I find myself in tears every so often. I just let them fall without trying to resist them.
It is hard to think I will never see Dad again. I talk to him on my walks in the quiet of the woods. Some part of him lives on inside me.
It is a kindness to myself to give the grief space. To hold it all without judging it, or adding any more to it, or taking any of it personally. Just flowing with it, letting it be.
Life as it is the only teacher.
I am learning it is okay to not know what to say at times. Sometimes being a silent presence is enough.
I centre with the breath, and let everything happening around me be as it is. I breathe through it, flood my whole field of awareness with the breath, so it feels like the whole cosmos is breathing with me.
When the mind is more serene I fill my awareness with love, with compassion, with peace, or equanimity.
When not in sitting meditation. I take refuge in what is known as sati sampajanna, mindfulness of the present moment. Knowing where I am, what I'm doing. Whatever activity I am engaged in, I try to stay centred with it and with the feeling of embodiment.
When I notice I am getting absorbed in thoughts to do with greed, aversion, or conceit. I label them as such and then brush them aside like useless rubbish. Nonsense. Not worth investing in, or wasting psychic energy on. I let them be in the background, but I stop engaging with them, and keep centering the mind with some aspect of mindfulness instead, that feels calming.
It isn't easy. Sometimes I can dismiss thoughts quickly. Other times I have to talk myself into a better state of mind. And sometimes I have to do it gently in stages.
Mindfulness, effort, samhadi they work together. Both in sitting meditation and in daily life.
It is difficult. But worth it in the end I am assured. Although not liberated yet, I am noticing benefits to dhamma practise, which keep growing steadily. Benefits in terms of increased peace of mind. So I am slowly but surely developing, and seem to be going in the right direction.
The problem can be narrowed down to just greed, anger, and conceit. These are what harrass the mind. And when those three psychic irritants are absent, there is a feeling of great relief. The mind stops harrassing itself and there is peace.
It just takes time to get there, perseverance, patience, sometimes endurance. But one day our future selves will be glad we took the time to train the mind - when it all bears fruit.
What we practise now grows stronger and is who we become.
It is exhausting being someone, being a person. Maintaining an identity. It is a heavy suitcase we carry around. Our moods change, as does the world. And one's ego inevitably falls apart. A fragile house of cards swept up by the worldly winds.
A lot of psychic energy is bound up in the story 'I am'.
When that psychic energy is released. It becomes unbound, limitless. Free.
An energy no longer subject to conditions. Something difficult to define and put into words. To define it is to attach conditions to it.
Anyway that's all I've got just now, and what I am currently working with in my practise.
Here's a poem attributed to the Buddha I have going through my head at the moment:
' Let not a person revive the past
Or on the future build one's hopes,
For the past has been left behind
And the future has not been reached.
Instead with insight let one see
Each presently arisen state;
Let one know that and be sure of it, Invincibly, unshakably.
Today the effort must be made; Tomorrow Death may come, who knows?
No bargain with Mortality
Can keep him and his hoards away.
But one who dwells thus ardently, Relentlessly, by day, by night
It is those, the Peaceful Sage has said, Who have had one excellent night. '
- the Buddha.