Well it has been an interesting week. My meditation has been with Thanissarro Bhikkhu for the last three evenings. Starting with guided meditations....sending goodwill......then breathing into the body and what that feels like...paying attention to it....ending with talks on Mindfulness and Concentration. I found myself this week feeling angry. Not initially investigating the anger, just being angry and frustrated cause no one is noticing my anger and making me feel better, why do people keep doing this stuff....don't they know it makes me angry (laffin now). The talks in the evening were helpful...he talked about anger...to ask yourself...why am I so angry? I remembered at a previous retreat...our teacher (for our sangha) talked about anger and to ask yourself two questions.....How am I hurt and What am I afraid of? I was just angry and complaining....really only thinking of myself. Making myself more miserable. Then yesterday....just before I left work I had a conversation....with an individual who is really dealing with a lot. A family member with a terminal illness and was telling me what was happening on that front and then he had to go....and his eyes were full of tears. It was not a good week and he said things were hard...he needed to go. My heart went out to him and his family and my stuff seemed not quite so big. I felt very self-centered. I took a moment to send metta to their family. My eyes were teary and I felt badly...my stuff was just stuff. But then I took a moment to give myself some lovingkindness as well. I didn't need to beat myself up......we all have suffering. Some suffering definately greater than others. We all get caught up in the stuff.....is part of being human. But what I noticed was that my heart was more open...to myself and to others. I felt calmer...more open. I know my meditation practice helps me be more aware in my day to day life.
I knew that this evening I wanted to call my mother. In an earlier phone conversation with a friend I had said that I needed to call my mother and when I said that....I could feel my body tighten. I mentioned that I was anxious about it as you never know what to expect...whether she will be friendly or mean-spirited and it was difficult to deal with her. The difference was.....I was aware of the thoughts...I could take a breath and say...well I will find out if she picks up the phone. My practice...was to dial the phone with an open heart. We had a nice conversation....and it was good to talk to her. I am grateful for that. I sat for about 20 minutes after that.....a lovingkindness meditation. Held a number of people...including myself....in lovingkindness. May the merit of this practice benefit all beings.
Thank you Sharon....for your comments on the Lovingkindness post. They were very helpful. Taking the practice....lovingkindness....into your day to day life...activities. Being open to yourself and to others. I try to do that....the best I can....day to day. Water the flowers.