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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Monkey Mind Maybe

My meditation sitting didn’t go as planned this morning. I went into it feeling sort of blue, hoping to visit the tranquil center of my soul, but then Monkey Mind invaded my thinking. I taped my brain waves during this morning’s session and this is how it went. Please realize that Monkey Mind isn’t me. I don’t know who he is.

Monkey Mind: “So, why so glum chum? What’s the prob today? Something always seems to be bothering you. Aren’t you ever happy?”

Me: “Nothing’s wrong. I’m not supposed to be talking to you.”

Monkey Mind: “Aw… you’re confused and stuck, blue and bloated. Well, hells bells it sucks to be you. Have another banana and take one for the monkey.”

Me: “I am not my thoughts. I am the silence behind the thoughts—the lean back and breathe, the soft in the center.”

Monkey Mind: “Blubber tastes delicious to old-fashioned Eskimos but not to me. It’s too…blubbery. Lots of things on this planet are gross. I knew that life was going to be a bitch when I got slapped on the ass for showing up.”

Me: “Who said that?”

Monkey Mind: “I did.”

Me: “Who are you?”

Monkey Mind: “I don’t know, but I’m not you so relax. “

Me & Monkey Mind: “This is weird…me not being my thoughts. It makes me wonder…. Or is it someone else wondering? Hmmm.”

Monkey Mind: “There’s going to be a flogging at the village square—a tar and feathering—guilty guilty.”

Me: “Stand by the edge of the river and observe your thoughts floating by. Don’t let them distract you. They are not you.”

Monkey Mind: “I gotta pee.”

Me: “Shhh! Who are you anyway?”

Monkey Mind: “Um. God.”

Me: “No you’re not. Shut up so I can meditate. Lean back and observe the thoughts flowing by. I am not my thoughts…. Oh screw it. I’m getting a cup of coffee. You coming?”

Monkey Mind: “You betcha! Loser.”

Me: “What did you call me?”

Monkey Mind: “Nothing. Remember when you used to pick pussy willows by that covered bridge, like that movie with hunky Clint Eastwood in it? Hey I just met you…here’s my number, so call me maybe…

Me: ”It’s going to be a long day.”

Because misery loves company I'm featuring this video today. My friend Beth planted it in my head yesterday, so I wanted to pay it forward:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Are We There Yet?

As I walk, my path narrows, pinpointing my destination—a lofty target with margins that vanish into infinity. I wonder as I tread; what does this path hold for me? For if life is indeed a journey, and this trail is to get me there, you’d think I would be more certain about outcomes.

I’ve traveled many a road and found that up usually leads to down—and down to up. The climax becomes the foreplay, offering intimacies and secrets for new adventures, never really arriving at all, but rather continuing….

The mountaintop provides an intoxicating view from kingdom heights, allowing me to assess the topography of the landscape—map out the many mountains and valleys ahead that must be crossed.

Initially the mountaintop experience is euphoric—I want to stay there forever, but such high altitudes are incapable of sustaining life for any meaningful length of time, besides, the real rewards lie within the shadowy forests of the valley, where the rainbow’s colors bleed into the earth, burying the gold just below the surface, concealing it from thieves who pass by, their eager eyes always looking ahead, their hands too lazy to dig.

I walk circumspectly, aware of the indigenous plants—staying clear of the low-lying poisons with their showy blooms, instead turning my desires toward the simple fruits found high within the woodland’s emerald canopy, reclining on elevated boughs as I eat my meals in mottled sunlight.

This isn’t my first expedition, and I doubt it will be my last, but all along I’ve had to fight the urge to ask, “Are we there yet?”

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Today, I’ve got an endless list of things to do…so much so much! Yet, I can’t get this blog out of my head—so here it is on paper. Let me apologize ahead of time if it’s a bit snappy, but I’m channeling my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Cronin, who was never one to pussyfoot around.

When life drones on like a drunken relative, leaving too much time for stinking thinking, and old worries dig their way out from their graves with zombie like skill, then it’s time to gather things up and set them in order.

If you don’t know what to do with a problem the best thing to do is to leave it alone. I mean really, look at it with its lunatic stare and inflamed gums, curled into the corner like Lizzie Borden ready to strike. Do you really feel capable of dealing with that thing, or would you rather take a dip in the pool? No brainer—right?

If you haven’t been able to fix the situation then chances are it’s not time to fix it. After all, it’s really not bothering anyone as long as you leave it alone. It’s only when you poke and prod it with your yardstick that it gets testy.

What? You say it’s a big problem? Well then this calls for big distractions, unless of course you have a solution, in which case go at it. Otherwise, step away from the joy killer and get a life.

Go do something else. Anything else! Hide a walky-talky in the bushes and then sit inside with the other walky-talky and say things to people when they walk by, like: “I saw what you did!” Or go to a crowded beach with a box of cheerios and feed the hungry seagulls, then act innocent when the sunbathers get dive-bombed and shat upon.

There are about a zillion other things you could be doing besides harassing your fears. So what that these pranks are a tad aggressive; it’s fun to kick back once in awhile, surely whatever karma these deeds trigger will be minor. Certainly nothing more than a flopped soufflĂ© or a stubbed toe—it will be well worth it.

* Mrs. Cronin is a genius.

I find when I get busy living life, my problems fade, and my creativity rises. I also notice that I’m much more likely to discover solutions with my mind pacified. It gives the magic a chance to happen, allowing life to direct me with serendipitous events—events that I would never be clever enough to orchestrate on my own, and then abracadabra! the solution finds me.

This weekend a friend visited for an overnighter. She came with her jammies packed, along with some other useless bullshit that she wasn’t sure what to do with. You know… her collection of dilemmas that believe just because they belong to her that they are invited to go everywhere she goes.

I was well prepared for her visit, having spent many musical hours mixing sangria, and preparing a kick-ass meal. But, just one day prior to this I was obsessing over a situation of my own. One I’d been knocking around for years without any real solutions. Preparing for my friend’s visit distracted me from my neurosis, clearing the stage for some fun, while also equipping me with the strength to chase off some of her blues before they had a chance to spoil the party.

Some struggles have incredible longevity, hanging around for years, and like back-seat-drivers they nag and bully us—if we let them. We do have a choice. I believe that our trials are tailor-made, sent to teach us valuable lessons. In a way we must make room for them in our lives, while at the same time we must contain them by keeping them in their rightful places—until the solution comes along to claim them.

Fretting and obsessing over difficulties is busy-work for scaredy cats. Take your power back by doing something different, and then forgetaboutit!