Archive for the ‘Mindfulness’ Category

My New Prescription

Posted: 11/27/2011 in Mindfulness, Practice

Wow. It’s been 2 months since I posted anything on this blog. Life has been a whirlwind lately. Work went full-blast for the last 2 months, and then last week it came to a screeching halt. I knew I would be off the week of Thanksgiving, but as of right now, I don’t know when I will be scheduled next. In addition to not working, my vehicle has been broken down for the last month or so. Not working means no money to fix it, so on top of trying to pay bills, there’s that.

I’ve been disillusioned lately and the holidays always bring these feelings up. I’m 35 and don’t have what I can call an actual “career” and my job is seasonal. I like it, but it’s not what I want to do the rest of my life. These days it’s hard to even find a job, so I am thankful to have it, and work my ass off when I’m there. But I feel like I need something more; I’m not fulfilled.

The holidays always remind me of the shitty feeling of being alone. I don’t have a love interest in my life anymore, and the holidays make that a lot more apparent. It’s nice being single, but reflecting back to previous years, not having someone to share the holidays with kinda sucks.

So you know what? Fuck it all.

I’m going to do my best to just keep up with my practice. I will continue to trudge down life’s path one step at a time, being mindful with whatever I encounter, and remind myself that it’s all impermanent. A new project will start, so the work will eventually be there and more bills will get paid. Who knows, a new career opportunity may present itself and just maybe someday, a beautiful woman will come along and fill that gap in my heart.

If I wake up tomorrow, it will be a beautiful day just because I woke up.

With heavy metta…

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I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

I am Jack’s smirking revenge.

I am Jack’s raging bile duct.

I am Jack’s wasted life.

Fight Club is one of my top 5 all-time-favorite movies. If you’ve seen the movie, it goes without saying that there are many memorable quotes. I said it anyway because maybe one of the 3 people that read this blog have not seen the movie.

After watching it for the eleventeenth time a couple weeks ago, I sat down to meditate before bed. My mind was racing and I couldn’t relax, because I couldn’t stop thinking about all the stressful shit in my life.

The Buddha called this experience “monkey mind,” where thoughts run through your head like a monkey swinging through trees, not able to sit still. If you’re anything like me, you waste energy trying to tame the monkey, and that’s after you’re worn out just from trying to catch it. Next thing you know, you’ve forgotten all about the breath and frustration sets in. My nature is to beat myself up over things that don’t mean much; I sweat the small stuff. I have to learn to go easy on myself and just get back on track. Eventually I will be able to control the frustration, just shrug it off and keep going. No one said this would be easy, that’s why they call this “practice.”

I am Jack’s monkey mind.

Yes, I named this post after a song from that cheesy band Dragonforce, but it was the first song about fire that came to mind. Sue me.

As I was sitting in meditation earlier today, I started to lose focus on the breath and my eyes wandered to the dancing flame of a lit candle. I was mesmerized and it made me think about fire and how it is used can be good or bad, all dependent on the purpose or intention behind it.

We can strike a flame to light a candle, which in turn can light another candle, and so on and so forth, bringing light to darkness, such as in a vigil, fostering community, love, and remembrance.

We can strike a flame to bring warmth to a cold house.

We can strike a flame to cook a meal to provide sustenance to a hungry stomach.

Or on the flipside, an arsonist can strike a flame to burn down a building or cause a forest fire.

I think what it boils down to is the intention behind the striking of the flame. Fire is a dangerous thing. It burns and consumes anything in its path. How it is used determines whether the outcome is good or bad:  a meal to feed the hungry or a burned down house.

It’s the same way with our words. How they are used determines whether the outcome is good or bad: we can give someone hope who otherwise thinks their life sucks or we can use our words to be hurtful and damage their emotions further.

Fire is powerful. Words are powerful. Use them wisely.

Meditate and destroy,

\m/

What the F*@%!

Posted: 09/30/2010 in Karma, Mindfulness

Have you ever had one of those days where you just wonder what the fuck? Stressful situations, like all things, as the Buddha taught, is impermanent. But have you ever wondered when the hell that impermanence will kick in? Well for me, this has been one of those weeks. Here is a short anecdote:

A couple days ago, I went out to leave for work at 4am to find a flat tire on my truck. This isn’t usually an overly stressful situation. However, me being the supervisor at my job, it is a major issue. I was scheduled to be at a jobsite an hour away, where there was a crew of 5-6 people waiting for the information I have in my possession before they could do anything at all. Even worse is that I found my spare was flat too, so I was going nowhere. Long story short, I had to borrow a vehicle and I rolled up to my jobsite a half hour late, and sure as shit I see all these people standing around waiting for me with nothing to do. I was mad because I was late, but I was also mad that my company has to pay these people to stand around and wait for my ass. On the drive there, I had time to think about how I would go about handling the situation, and just had to get through the work day. I tried to keep in mind that it’s a problem, but there is a solution, so there’s no point in worrying about it too much. This is stress that is impermanent. I got through the work day, and rearranged the schedule to get my son so I would be able to handle the issue. The problem got fixed, yet I had to buy a new tire and ended up spending twice the amount of money that day than I made working, extra money I definitely don’t have. But it got taken care of, impermanence kicked in, and I was sort of stress-free after paying the bill.

The next day on a break at work, I noticed a nail in a different tire. It wasn’t flat, but still needed to be fixed. At this point I asked myself when the hell this is going to end, and wondering why can’t a guy just catch a break? Luckily, this one was able to be fixed for free, but I was still pissed and wondering “what the fuck?” What did I do to deserve this, for karma to shit all over me? I actually asked myself (in not so eloquent terms) “when the hell is the impermanence of this stressful situation really supposed to kick in?” Because this just fucking SUCKS. It’s all I can do now to resist the paranoia to walk around my truck to make sure all the tires are inflated before I go anywhere, and if I do that I’m just going to drive myself bat-shit crazy. I’m talking like Mel Gibson crazy.

I just have to focus on this damn principle of impermanence, because in the midst of a stressful experience, no matter how much I ask myself “what the fuck” I know that this too shall pass.