Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Spiritual Renovations

Do you feel like going to an auction? Naw, is that what I hear you saying? You drive, you sit, you come home empty handed or maybe over spent. Or maybe you wake up the next day with a new koan: "Why did I buy that papier mache rooster, anyway?" Mostly they're noisy affairs, a little boring and just a general waste of an evening? I agree.

But if you wander your self over to the on-line Auction that the nice folks at Shambhala Sun are having ( you can even wear your jammys), you will find lots of goodies like this painting I donated. There's lots to savour. I was drooling this morning over several retreat packages, including one for a retreat centre in Italy. Anyway it's all for a good cause. Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma offer up great Dharma covering a wide range of topics. Worth supporting I think. The auction starts on November 23rd so there's lots of time to ponder choices and watch as new goodies roll in.

And what Dharma nugget have I been chewing on? Nothing with chicken in it and no side of special sauce. I am a big believer in "your path or your practice (however you like to think of it) is in what life brings you." And sometimes you need to hold that little lump up to see where the light comes in. Yesterday was a strange comedy of errors around here. At about 10 in the morning jack hammering and sledge hammering erupted from the basement storage room in the rental house next door. Not only was the sound overwhelming and constant, but I got an instant mental attack of "what are they doing there, they're up to no good, they're adding more rooms, another suite. Lament, lament.... That will make it harder for us to sell our house. Yada, yada, yada." Ah, the drama theatre of the mind, such predictable plots, the protagonist always so self centred in her dialogue. And in the late afternoon we went out while the jack hammering continued and a realtor was scheduled to show our house. Apparently some screaming accompanied the house showing as the frayed nerves of next door residents came unravelled at around the same time.

It was truly an opportunity to let go. I reviewed my options. Options 1. For reasons you might well imagine, there is no talking to the 2 brothers that own the next door house. Like my little self they have an agenda. Option 2. Despair. A familiar, well traveled road. I'm starting to know this play so well it's getting boring. I could collapse myself into a fit of despair, or I could save myself a lot of suffering and see it as an opportunity to practice equanimity.

I have come to the conclusion that there is always someone around willing to yank on your chain, so you might as well loosen it up a notch or two. Oh excuse me, that's me yanking on my own chain. Sheesh! It's so easy to lay blame in the chain yanking department.

Maybe it sounds like magical thinking or new age drivel, but it feels like this has come to me for a reason. It is just another call to give up the self centred preferences that cause so much suffering. The outer world is always somehow related to the inner world. It's just up to us to figure out how. It's like a strange puzzle or making sense of a dream. And besides which is the dream? And what is reality? Oh, oh, is this play sounding like "Waiting for Godot?"

I always think of it as keeping my eye on the ball, that's what I need to do in situations I find difficult. Just paint, just make my phone call, tidy up, have some lunch, do what needs to be done. Don't run off down Despair Alley screaming and wailing and creating that internal drama of "what if?" If action that seems good to take, becomes clear, well then I'll do that. In the meantime I will just trust that in the grand scheme of things, it all fits together in some way that is not clear to me. It felt good to just "keep my eye on the ball." Strength giving in it's own way, building spiritual muscle and new neural pathways. I was doing my own excavation and renovation of sorts. So I wish you happy carpentry and rewiring and plumbing (of the most spiritual sort).


  1. Good thinking. I'm pleased to read your thought process because I have to talk to myself too. The on going conversation... and thanks to you because it was here at your blog that I discovered Cheryl Taves. And I live in the US, but very, very near to the Island. I hope to see Cheryl's work sometime in the coming year by coming to a gallery opening or something. Its only a ferry ride away...

  2. Love your metaphors about internal, spiritual renovations. And especially, trusting in the process even when we think we're bored with meditation.

  3. Thanks so much for your comment what a nice start to the day.Wow! hang in there girl!
    It will pass, and you will become a stronger person. Likewise the colours in your painting are so such resonance of energy... I'm off to get a cake!