Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The state of my life and mind

Here's a short excerpt of what's been happening in my mind and life lately: Aaaaargh!! Mental and physical overload! I need to have a mental breakdown so I can get some rest! (Thanks, Carol, Sardines in a Can, for this idea.)

My life is in a state of flux right now. I don't like it one bit.

I have never welcomed change with open arms. Change, baby, how long has it been since I saw you last? A few minutes ago? Well, welcome, to my best, best friend! Come give me a wet sloppy kiss!

My kids are growing up, especially my elder, and it hurts. It is a physical pain to see him needing us less, wanting us even less than that. My kids are in band camp and physically absent for much of the day. I miss them.

I have been in the midst of a potential career change, and it's stressful too. Time-consuming, and stressful.

I volunteered to be the treasurer at church because there was a desperate need for a capable person. I felt God dragged me into this position, kicking and screaming all the way, because I really felt I had no choice but to take this on right now. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see any other way to respond.

Me, me, me! That's guaranteed to cause stress and frustration as well, too much self-focus. But it is hard to avoid when a major life change forces us to re-examine our goals and dreams.

I have to be flexible right now. Fluid, graceful, swaying with the winds like a willow. Self-forgiving. Outward-focused, even with inner turmoil. A sense of humor is a lifeline. It sure ain't easy.

I am listening to a fascinating Mind-Life seminar that took place, I believe, in 2007, between the Dalai Lama and a number of scientists from different disciplines. About the nature of consciousness and attention, and what Buddhist practice (vs. religion) contributes, and what science contributes, and where there may be overlap or agreement. It was an ambitious experiment to bring such diverse groups together to communicate. There are language and cultural barriers that are plain even from a casual listening to the dialogue. The Dalai Lama has a fascination with all things scientific, and Buddhism has 2,500 years (?) of history in honing the development of focused attention through various meditation practices.

This seminar tests the limits of sensory perception and reminds me that everything we perceive is fallible. Therefore, it's quite tricky to get absolute scientific validation of any phenomenon. There almost enters an element of faith; that we trust our vision or other senses, if it concurs with what is perceived by others, to give us a reasonably accurate estimation of physical reality. Physical reality is not directly observable, because everything passes through the filter of mind and thought, and is changed by such, to a truly amazing degree. It happens so rapid-fire that we miss all the labeling and preconceptions that overlay what we are perceiving. Think about the miracle of reading these words! What a mental accomplishment that is, to recall and identify not only every letter, but many combinations in many words, without obvious effort.

I had a complaint from a perfect stranger about changing my blog URL, making it even more invisible than it already was! (I had posted a comment to his blog about a month back and he was trying to click-through to my blog.) So I'm attempting to "restore factory settings" and change it back. I hope you're happy!

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