Posts Tagged ‘Dharma

11
Jun
12

counting down ….

Counting down …

We all have things we count down for.

Sometimes it is something grand like a fight and sometimes just the tick-tock of the clock till the end of the work day.

When I get anxious, I like to think of things in three-minute intervals, plus the sixty-second rest.

It’s a way of organizing my thoughts which otherwise race around in what my old Dharma teacher used to call a monkey mind.

If I set the clock, I can think of things in finite terms. I can count out each second, or count out other things such as the number of sit-ups I can do in three minutes or the number of words I can write, or the amazing amount of tasks that can be completed in between the buzzers.

Imagine, one can actually pretty much empty a sink full of dishes, or run down four flights of stairs, grab the mail from the mailbox and come back upstairs and find that the clock hasn’t even hit yellow yet.

At other times the clock provides order out of chaos.  It quells the what-do-I-do-now panic of momentary indecision, or worse, the I-can’t-get-started rut can be kicked into gear to a set menu of things to achieve–even if that just means taking an interval or two to calm down.

I bring this up as person facing deadlines and the stress that accompanies that. Thinking of the clock and the ding of the round though is helping to soothe me. In breaking things down into the tiny snippets of time I am reminding myself that no matter how daunting something may seem, it is only ever made up of moments; moments that follow one upon another each carrying its own weight and import.

Much as when I train, I can set aside so many rounds for one thing followed by a set number of rounds for another.

In their totality the time winds up to be the same as what had been originally allotted, but somehow in breaking it down into smaller bits, one can see and touch the progress as so many things that have already been accomplished.

 

 

17
Feb
11

I didn’t see it coming…

I didn’t see it coming…

Sometimes one can say “I didn’t see it coming” and eat canvas literally or figuratively.  Whether it’s a quick right to the temple or bad news in an email the effect is pretty much the same — shock, awe and a stunned sensation before jumping up for the mandatory eight-count in the hopes of mitigating any further problems.

The thing is somewhere between the canvas and the wait that seems forever before you resume your fight, the mind is racing all over the place with the calculus of just how you got to canvas in the first place.  As if reliving all the moves in a chess game and all the possible outcomes if only move b replaced move a, the momentary, “I got caught” feeling takes one down a path of roads not taken.  That space also brings the sickening shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’ sensations of lost opportunities as one licks back the blood, shakes it all off and readies for what happens next.

When it’s a life moment:  a sick parent or sibling or spouse, the death of someone close, those sensations are not very different.  We reel with stars and that winced brain feeling, choke back the giant ow, and somewhere in the midst of getting back to ourselves walk down the how-come-I-didn’t-see-this-coming path.  And it’s the I-should-have-known feeling that really lays us out because the longer we hold onto those feelings, the longer it takes to get back to our best game.  Those are the moments when we take to our beds and hiding in a tight ball under the covers absorb the waves of emotions that inevitably come with difficult news — or news we just don’t want to absorb.  At some point, however, the covers have to come off ’cause as nice and warm and cozy as the bed might seem, it’s not the messiness of a well-lived life.    Sometimes all it takes is a good night’s sleep before perspective kicks in and one finds in the promise of a new day, opportunities to move on with a feeling of joy for all the things you can see.  Let’s face it, no matter how hard we try, some things just get away from us and while we can dwell in the unfairness of our inability to “see” — as my Theravada Buddhist Dharma teacher used to say, “it’s just that.”

21
Oct
10

It just is

It just is

My “dharma” teacher, a revered Theraveda Buddhist Nun back at Wat Suann Mokkh in Thailand was always fond of saying “it just is.”   The wisdom of most boxing trainers revolves around a similar refrain.  My current trainer, Lennox Blackmore is a master of such statements.     He has two flavors:  “it is what it is” and “wake-up.”

Thus, if one is training in a crowed ring – it is what it is.  Deal with it.  Get clocked sparring?  It is what it is, move on.  Get clocked again?  Wake-up!

As wisdom for the ages and frankly, as I “age,” I’m actually beginning to see where this all makes sense.  Is my kid, husband, family, cat driving me crazy?  Am I too hot, too cold, tired, hungry, over-worked, under-worked, grumpy, manic, obsessive, distracted, happy, sad, and on and on?  It just is.  Did I trip, forget where my glasses, keys, wallet, iphone are?  Wake-up.

It gets to be a world-wind after a while of “it is what it is” and “wake-up,” but somewhere in the midst of it I am beginning to actually hear the “be-here-now” at the center of the “it just is” and “wake-up” poles of being.

If I am here now, I will likely avoid the punch, or hit the speed-bag with perfect precision or never engage in the fight with my husband or daughter and actually remember where my glasses are.  I won’t be overly anything, but I will not trip on the sidewalk, get hit by a car crossing the street against the light or importantly, miss out on all of the tender moments with my family.   Somehow it’s hard to believe that I can personally go through life without the drama of  engaging riotously and waking-up, but having been “clocked” enough times by life’s travails, I’m beginning to see the wisdom of staying awake as a moment-to-moment way to be.




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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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