Monday, September 24, 2007
reverendmother covets these journals. I admit to having two: one for keeping track of daily life, the other for keeping track of my interior life. They are tough as nails, and have survived dunkings in tea, many meetings and being stuffed into all manner of bags. But where to keep your pen, wonders the good reverend!
In the spine, just like a spiral notebook...
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I’m spending 48 hours at a Zen workshop. Two friends were coming, and encouraged me to come, and given that I am facilitating a group on contemplative practices, I thought it a good thing to try. The workshop is essentially immersion into Zen practice. Explanations are sparse, just enough to shape our practice so that it is incrementally better than it was before. Zen teachers are sprinkled throughout the zendo (or zen hall). Three-quarters of us (including me) are rank beginners at this. The Zen master who is leading the weekend emphasized at the beginning that Zen is a practice that deepens whatever religious tradition you profess (or don’t).
Even though I regularly use stilling practices and exercises of awareness for prayer, and am a veteran of 8-day Ignatian retreats where I might spend 6 or 7 hours in formal prayer each day, I’m finding this weekend hard going. Part of this is the necessarily rigid schedule of the communal meditation. We are to be in the zendo ready to go 5 minutes before the appointed hour. “The work” as one of the monks calls it, may last 3 hours at a stretch. We sit and meditate, walk as a group – meditating - and chant. The first period began at dawn, the last one will end at 9:30 tonight. All together, we will spend 9 or 10 hours working together.
The sitting is hardest for me. The instructions are to be aware, pay attention, but not to process. Don’t internally name the sound you hear, don’t think about what you will do in the free period after lunch, don’t think. Just sit. Above all, don’t think about what you might blog about the experience!
Friday, September 21, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Finally, around 8, I check the New York Times and see the article about the new iPods. This has got to distract him..."Barnacle Boy, come see the new iPods!" We enjoyed checking out the new models and had a rousing discussion about whether (if you had the money) you'd buy the 4G iPhone or the 8G iPod with touch screen and Wi-Fi. Relief is short-lived. The conversation closes with, "Well, if you're not going to buy one, the least you can do is take me to Staples!"
Sunday, September 02, 2007
After a week at the beach, I decided to stage laundry in the living room. Suitcases were emptied onto the floor, and I dragged the kids' surprisingly full hamper down the hall to join the party. "Hey, Mom," wonders the Boy, "could you order us some more shorts? We only have 3 pairs." Three pairs? They had a dozen between them at summer's start. Have they been that hard on their clothes? "Sure," I shoot back, "just let me see what you've got and we'll order enough to get you through the fall." As I chat, I'm emptying the laundry hamper. And emptying, and emptying, and...
a foot from the bottom , there is a flash of pink. Pink? Pink! Pink panties to be precise. The boys are in trouble, but it's not what you think. Panties belong to their cousin, who last graced these walls on July 27. This layer is a foot from the bottom of their three foot deep laundry hamper.
When was the last time someone did their laundry? No one knows. But the stratigraphy is clear, even without consulting our back door neighbor (a geologist). It's been way more than a month.
This got me wondering if they'd just been hamper diving while I was away. My current theory, which Math Man isn't debating (he's taking the fifth on this) is that every time they came back from a trip, Math Man washed the three or four pairs of communal shorts that they packed. So I think they've mostly been wearing clean clothes, just not much variety!
Saturday, September 01, 2007
At 5:36 am I awoke to the sound of the Boy's feet hitting the floor. At 6:20 am he appeared, shiny and clean at my bedside. By 7:30 am when I appeared downstairs, showered and dressed, he and Game Guy were playing The Hard to Acquire Game System That Shall Not Be Named and reported that they were 10 minutes early to the bus stop. We'll see how this all goes on Tuesday!