Wishing you a wonderful birthday filled with love, joy and lots of fun!
Love and big birthday hugs,
Wishing you a wonderful birthday filled with love, joy and lots of fun!
Love and big birthday hugs,
A few separate sources have started alerting me to a possible fear that’s been lurking unnoticed, masked as something else I guess.
Different friends have brought up the subject of love and relationships and asked if I’m open to them. I’ve said no and it seemed that my lack of interest was for sound healthy reasons – like getting healthier and wanting to spend my time/energy on things I’m really interested in.
And my spiritual life has been of huge importance to me, I’ve really enjoyed the peace and equanimity that have developed and based on past experiences of love/lust (and everything in between), I felt that going down that road again would just throw me off course.
And so these friends have been giving me a nudge and then I read about spiritual bypassing and I’ve begun to wonder if I’m doing that.
As I practise mindful awareness, I realise that there is fear there when I even contemplate dating or relationships. And that fear quickly transitions to a lack of interest, aversion even … but there is a gap in between the two states.
I’ve met some very nice guys over the past year or so but I’m aware now that I’ve put up a wall.
Ok, so now I know there is fear there I’m going to try to make friends with it. If I still don’t want to get involved after that – then fine. But fear is a lousy reason to hold back.
so I can then figure out how much the various options cost. This will take me a long time to save for and anyway, I won’t have a huge chunk of time free this year and perhaps next year too. I will probably have a month at a time but ideally I’d like something longer.
I’m not sure how long I want to go for but longer than a month, probably 3 months or more. I like the idea of it being open-ended but that may not be possible depending on where I go.
I found a nice resource with details of Buddhist retreat centres and monasteries in Asia which is great. A big factor in choosing where to go will be which teacher I’d like to work with
but I have felt it over and over again, much more than 5 times.
I did not have the privilege of knowing Kate (Seasonsoflove) but I feel touched by all the beautiful tributes to her. I have a lump in my throat as I read how this beautiful person touched so many lives and I feel I’ve had a little glimpse of how wonderful she was.
I feel so hugely grateful for Kate and for the legacy of love she has left behind.
I need to figure out what to do with my degree and graduation photos. I want to keep them but don’t want them gathering dust shoved on the bottom of a shelf. I’m planning to get rid of all the stuff on those shelves and eventually ditch the shelves too.
My Mum used to have my framed graduation photo on display but I like to keep my walls fairly minimalist so I’m not sure if I want to frame and hang them.
Part of my criteria for deciding what stays or goes is how useful or pleasing an item is to me. Ok, the degree cert is potentially useful but neither that nor the photos give me any particular joy to look at. Maybe I could scan the photos and get rid of the originals.
For my Christmas potluck I needed to bring a hot meal so the hummus had to wait for a future event. I cooked a rice dish, a sort of pilaffy thing with veg, cranberries and toasted peacans. It looked pretty and tasted pretty nice although I think I’d use fewer cranberries and walnuts instead of pecans in future.
“get better at keeping in touch with people who are important to me me”
“Cultivate relationships with other people”.
It seems to better reflect what I’m aiming for.
This year I’ve got to know some of my neighbours a bit better and that has not always been through keeping in touch, but by simply being open. So being open in general is going to be a big part of this goal.
Also, I don’t want to be driven by my preferences. I enjoy talking to or feeling close to some people more than others but I want to be open and build relationships with anyone who is in my life.
Edit: 43T doesn’t seem to want me to rename the goal, keeps reverting to the old one.
in ages! I found one more or less in line with my beliefs so that has been wonderful. In fact all the sanghas I’ve visited have been quite wonderful.
Sure life has had its ups and downs but I feel overflowing with thanks for all that is good in my life:
I was reviewing my goals when I noticed something odd. I have a list of 42 goals. But up at the top, there is a link to “Your 41 Things” and there is a tab with “I’m doing 41 things”.
Has anyone else had this or know why it happens?
so I’m not writing a “how i did it” entry.
It turned out I needed to do a lot of exploring! Although I’m open-minded in many ways, I learned that I was expecting there to be a single teacher or tradition to be “the right one”. And I also learned that for me at least, that’s just not how it works!
I’ve learned and developed so much thanks to so many teachers from the Dalai Lama right through to people I bump into on the street.
Discovering the Buddha’s teachings helped me so much but it took me a while to find a tradition I felt “at home” in. It was really just a question of staying open and exploring what was on offer. I sat with several groups from various traditions and some resonated with me more than others – all were valuable.
Thanks to Skype and the internet I’ve connected deeply with teachers thousands of miles from where I live – I learnt to meditate from a teacher in California while sitting at home in Dublin, Ireland! I feel so lucky to have that, if I’d been born in a different time I just wouldn’t have had access to these teachings.
A few years on, I’m open to learning from anyone. An angry drunk man on a bus teaches me about patience, suffering, compassion and equanimity; my sister teaches me about right speech and listening; Pema Chodron teaches me about self compassion; the Dalai Lama teaches me about love and kindness; Sharon Salzberg teaches me about faith and doubt; Martin Luther King teaches me about forgiveness and hope; my ex teaches me about trust and generosity. And I’m not being (intentionally) corny but I learn from the 43T community. I see so much here – the joy, sorrow, ambition, hope, greed, selflessness, grief, kindness, love, loneliness. It shows up that web of humanity – all our many facets and how we are all connected.
And something new for me – I see that I can learn from my own experience. I don’t think I ever trusted that before. At first I was so thirsty to learn what wise people said. But now with their guidance I’ve been putting all that to the test and am being my own teacher.
So this will never end – learning from myself, others and everything around me.
I woke up before sunrise – an easy thing to do when it was so late! The birds were singing and the air was fresh and clean. I wandered in the garden putting out seeds for the birds and soaking up the beauty of winter. How natural and right it seems for everything to pause and rest. It’s no wonder my yoga practice has become more gentle and nurturing, much more yin than yang.
The sky was tinged with apricot hinting that the sun was just about to make an appearance so I went inside to drink tea and watch sunrise at Newgrange on a live webcast. It was cloudy there so they didn’t get to see the tomb flooded with light but everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time, celebrating with drumming, dancing, singing and togetherness.
Meanwhile the sun had risen here and was streaming in my windows. I felt so grateful for the life-giving energy of the light and it set the tone for the whole day.
I’ve given up the lessons as I was bored and wasn’t really developing. My technique seems ok and what I really need is to spend time doing laps to build up my stamina rather than just trying to hone my technique. It’s a bit expensive though and there are other more pressing things for now.
I’m contemplating doing the Forty Foot Christmas Swim again this year, haven’t swum in ages but it’s more a test of enduring the cold sea than of actual swimming!
to look at, but not doing my posture any favours!
So I’ve been thinking of getting rid of them but there’s some resistance there because they were so expensive and because I love their appearance. But the whole purpose of a couch is to provide me with something to sit on and it’s so huge and squishy that I end up slumped and slouching – not good for me at all!
One has got a few marks so I’d need to deal with those if I’m selling it. So I’ll research that to see what the options are.
Another option is to figure out if I can make them firmer and better for me to sit on. But I’m not really keen on that. I’m considering just having some floor cushions or some very simple seating in case of guests. I’m not sure yet.
I first wondered about this over a year ago so by putting it here as a goal, I’m less likely to keep forgetting about it and actually deal with it. Yay for 43T!
Ok, we’re not quite ready to start saying that yet!
But according to my local sunset times sunset has been gradually getting later since Dec 16th. I never knew that could happen before solstice!
Not long till the actual day length gets longer, I will have to find a way to celebrate solstice.
Every so often I end up going to some event where everyone brings food to share. I’ve been cheating and buying ready made food but I’d like to bring homemade stuff in future. It’ll be healthier, tastier (hopefully!) and it’s a good skill for me to develop. Plus I always feel so grateful for the food other people have cooked – they put so much time and effort into sharing with the group and I’d like to offer that too.
I’m not much of a cook (although lets hope that will gradually change) so whatever I make needs to be relatively easy and uncomplicated. And it needs to be easy to transport on a bike and reheat in a microwave (or serve chilled/at room temperature).
I’m going to try some kind of festive rice dish with cranberries and nuts for my next meetup – seems appropriate for the time of year.
focus on how I want to live my life. I’m so lucky to have a mentor I can discuss each step with and also a dharma buddy who’s doing the same thing.
Each month I’ve been looking at a different step on the path (but also working on the others in a background way). Shining a focus on one step at a time has really helped me see things I hadn’t noticed before – Right View was particularly interesting to me as I saw so many latent beliefs I was holding on to.
So now I’m on Right Speech … and this is very very difficult and interesting. I know I’ve hurt people with my speech in the past so it feels good to tackle this with all my heart.
With the help of my sister I brought 3 massive bags of books to the charity book shop. I used to think I needed more bookshelves but now I see the answer is to own fewer books … and I’ve made a giant leap in that direction. It feels very good as books are my weak spot. One of them anyway!
I also returned the bag of Marks and Spencer plastic clothes hangers to my local branch and they were appreciative. So I’m happy that they will be reused and kept out of landfill.
In return for my sister’s help I’ve taken a few bags and boxes of paper and plastic that I will recycle for her … so a little more clutter was added but it’s temporary!
I’m removing this goal from my list.
It’s not important to me now since I’m in the lucky position to have somewhere to live. Also I’m trying to live more simply and own less, not more, so pursuing this goal just wouldn’t feel right.
I found myself quite tearful today after sorting through a lot of old cards – many from my ex and from my late Mum, also old friends I’ve lost touch with. They triggered a response but not as much as those expressing support and gratitude from friends and colleagues from a different phase of my life. I was faced with the fact that I derived so much of my self esteem from external things that are no longer part of my life.
So I’ve allowed myself to feel the feelings and I’ve been working through some other stuff that came up as part of it. And when I was mindful, actually there was not much there. As with all things, it’s passed. I feel lighter inside and quite content now. And that will change sooner or later but that’s ok too!