August 31, 2015

I got up early again so I could be at Chandra’s center at 6am.  The class was less what I needed at the time.  Rakhis were mentioned several times in today’s lesson. Oddly, I was already familiar with the concept. In Indian culture, there’s a holiday (which was on the 29th this year) where brothers and sisters will tie a rakhi on each others wrists. The brothers do so as a sign of protection for their sister. The sisters do so as a sign of love and to offer prayers for their brother. In this class, it was mentioned in today’s class that anyone can tie a rakhi on anyone because everyone can become like a brother or a sister.

Chandra, the teacher of the class, asked me to stay and help her again. She also offered to tie a rakhi on me. I was honored and said yes. Then she stated that it also symbolizes a promise to abide by the rules followed at the retreat center, which, I guess, they also follow there as well. Now most of them I think are great and I would love to promise to live by them. However, I had no desire to become a vegetarian or practice chastity. But I already stated that I would love to have her tie it on me. As she tied it, I offered my apologies to Chandra’s version of the divine for not even offering to try to become a vegetarian or be chaste and offered to follow the other rules.

I stayed and helped her contact a few more people. She wanted to explore other social networks and asked about Twitter and LinkedIn. I got her set up with a Twitter account and I explained to her how to use it. I also tried to explain the LinkedIn was not for promoting free meditation and spiritual classes.

When I got home, the rakhi fell off. I felt like it was meant to be. I re-tied it on myself and made my own promises to my version of the divine. I finished cleaning up my apartment because my mom and step-dad were coming to visit.

They came and I tried my best to be a good hostess, asking them questions and pretending to enjoy their company. I love them and everything, but I have never been good at showing that love and I would imagine that many of my friends don’t even realize I value their friendship because all I do is install them in front of movies that meant a lot to me while I cook. In this case, I tried to converse about trivialities while I cooked. They seemed to enjoy it. I served the food and they offered to help me drink some of the alcohol that was left in my fridge from my camping trip. We watched one of my favorite movies after dinner. They had two drinks each and I had three. After the movie, we chatted a bit about the movie and they had to get going. Those three drinks actually got me quite tipsy. I hoped they didn’t realize how I was wobbling a little in my gait as I walked them out. After they lift, the alcohol hit me more and I felt quite poorly.

I went outside to have a cigarette and I offered up a prayer, apologizing for already getting drunk. I asked for guidance and help in becoming the person I wanted to be. I went inside and went to sleep.

Here are today’s nuggets of wisdom from the morning class:

Jewels should constantly emerge from your lips.

Everyone is following you, so with every thought and every action consider yourself to have such a huge responsibility.

Those who spread the rays of all powers everywhere are master suns of knowledge.

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Finances: I spent no money today.

Relationships: I hung out with Chandra, my mom, and step-dad today.

Meditation:  I meditated today.

Sleep: I slept for 6 hours last night.

Exercise:  I did no exercise today.

Diet: I followed my diet today.

De-cluttering and cleaning: I did both today.

Hygiene:  I showered, but did not brush my teeth today.

Mood and temperament: I was in a good mood. I was oddly disturbed by my accidental drunkenness.  My temperament was good.

August 30, 2015

When I was at the retreat center, I discovered there is a smaller center that offers morning classes like the retreat center did. I had been in contact with Chandra (the women in charge of my local center) by e-mail. I came and meditated and listened to the daily class. I guess it is distributed to the teachers in advance, so she just had to read it. I was the only one there with her, but I got a lot out of this one. I looked around the room and saw a picture of a man driving five horses with a picture representing each of the senses on each horse. So one had an ear, another had a nose, etc. The idea is that you can control your senses or they can control you. But I suppose it’s a trick for one person to control five horses.  As she read, I felt my love for everyone and life swell up in my chest. I liked this feeling.

She asked me to stay and help her on the computer. She was trying to make a facebook page to draw people to the various classes she taught at the center. I couldn’t believe that nobody was interested in those free classes. I had a few friends nearby who would probably be interested in taking her free meditation classes. I helped her make her facebook page and had her practice posting to it, so I knew she could do it without me. Then she asked me to help her to post an ad for the free classes to various publications. After four hours went by, I was starting to lose my patience and get bored, so I made some excuses and left.

I spent the rest of my day being unusually focused and continued working on that to-do list.

Here are today’s nuggets of wisdom:

Remain detached from your past attitude.

You make effort and retain the reward simultaneously. Remain constantly aware by keeping your reward in front of you.

Keep the things you have to renounce behind you and the things you have to take in front of you.

Peace and happiness are your birthright.

Do not think of what happened in the past. This is known as making an intensive effort.

Have mercy, even for those who defame you.

Be constant. Be constant in bliss. Be constant in happiness. Do not be influenced by those around you.

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Finances: I spent no money today.

Relationships: I hung out with Chandra.

Meditation:  I meditated today.

Sleep: I slept for 7 hours last night.

Exercise:  I did no exercise today.

Diet: I did not follow my diet today.

De-cluttering and cleaning: I did both today.

Hygiene:  I did not shower or brush my teeth today..

Mood and temperament: I was in a good mood.  I was happy that I was so productive, too!  My temperament was good.

August 29. 2015

I had two dreams last night. One was where a doctor looked at a raised mole on my arm (that is actually there in real life) and said it was cancer. That was the whole dream. The other dream I was driving in a light snow. The dusting barely covered the road, so I really didn’t take care to drive much slower than normally. Then I drove on a bridge and hit an ice patch. The ice sent my car into a very fast spin. As my car spun in circles several times, I realized there was nothing that I could do and was able to calmly accept the options that were likely to happen: I hit the barrier to the edge, the barrier gets knocked out by my car and I go over the edge, or the car stops spinning and I was able to continue driving. The bridge was wide with two lanes on either side. I felt the tense muscles in my body relax as I accepted whatever fate was to happen. Eventually, the car stopped spinning. I drove off of the bridge and pulled off of the side of the road. I saw kids pouring buckets of water on the bridge, which was on a bit of a hill, to allow the ice to form so they could slide on it. I tried to tell them how wrong they were in what they were doing, but I wasn’t able to convince them.

I checked the mole on my arm when I got up. It’s still raised and dark with a hair growing out of it, but it would still be deemed too small by a doctor to take any interest in it. Skin cancer runs in my family, so I keep an eye on every beauty mark and mole on my body every so often. Only one is growing, but it’s “too small” still. Only one is raised and extremely dark, but it’s also “too small”. Maybe there was some more symbolic meaning to the first dream, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.

The second dream was much easier to determine. Once things in my life are beyond my control, I need to let go. If I can’t do anything about it, there’s no need to worry about it. I recall saying it before, but this week was the first time that I finally was able to actually put it into practice.

After I got up, I made a to-do list. There were over 40 items on that list under four different sub-headings and most of them had to be done soon. I spent the whole day working on those items and got about a quarter of them completed.

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Finances: I spent $30 on a membership to a trail club.  It was a requirement because I’m organizing a weekend trip and I had to be a member to do so.

Relationships: I talked to my mom on the phone.

Meditation:  I did not meditate today.

Sleep: I slept for 8 hours last night.

Exercise:  I did no exercise today.

Diet: I followed my diet today.

De-cluttering and cleaning: I did both today.

Hygiene:  I did not shower or brush my teeth today.

Mood and temperament: I was in a good mood.  I was happy that I was so productive, but a bit stressed out about the size of my to-do list.  The way I looked at it, though, the more I worked on it, the more I’d get done, so the less stressed I’d be about it!  My temperament was good.

August 28, 2015

I awoke early and again felt a sense of happiness/contentment upon awakening! I left pretty early the next morning. Frank helped me carry my stuff out to my car. As I walked behind him, I noticed how nice and chiseled his calves looked in his shorts and looked at them rather admiringly. I hugged him goodbye and left.

I got back in time to do a half day of volunteer work with the trail crew. They put me with the two untalkative members of the crew, so I didn’t enjoy the company as much. Also, I was just exhausted and sore from our hike yesterday, so I really had to push myself to complete the work I was given. I also found out Brandon has a girlfriend, so I couldn’t understand his constant stares. I didn’t even try, to be honest, because I really didn’t care. When I got home I was so tired and so sore. I don’t remember what I did, but I’m sure it wasn’t terribly productive.

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Finances: I spent $55 on gas and fast food.

Relationships: I hung out with the trail crew and, briefly, Frank.

Meditation:  I did not meditate today.

Sleep: I slept for 6 hours last night.

Exercise:  I did plenty of exercise doing trail work today.

Diet: I did not follow my diet today.

De-cluttering and cleaning: I did neither today.

Hygiene:  I did not shower or brush my teeth today.

Mood and temperament: I was too tired and sore to understand what mood I was in.  My temperament was good.

August 27, 2015

When I woke up, I felt something in between contentment and happiness. I awoke with a smile on my face and enjoyed just the feeling of my body stretching. Was all this because ate right for one day!? That’s a big argument for me keeping it up! I awoke early, so I took my time about getting everything done. I left mid-morning and arrived at Frank’s house in the early afternoon.

I wasn’t sure quite how to act when he opened the door, and I could tell he felt the same way.  He showed me where to put my things.  I think for something to do, he took me to a sporting goods store so I could help him pick out a few hiking accessories that he wanted and then we went for our hike. We didn’t talk much. I was honestly just happy admiring the scenery, so I enjoyed myself anyway.  There were other people there and most of them set a faster pace than I do. When we returned to the trail head, I sat on a rock.  When I got up, I had a bad cramp in my leg that made it difficult to walk.  Without so much as asking me, he just started massaging my leg.  It was odd.  It was like he was claiming me in front of my friends, yet he did nothing else to signify his interest.  I didn’t think much about it past that since it didn’t really matter at this point anyway. I avoided looking at his eyes, so I didn’t have to see if his caring was still there or not.  I knew I would react no matter what I saw in them since I do like him.  It was an odd sensation to like him yet have no expectations, either of him or in the future.

When we got back, we spent most of the time just sitting on the couch and watching TV, but I didn’t mind. Honestly, he entertains people just like I do! I like to share movies that mean things to me.  I would have liked to have cuddled with him, but he purposely chose another couch after I sat in the one that he had clearly occupied before I arrived. One advantage of not having any expectations was that I didn’t feel disappointment when nothing happened between us. I didn’t anticipate anything, so I didn’t mind. It was great! He made dinner which was okay. He was kind enough to adhere to my diet in his cooking, which I appreciated.  We stayed up until midnight watching television (on separate couches) then I went to bed.

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Finances: I spent $20 on tolls and fast food.

Relationships: I hung out with Frank and some hiking friends that I don’t get to see often.

Meditation:  I did not meditate today.

Sleep: I slept for 8 hours last night.

Exercise:  I did plenty of exercise hiking today.

Diet: I followed my diet again today.

De-cluttering and cleaning: I did neither today.

Hygiene:  I showered and brushed my teeth today!

Mood and temperament: I was in an amazingly good mood!  My temperament was good.

August 26, 2015

Today I got a lot done. I had several things to do before I left for Frank’s tomorrow, most notably, I had to go food shopping, cook food, do laundry. I also wanted to get a haircut. I managed to do all of those things. For the first time in a while I was back on my diet, but I found I was constantly craving sugar. I really had to force myself to get it all done, but when I went to bed in the evening, I felt a contentment as I lay in bed that I had not felt much recently.

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Finances: I spent $85 on groceries and probably $10 at the laundromat.

Relationships: I hung out with no one.

Meditation:  I did not meditate today.

Sleep: I slept for 8 hours, plus various naps.

Exercise:  I did no real exercise today.

Diet: I actually followed my diet today.

De-cluttering and cleaning: I did neither today.

Hygiene:  I did not shower or brush my teeth today.

Mood and temperament: I was in a a haze of tiredness, but pushed myself to do things anyway.  My temperament was good.

August 25, 2015

Despite all the sleep, I still awoke tired and sore. I felt very tired and unmotivated, so I started out the day reading and napping again.  Then I was chatting with Kevin and as I was typing I realized what I needed to do  I was doing just fine and then I randomly wanted to cry and couldn’t figure out why.  I’ve finally gotten over my thing with Frank, or at least I have gotten over my need to be with him. I’m purposely not looking for anything with anyone. If I find, I find, if not, than not. So I can’t figure out what’s going on.  He suggested a number of things that did not apply, but it caused me to state the following:

I can much more easily volunteer and do things for others, but I’m so absolutely hopeless at taking care of myself. And despite everything, There are many times when me is all I have. Why would I not take care of the one person who is with me through everything?

He asked if I thought that the Universe would want me to learn to take care of myself before finding “him” (meaning “the one”).  I thought so. Only there is no “him” in my world anymore. There’s just me. There may be a “him” eventually, but I’m finally able to focus on “not him”. The only thing is I couldn’t figure out what to focus on now when I spent so much time finding and focusing on him?

I ended up also chatting with Jack.  Things were looking bad between him and his girlfriend.  He had temporarily moved out (I’m assuming by her request).  I almost never think poorly of anyone, but this woman is a manipulative bitch.  Nonetheless, I still feel bad for him because he’s hurting. But I hope over time her true character is revealed to him. It will make her much easier to get over.  I tried to be there for him, but it’s tough. He’s been there for me at times, so I wanna return the favor. That and I just feel for people going through a hard time. I’ve been through so many of those myself and felt so alone. So when I know someone is going through something, I just want them to feel not alone, if that makes sense.

It seemed like there were a few people with issues, judging by the change in their facebook posts. Come to think of it, they were all part of the same clique in our backpacking group.  I feel like several things have happened.  A part of me is curious and a part of me is glad that for once the drama in our backpacking group has nothing to do with me.

I still feel like I’m nearing the end of my shit, but I don’t think it’s quite over yet.  I wonder if learning to take care of myself and put myself first will help me get over my final hurdles.

Despite the fact that I came to this conclusion, I still didn’t do anything about it today. I did next to nothing, either for myself or to attack my ever-growing to-do list.

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Finances: I spent no money today.

Relationships: I only chatted with Kevin and Jack online.

Meditation:  I did not meditate today.

Sleep: I probably slept for a total of 12 hours between all the naps and sleep at night as well.

Exercise:  I did no exercise today.

Diet: I did not follow my diet today.

De-cluttering and cleaning: I did neither today.

Hygiene:  I didn’t shower or brush my teeth.

Mood and temperament: I was in a a haze of tiredness, other than my brief moment where I wanted to cry, I was fine.  My temperament was good.

August 24, 2015

Four o’clock came really quickly. I dragged myself to meditation, but spent a lot of it nodding off. It was the same for the morning class, so I wrote down nothing.

I was very tired and very sore and I just wanted to go home. Or back to sleep.  I had inquired about volunteering with that trail crew earlier in the week, but they weren’t going to be there today. It’s just as well. I wanted to do nothing but go home and go to bed.

I packed up and said my goodbyes to everyone and drove home. On my way home, I started thinking about my next big trip. I will be going to visit Frank on Thursday. I now found that I no longer looked forward to it. I even started to think of it as a chore, like something I had to do because I said I would. That’s nothing against Frank.  I still like him and think he’s a good guy, but I’m short on money and seeing as I was no longer thinking about getting together with him, I found I didn’t feel like driving all that way and spending all that money on the trip.  I guess I really HAD managed to shift my manner of thinking if I was able to look at my upcoming trip in this light.

When I got home I fell asleep. Throughout the day, I spent most of my time alternating between reading and napping.  I was very sore and my body was just worn out with all of the work I did.

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Finances: I spent $45 on gas, tolls, and fast food.

Relationships: I hung out with some of the people at the retreat center.

Meditation:  I meditated today.

Sleep: I slept for 4 hours last night.

Exercise:  My body was not capable of exercise today.

Diet: I did not follow my diet today.

De-cluttering and cleaning: I did neither today.

Hygiene:  I showered yesterday, but did not brush my teeth today.

Mood and temperament: I was in a good mood.  I enjoyed being able to read and sleep as much as I wanted.  My temperament was good.

August 23, 2015

My roommate was so quiet, I really had no idea what time she came in last night. Either that, or I was that tired. I did, however, awake when she got out of bed in the middle of the night saying “Oh my God! Oh my god!” with urgency. She apologized, but didn’t explain what happened, despite my inquiries.

My alarm went off at 4am again and I got up to meditate. I was a bit more successful in my meditation today. At least I don’t think I fell asleep. I went back to the room and typed up more of my blog. I’m about a week away from being caught up. I ran into Christine as she came out of the building. We chatted a bit. I skipped the 6am meditation in hopes of getting some kind of breakfast before the class. I found out after the fact that I wasn’t supposed to eat the food I ate.  I was SO HUNGRY though!  Oops!

At the class there was an announcement that Christine’s mom had passed away yesterday.  Even though I really didn’t pay too much attention to the class, I felt my heart swell up with love as it was being read. I fell asleep for the meditation led by Christine which I couldn’t help, but it still felt disrespectful for her and for her mother who, I believe was supposed to be honored during the meditation.

I did more work on the grounds today. I had a very difficult time having enough energy to do the work.   I found out after the fact that the people who live there take a break/nap from 2-4pm and I worked from about 8-noon then from 1-4.  The people attending the retreats left in the morning leaving a very different atmosphere.  I guess many of the people there had assumed I was attending a retreat.  When they realized I was there to help out, they introduced themselves and were more friendly towards me.

Again, I was ravenous for my meals. I tried to go to sleep early around 8pm again, but ended up getting distracted by the internet so I didn’t end up going to sleep until around 11pm or so. I still felt a feeling of peace and gratitude as I waited for sleep take me.

Here are the nuggets of wisdom I took away from today’s morning class:

Constantly be a destroyer of obstacles for yourself and others. The easiest way to do that is by removing question marks and keep your powers by coming to a full stop.

Create zeal and enthusiasm in others by appreciating their specialties.

Create a spiritual atmosphere at your home and in yourself.

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Finances: I spent $20 on cigarettes, a lighter, and some gas station food and drink.

Relationships: I hung out with the some of the various people who live and volunteer at the retreat center.

Meditation:  I meditated today.

Sleep: I slept for 8 hours last night.

Exercise:  I did plenty of exercise today.

Diet: I followed my diet as well as I could today.

De-cluttering and cleaning: n/a

Hygiene:  I showered, but did not brush my teeth today.

Mood and temperament: I was in a good mood, but felt a weariness in my body that eventually resulted in a tiredness that affected my mood. My temperament was good.

August 22, 2015

I awoke at 4am for the morning meditation.  I discovered that the people who live at the retreat center and those who came to help out, like myself, had a set schedule to follow as well.  It seemed to be this:

4:00-4:45am – meditate
6:00-7:30am – meditate and class
7:30-8:30am – breakfast
9:00-1:00pm – work
1:00-2:00pm – lunch
2:00-4:00pm – work
4:00-5:00pm – tea
7:00-7:30pm – meditate
7:30-8:30pm – dinner

While I was meditating, I started to think about my resolution about giving up on finding “the one” for a while. What would help me most? To be celibate? To just hook up? To date a guy who does not further my goals of settling down and having kids? Or just purposely not looking and having no expectations and what happens happens. This last sounded like my ordinal idea. The different part is figuring out what rules to follow. Or do I throw out the rules and give up expectations?

I walked a lot of the grounds with Christine. She talked about what needed work and seemed to want me to choose what I wanted to work on.  I liked this idea!  We also talked as we walked. I liked talking to her about spirituality. She made me feel insightful while gently correcting my few mistakes. It’s like we spoke a similar language. We talked of expectations. I thought having expectations was my problem, but my real problem was being attached to my expectations. I also thought that expectations implied attachment but realized that it does not necessarily. After discussing her encounter with a bear, we talked about fear.  She said that the way to conquer fear is through meditation.

I worked all day in the gardens, doing various tasks that seemed interesting to me.  I really didn’t think about anything other than my work except at meals. I was really focused.

By the time tea time rolled around. After tea Christine and Pat came to see my work.  They were really pleased with what I did!  By the time I got back, I needed a nap. I was only able to nap for less than an hour. I wanted to be on time for dinner. In fact, I was early for every meal because I was ravenous. The nap didn’t help the tiredness and it was difficult for me to smile pleasantly at dinner. I went to bed around 8pm. As I laid there awaiting sleep, I felt a surge of gratitude. I had worked hard all day yet I was the one who felt grateful. I lay there enjoying the feeling as I drifted off to sleep.

Here are some more bits of wisdom I picked up in the morning spirituality class:

If you are able to stabilize your intellect so you can have one thought as long as you want, you are practicing meditation.

When people are at their lowest, it brings out the worst in you. It takes courage to lift up those who are degraded. When things start to break down, the inner receptors of desire, attachment, and are triggered. Once they’re gone, you won’t get pulled down.

Context is not needed. Innocently give people what they need.

When you stop interfering, you open up the door to your happiness.

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Finances: I spent no money today.

Relationships: I hung out with Christine.

Meditation:  I meditated today.

Sleep: I am unsure how long I slept, but I would guess maybe 6 hours.

Exercise:  I did plenty of exercise today.

Diet: I followed my diet as well as I could.  They fed me, so I only insisted on gluten-free fare.

De-cluttering and cleaning: n/a

Hygiene:  I showered, but did not brush my teeth today.

Mood and temperament: I was in a good mood, but my mood was clouded by tiredness by the end of the day.  My temperament was good.