|Why do I think this is out west? Maybe it's the bullet holes.|
Even when teachers are available, records show that most people drop away from practice when it starts to get difficult or boring, and it does both. I only mean to say, if you're not committed to a practice, you've got a lot of company. On the other hand, the day does come when you wish you'd been practicing all these years.
On still another hand, so to speak, practice does not make perfect. You may practice for years and years and still find yourself shaking your head at some mindless moment. There are big ones, like the time not long ago when I fell off a step stool and got a concussion and a compression fracture in my spine. Then there are the little ones. You can make an endless stream of those without trying. I made two little ones so far today, and it's just noon.
1. I injured my lower back and set up my sciatica giving the cat her daily dander treatment.
2. Thinking morosely how I injured my lower back, I went to take a Tylenol from my pillcase, but instead took my 2:00 pm immune-suppressants two hours early, which they really caution against.
Allow me to explain.
|What do you mean, your table?|
This morning I had experimentally driven my little car around the block, as the doctor advised, and was pleased that it didn't hurt my back. Maybe I felt big and strong as a result, because then I did the undandering of Tashi alone. This means wiping down pretty much all her surface with a paper towel moistened with the stuff. She does not like this, though she does not hate it, so she tried to squirm away, but I held her and finished the job. When I straightened up, uh-oh. Pain across the lower back, and that sciatica in the right leg. Just another case of live and learn.
And in that interesting way things do, one mistake led to another. I always take my Rapamune when I open the noon pillcase, which is usually at 2:00, after my phone alarm reminds me. I didn't mean to take it at noon, but did, by habit. Habit is sometimes my friend (I scrape the catbox every night) and sometimes my enemy. Awareness is the opposite of habit, now that I think about it. But aware or not, sometimes you misjudge things, and there goes your back.
It pleased me no end to learn a while back that Zen has a term for living your life as a continuous series of mistakes. (You can read a little about it here.) Shoshaku jushaku. Actually, that will happen unless you're in a very tidy rut. When I saw that term I thought, If I ever get to go through the process whereby you are given a Buddhist name, this might well be it.