Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Meeting My Special Person

Do you have a "special" person in your life? One that my friend the Zen monk calls "your great teacher". Not too long ago I spent some time with my "special" person. My joke was he shows me how good my practice isn't.

And it's always interesting for me. Sometimes I prepare myself and I "do okay" in my assessment. No blood is spilled, no unkind words are uttered, no looks to make anyone wither are flashed, no feelings of irritation ooze from my pores polluting the general atmosphere.

This time I did "okay" for a while but as the days of our togetherness passed my patience began to wither. I did what I could. I took time alone, I busied myself. But there came a point where unkindness oozed from my pores. I said a couple of impatient things and generally behaved in ways that did not contribute to the energy field in a helpful way, you might say.

I was left with a karmic hangover. Pass the spiritual aspirin. So while I lamented a little over it, in the end my examination of the process was in an effort to see what I might do differently next time I get together with my special person or meet someone who else who possesses the special qualities that seem to push my buttons.

What my postmortem revealed was that when I finally "caved" there was a definite lapse in awareness. Someone was continually poking at me (at least that's how it felt to me) and instead of seeing it as a flashing red light to take another breath and be extra vigilant about my response, I saw a red flag and responded in an old habitual way, a little silent anger.

I also realized I was doing the best I could and that I felt bad because I had "expectations" of how I should manage the situation. The upside of remorse however is that we get to examine our actions and consider our options for future behaviour.

I realized that my next meeting with my "special" person is an opportunity to do intense awareness practice. I am almost looking forward to it. How do you work with your special person?


  1. Wow! That's deep practice. My "special" person probably funds the entire sales of incense I need to burn for endly metta meditation done for both of us. You're so on about the expectations. I expect her to see I've "grown and matured". But I also expect me to be "above it all" when she starts in on the hot button topics. Lots of metta for my shame/blame reactions are prescribed!

  2. "I expect to be above it all", that definitely sums up where I got into a whole lot of trouble after the fact! A whole quiver load of second darts and arrows!! Yes metta for us all, the pokers and the pokees. Perhaps we could do the hokey pokey??

  3. ha! yes, the hokey pokey!

    i was smiling from ear to ear by the time i finished reading this. : )

    well, the one thing i kept reminding myself when i was with my family for the month of april was that if i forgot ALL ELSE, i could just remember to be kind. that seemed so much more effective than remembering any number of other things (i have tried so many!). and then well, the whole thing of just coming back into The Moment. damn, that's effective...


  4. I put my whole self in, I take my non self out... and shake it all about...

  5. I'm usually "okay" around my SP, being patient and present, meeting her where she is - abrasive as she is - which is sometimes exhausting. But then I start sputtering and muttering when not in her presence...

    Sometimes it takes really "stepping back" into what's really seeing through the mask, mine and hers; which takes a *lot* of awareness! And sometimes as you say, a fox is just a fox, it is what it is and you just deal with it - sans self-judgment :)

  6. Lynne - It is good to have one thing to remember so that when the going gets rough there it is, kind of like a little mantra. Kindness is a good one.

    108- Ah, a new Zen nursery song!! I love it.

    MeANderi- Yes, I did some sputtering and muttering too! When it goes well, its all over when our meeting is over but when I fall apart then I hold on to it. And yes in the end, it's about letting it go and not making more of it than it is. What's that old Elenor Rooseveldt quote: no one can make you unhappy without your permission." In Buddhist thought I guess it's called "reactivity".

  7. Excellent post. I feel so much better knowing that I am not alone doing the "hokey pokey". My SP is my son who lives with me. Need I say more?

  8. Eva - And I thought 4 days was a long time!! Ah adversity and opportunity all rolled into one! Often our SP is a family member, that closeness somehow makes ripe stomping grounds.

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  10. hummm . . . there is teacher, and there is teacher . . . which is yours? which is his? this is one I have been a lot of time pondering, and it has not been easy.

  11. I put my whole self in, I take my non self out... and shake it all about...