Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What Is

A typical morning in the Sizzle house goes something like this:

  • Dash, motorized cat extraordinaire, pouncing on my pillow.
  • Dottie, burrowing under the covers for a snuggle.
  • The alarm buzzes.
  • Hit the snooze.
  • Mikey gets up.
  • Angelou barrels in, terrorizing the cats and making herself comfortable at the end of the bed.
  • Me, lying there, daydreaming.
  • Mikey's razor clicks on and then, a few minutes later, the shower runs.
  • Hit the snooze again.
  • Angelou licks my face.
  • Dash proceeds to loudly chomp food.
  • Dottie decides now is the perfect time to visit the litter box.
  • I wonder, can cats have OCD? If so, I think Dottie suffers from it.
  • I think: It's cold. What am I going to wear today? I need new clothes. I don't want to get up.
  • Mikey exits the bathroom.
  • I get up. Make tea. Check my email.
  • I read my meditation book: The Book of Awakening (Mark Nepo).
  • I seriously consider that Mark Nepo is a mind reader. Every damn day the meditation strikes a cord in me. Like today:

"There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." -Albert Einstein

There is no end to worry, because there is no end to what exists out of view, beyond our very small eyes. So worry is a way to gamble with what might or might not happen.

It reminds me of a friend who had a flat tire on a country road. After finding he had no jack, he began walking, hoping to find a nearby farmer who would help him. It was getting dark and the crickets were getting louder. As he walked the overgrown road, he began to throw the dice of worry in his mind: What if the farmer's not home? What if he is and won't let me use his jack? What if he won't let me use his phone? What if he's frightened of me? I never did anything to him! Why won't he just let me use his phone?!

By the time he knocked on the farmer's door, my friend was so preoccupied with what could go wrong that when the friendly old man answered, my friend bellowed, "Well, you can keep your Goddamn jack!"

Being human, we struggle constantly to stay with the miracle of what is and not to fall constantly into the black hole of what is not. This is an ancient challenge. As the Sufi poet Ghalib said centuries ago, "Every particle of creation sings its own song of what is and what is not. Hearing what is can make you wise, hearing what is not can drive you mad."

- Sit quietly and consider a situation that is causing you worry. (Ok. Check.)

- Breathe slowly and as you inhale, focus on accepting what is. Try to let in both the gifts and the hardships of the reality you are in. (Trying. Trying. It is difficult.)

- Breathe evenly and as you exhale, focus on releasing what is not. Try to let go of all the unimagined outcomes that are not yet real. (I think I am going to need to do this 100 times today.)

- Settle into the miracle of what is. (Ok. If you say so...)


jeopardygirl said...

sounds like a good book

Rabbit said...

Who drives around without a jack in his trunk?

Sizzle said...

i do. but i am an anal, controlling worrier like that. ;)

Bob Merrick said...

I just ordered the book.

Chairborne Stranger said...

That was very well written. Thanks.

Mikey said...

Powerful blogg today. Thanks

Moonchild said...

So when do you get to use the bathroom if Mikey gets the honor of using it first? .... I wake up at 7:17AM and am out the door by 7:46 AM ....

Melissa said...

I need that book. And if I breathe and think as much as is required to find that happy place I'm going to hyperventilate on a regular basis.

Sizzle said...

good question ink, i hop in when he bails to work. i roll into work around 9ish but he has to be in to work at 8. it's all fair. i left out the bathroom bit fearing it was TMI. ;)

mel, you will hyperventilate for many reasons, that being one of them. get it!

Jenster said...

That sounds like a good book. I think I'll get it.

Dottie and my cat could be twins. They look identical. Come to think of it, I think my cat is OCD also. :)

Nihilistic said...

I think I could do that for the few minutes I was doing it, but it would all flood back in again as soon as I was out of the shower...

Bill said...

My cat, Gonzo, once shared her own bit of wisdom: "There is no path to happiness more certain than paying attention to me. Feed me and live a life of bliss. Pay no attention to anything other than me and you will not only find joy, you will have a friend who will scratch the eyes out of anyone who intrudes."

I can't say that I am happy. I do, however, still have my eyes.

D'Andre said...

Thought provoking book.... Great post today....