Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thinking inside the box

My schedule begins now, when my (expensive, ridiculous, new) Droid sounds an alarm at 8:00 a.m. Time to stop everything and take my Neoral. A while ago I decided to anchor my day to this in this fashion:
get up, medical stuff, take synthroid
coffee with e-friends
8:00  take Neoral
bodywork, meditate
9:00 breakfast, rest of pills
If this doesn't sound difficult to you, you are not a *Creative!* person.  To be such is to now be considering how I could import an image of the word *Creative!* in joker font and many colors.

Mine is not the smooth, disciplined creativity of many writers who do this one thing, the novel they're working on, and that is the thing they do. Mine is the creativity of someone who goes to a Greek restaurant and is inspired to learn to make avgolemon soup, in fact, to learn Greek cooking, and paint a mural on her bathroom wall, but first wants to figure out how to download photos from her Droid.  Right now the schedule says this person is going to turn the monitor off, pull down the shades, close the door (to the cat), settle down and do nothing else but follow the schedule.   There is a little slack built in, but I try very hard not to let that slack eat into practice time.

This does relate to the fact that lately I have been considering what my Buddhist name would be - Crazy Cloud?  Wild Mind? Wonder what Amasamy would say if I ask him about it. He doesn't do things traditionally.  Speculating on my name makes me sort of chuckle and smile.  Fortunately, I am alone. You don't want to walk down the street laughing at your own mind.  Other people get alarmed; they can't see your mind.  The Zen story about that suggests that you should therefore understand that your mind is not real.

I understand the wisdom of that, but still, my mind is like a fad toy I saw years go on the boardwalk in Atlantic City:  a leash and dog collar that wobbles alongside the walker, so seems to be an invisible dog.  Just electronics, and I guess, so is my mind.  Mental emissions. Yet it strains at the leash at times.  Right now it is saying, I bet there's a video of that on YouTube.  Down boy, down. This should explain why I really do need to meditate.

I always had to suppress a smile when I heard Daniel explain retreat in a public talk or before a retreat, with the words, "All you have to do is follow the schedule."  That's all? I would think ironically (yes, this is possible.)  For some of us that's the hardest thing in the world.  And I know that for some people, it's the easiest.  Relax, let all your desires float past like distant clouds, just sit here motionless in this upright posture till the bell rings.  And don't be late. 

Wild mind that I am I often think about following the schedule - doing the things I have to do.  Yesterday I was making my back hurt doing my weekly pills in the special box with 28 compartments.  This has to be done right, or you'll be sorry.  They include a pill that prevents my atrial fibrillation, another to replace the thyroid gland that had to be removed surgically, others to lower my blood pressure so I don't go out with a stroke like both my parents did, others to prevent a really bad stomach ache brought on by others that suppress my immune system.  Others to help me get to sleep because other pills that suppress my immune response give me Very Active Mind at bedtime.  In other words, these are not frivolous pills, and doing them right is hard for me.  But I must do it once a week.  if I hadn't done it yesterday, I would have awakened today to the necessity of counting out the fourteen pills I take with breakfast.

So, illness has been a stern teacher for me, forcing discipline on someone who wants to walk barefoot through the world, stop to smell the roses, and so on. Discipline is one of the three somethings we learn through meditation, as I recall. But I am not going to stop now to look it up.  Maybe later.

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