have to do it himself. In the meantime, I can do my am meditation at the patio table in the front yard or go to the side yard where pines and cannas grow, creating a lovely little niche where I can meditate without acurious neighbor coming over, tapping me on the shoulder and saying "whatcha doin?"

Oh yes and a few days ago I talked to my patient care advocate. She had some of my asthma meds ready for me to pick up. She was as kind and friendly as ever. She sent me home with my meds, a big bag of okra as well as jalapeno peppers. So I guess I was just jumping to conclusions the other day when i called. I suppose she just had a bad day. All seems well now.

The next fun thing to this adventure is trying to keep myself paleo while the guys go on with their dude food. Lots of refined crap, potatoes, fried stuff and meat. Theres lots of dead animals in the freezer. I mentioned my veggie habits and JW snarls. My brother giggles and says vegetariansism is Cherokee for bad hunter. I guess I'll have to go either on a hunger strike or start throwing a walleyed screaming fit every time they go to the store. Last night I had an excellent salad, but JW insisted that I get some kind of meat to go with it. I opted for the fried shrimp (there was no boiled) and ate half while downing a gargantuian salad. I have no idea what I'll have for lunch but I know what JW set out. Bacon, eggs and canned biscuits.
How the frak am I supposed to keep healthy eating shit like that????
Awake at 8 am (there was no use getting up any earlier, I couldn't get into the office. Today I'll move my practice materials into the bedroom so I can get to them easier)
Breakfast: chicken thigh and grapefruit
Lunch: god only knows
Dinner: porkchops and hopefully a salad. I'd really love a salad right now.

11:am reading: Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones
3:pm reading: Heart of Compassion
7: pm Path to Enlightenment (I've fallen behind on this one. I'll have to check with Lama Jigme's essay posts to see where we're at.)

Workout? God, I have no idea. I guess I can work out in the bedroom or in the side yard this afternoon. Maybe, just maybe if I squish enough stuff out of the way I can do my Earth Flow practice in front of the computer. Which means I'll have to stand in the hallway to do it.

I'll figure it out.

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