Saturday, August 15, 2009


I have a long list of to-do's ahead of me. So, why then am I sitting at the computer? Surrounded by an unswept floor, a load of laundry crying out for attention, unwashed dishes and the general chaos of an "untidied" house, I relax into my chair and watch my breath. And as I watch my breath I am brought back to now to now to now.

If I am not careful my mind becomes like a monkey, leaping here and there, 10, 20, 50 years into the past; playing the "what about tomorrow?" game, worrying. It takes concentration to slow down and experience the moment at hand. Otherwise it slips through my hands like water scooped from a stream.

On to the tasks of the day. On to use what I have been given to "wake up". Practice mindfulness, practice staying in the moment, practice not getting "hooked" into playing monkey mind.

[Edit two hours later]

We have a new neighbour, a woman who bought the unit next door and a week later apparently decided RV living was not for her. So back on the market it went. It has not sold so she's been back the last few days cleaning, as things do collect if you are not here to keep the deck swept, the leaves raked, cobwebs down etc.

This morning she decided to clean the roof, with a power washer. I'll say this for her, she's enthusiastic and thorough. But she's none too careful or considerate.

Our deck floor ended up not only flooded but full of the debris she washed off the roof of her trailer. The power washer wet down my vacuum cleaner, the dehydrator, the cat's bed and litter box, the grill, and soaked the cupboards which contain power tools and electrical appliances. And when I poked my head out the door she yelled, "I'm getting your stuff wet!"

This is what Pema Chodron calls a "hook". She says, "...not only has something evoked a response in me but it's... difficult for me to let go. Anger is like that for sure. Prejudice is like that. Critical mindedness is like that. You don't want to let go. There's something delicious about finding fault with something. ...that's what I mean by hooked.

The word in Tibetan is Shenpa... it isn't the words themselves that you're saying to yourself. It isn't the emotions. It's this charge behind them that's the Shenpa. It's this hooked quality that is so difficult to let go."

She goes on to say that in training yourself to put up with small annoyances; with neighbours who do inconsiderate things, with not getting what you want, with being too hot and too cold; by training yourself to let go of the "deliciousness" of that emotional charge, you train yourself to deal with greater adversity.

I got "hooked" this morning, but remembering Pema's wise words allowed me to step back, spit the hook out, and get on with my day without turmoil. Water dries. If something is damaged it can be repaired or replaced. A peaceful heart is more important than any amount of stuff.

Little by little this day unfolds, and I am given what I need to become fully awake.

1 comment:

newwaytowrite said...

a bath free of charge?