3/27/09 - Day Five

I really, really don’t like walking meditation. It’s the only part of the retreat that I tried once and then didn’t do again. I used the walking times as reflection times and time to myself. Both of which were needed and used well so I don’t feel too badly about it. But I still think it’s a little weird that that was the only thing that I totally flaked out on.

I can’t wait to start talking again tomorrow. I’m ready to be able to share a little with these people. At least share a laugh and be able to say bless you when they sneeze! And thank you. I don’t think I understood how important thank you is to me. I miss being able to say it when the mood or event strikes. And I get to see my babies tomorrow!

We’ve been listening to Joseph Goldstein for the evening discourse every night. And I just love him. He is so completely rooted in his humanity and the minute I hear his voice it’s just like wheels on gears clicking together.

Here are some of my notes from his talks:

“Nothing whatsoever is to be clung to.” – Buddha
Nothing lasts long enough to be called self. Clinging is a contraction – becomes a prison of self. The “I” is reborn whenever there is clinging. As soon as there is rebirth, there is suffering.

Pay attention to the mind’s state in between thoughts – those are moments of freedom in awareness.

Compassion if particularly directed at those in pain. Proximity to suffering is the primary cause of compassion.

Every response is a two-sided coin. The other side of the coin to compassion is pity. When we hold suffering as an individual problem, the response is one of pity. When we can allow ourselves to understand that suffering is universal then compassion arises.

“In the cherry blossom’s shade, there is no such thing as a stranger.” Iza (sp?) Japanese poet

I had this image today during Shivassana that I was floating in water with the Buddha’s great huge hands underneath me – not touching, but always there protecting me. In case I should need them. It was pretty cool.

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