Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hearing Meditation

I meditated outdoors on the deck this morning at 3:30 a.m. The temperature was lovely with a small breeze blowing. The first fireflies were lighting up the dark. A single wood thrush sang in the neighbor's woods.  A handful of crickets chirped among the flowers. A frog trilled near the fishpond where the fish were splashing about. Or was that a raccoon trying to rustle up some breakfast?

The mind wanted to know: What is it? But happiness resides in don't-know mind.

Hearing meditation. Simply hearing. Hearing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Stress of Too Much

Back in February and March, i rooted cuttings of many of my houseplants. Eventually i had 25 flats in my solarium.

Early in May i began to plant them out, edging various flowerbeds. I decreased the number of flats from 25 to 7, and then i got stuck. I didn't know where to plant these last ones. What do you do with 35 baby geraniums?

This morning i gritted my teeth and just did it--10 dusty millers, a dozen purple wandering jew, all those little geraniums.

This is the stress of too much. Too many cuttings. This past weekend, I gave a flat of variegated ivy cuttings to the library plant sale.

I have too many clothes, actually. Too many clothes is also stressful. It's time to give some more clothes to the hospice thrift store.

The solarium is practically empty. Almost empty of stress.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Mustard Gone to Seed

Last summer i planted a feathery red mustard in my garden. After a while, I enjoyed its yellow flowers, and then it went to seed. Now red mustard has volunteered in my garden, and i have quite a patch of it.

We are all going to seed too. Whether we are young or old. Perhaps we are past our prime.

What seeds are you setting? Kindness? Generosity? Patience? Compassion? Equanimity with the way things are?

I have spent way too much of my life setting seeds of irritation, opinion, judgments, and impatience.

So now it's time to plant the seeds that will condition my mind in the positive ways my heart truly desires.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hammock Relaxation

I'm taking a nap in the hammock beside the garden every day. I'm usually a go-go-go gal, but, perhaps due to radiation, i feel more like a gal. Many good ideas of things to do are not getting done, and it's quite interesting how easy it is to turn those good ideas loose as i float down the stream of Life this summer.

After all, a thought is just a thought. It comes; it goes. A thought has a shelf life of perhaps a second or two. Then it disappears.

The mind thinks a thought, but the body doesn't have to jump-to to obey the slave-driver mind.

The body can relax in the hammock. And really, the mind could use a dose of relaxation too.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Radiating Kindness

A few lines from the Loving-Kindness chant often replay themselves in my mind. Perhaps you can guess why.

So, with a boundless heart
should one cherish all living beings,
RADIATING kindness over the entire world--
spreading upwards to the skies, 
and downwards to the depths,
outward and unbounded,
freed from hatred and ill-will.

Before they turn on the radiation machine, the radiation technicians leave the room and close the door. Although the radiation is focused on my right breast, bits of radiation are radiating over the entire room, without discrimination.

Can we radiate kindness--without discrimination? Can we radiate kindness, without expecting anything in return?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Filling Myself with Golden Light

I often lead a guided loving-kindness visualization called A Lotus in Your Heart.*

Imagine a lotus 
growing in your heart. 
From the center of this lotus streams forth golden light, 
filling you from head to toe with golden light. 
The warmth of this golden light surrounds you completely 
with a feeling of well-being and protection.

While i'm lying in the radiation machine every day, i imagine this golden light streaming from my heart, filling me from head to toe with golden light. As the radiation begins its 40-second arc over my chest (and heart), finally buzzing its last 10 seconds directed at the scar on the side of my right breast, i "feel" this golden light of well-being and protection throughout my body.

May all beings feel protected.
May all beings have ease of well-being.

* Here's Ayya Khema leading the meditation.