Day 216 – Raw, Open, Ready to Begin Again


Zencast 214 – The Three Paths of Buddhist Practice

My ego has taken a hit. I feel like a surgeon has opened me up, moved around my internal organs and then left me open on the table for the world to see.

I move in and out of emotions: back and forth, up and down, in and out.

I never realized the power a 2-year-old could have over my mental and emotional well-being.

Just when I thought I had my practice figured out. Just when my ego felt confident in its mindfulness, calm and patience, here comes age 2 with its flailing, crying, moaning, laughing, dancing, prancing, adorable 2 year old-ness.

I haven’t made it to Sangha yet. There’s just no time. I barely have time to write or listen to my Zencast. I’m popular as can be, but I’m not yet quite recovered enough from traveling half way around the world to come up with on the spot activities that prevent my niece from descending into Tasmanian devil destruction.

At times like these I understand why I have yet to become a mother and question if I ever will. At times like these I have to check my mind at the door so I don’t enter the house with judgement, exasperation and regression to my own inner 2-year-old.

Who would have thought that entering into the world of a young, growing family would have me working so close to my edge? Who would have thought that only 2 days into my time here I would have hit an all time low? Well, I guess I knew it could happen, my ego just didn’t believe it would.

I keep telling myself not to continue stabbing myself with arrows, to rest gently in my fleeting despair, anger, sadness and exasperation. I repeat the mantra in my mind ‘this too’ as things fail to pan out the way I had hoped. But then life rarely is how we imagine it to be, isn’t it. There have been things I’ve learned here that have shocked me since I arrived, there have been people who continue to disappoint me every day, this never seems to be enough time in the day…and to top it all off I can’t register for the marathon I’ve been training for because it’s sold out due to popular demand. I guess it wasn’t meant to be?!

So, I take some time to check my heart and soul and am gladdened by that deep dark peace within me that knows I’m okay, although tears are brimming at the surface and sighs work their magic on releasing the built up tension around my ribs.

It’s a new beginning on the next stage of the path. I’ve warmed up, but the home strait is a long way in the distance. At this time it’s about endurance and knowing that the mental will dictate what happens next.

All I know right now is that I’m grateful to be here, I’m grateful my family is healthy and happy, I’m grateful there are job opportunities opening up that I didn’t expect, and I’m soooo grateful that I have time and a car to get me to that zazen on Sunday morning where I can sit with my mind and replay all of this in vivid detail before my eyes as if living it the first time wasn’t punishment enough.

Thank goodness for practice, thank goodness for Sangha, thank goodness for Buddha. It’s time to get back on the Buddhist practice horse.



7 Responses to “Day 216 – Raw, Open, Ready to Begin Again”
  1. Pamela says:

    tell it sister. Nothing has been harder for me than becoming a mother. And nothing has brought me more joy. Go easy on yourself. Other people’s kids are harder than your own!

    • Wow! That is powerful Pam. I just spent a day going from that hard work to joy and then back again. It’s humbling to experience this when so much of what our culture tells us is that motherhood is a natural joyous occasion. Of course it is, but I think that’s what scares me – how hard it is to accept that sometimes you wish you could just walk away for a little while. Luckily as an auntie I can! In that way rearing children is the best practice of all. It’s all about living in the moment and saying ‘this to’ to yourself and learning not to shoot the second arrow. I’m humbled by all you courageous women who have kids and take care of them everyday. Truly the real warriors and soldiers of our society! Hats off to you sister :D

  2. Lee says:

    Hey Angela

    Maybe its just me, but being around young kids takes a lot of energy. When my nephew was like 3-4, he was constantly wanting to play with things and make up games. Usually after 45 minutes or so, I would noticed I was completely drained, like it was nap time lol.

    Have you found a place to sit zazen?


    • LOL! You’ve hit the nail right on the head. There’s only so much energy I have these days for hide and seek and princesses and princes! I think your idea about the naps is great. I may have to follow up on that one.
      Yeah, there’s a Zen Center here run by Reverend Cindy Fugon that sits several times a week. Sunday is going to be my first try due to time issues, but she sounds really nice and knows about Gil’s teachings. Looking forward to it. All round there’s so many changes. This week is really going to be about having patience and compassion for myself, something I find difficult at the best of times.
      Thanks for commenting Lee! Hope all is well.

      • Lee says:

        I just did a search on her, that’s interesting, she’s linked with SFZC. I’ve listened to 3 years of their recordings so I kind of have a feel for them, but I haven’t been there. Gil practiced and received Dharma transmission from SFZC. I sit on Saturdays at a Soto-Zen group as well =D

        Goodluck, hope the week is going well


      • There’s a picture of Sukuzi Roshi in the Zendo! I haven’t read much about Fugon Cindy. I’ll have to do some more research, but she knows of Gil and thinks he’s a great teacher so that gave me a good feeling. I haven’t met her yet. Hopefully next week. That’s cool! We can exchange some sitting notes :D I am sitting on Sunday mornings when I can. I hope to go during the week, but it depends on my schedule. It felt great to meditate with a group though. Much better than alone. Totally different feel. Think my practice should improve now!
        Hope all is going well with you Lee!

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  1. […] Filed under acceptance, emotions, fear, practice, present moment, thoughts, work · Tagged with parenting, perfection ← Day 216 – Raw, Open, Ready to Begin Again […]

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