Oct 07 2009
Jul 17 2009
And now, for something completely different. Really. I could relentlessly, clenching my teeth, continue to pound the keyboard to rant and fulminate about the latest outrages. We all do that. Or right now I could do something else, something that might even make me smile. Which brings me directly to Daniel Goleman’s lovely piece in today’s New York Times, “Sitting Quietly, Doing Something,” which is about “the happiest man in the world.”
Some anecdotes, though the entire article is well worth your time:
I recently spent an evening with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, the Tibetan lama who has been dubbed “the happiest man in the world.” True, that title has been bestowed upon at least a few extremely upbeat individuals in recent times. But it is no exaggeration to say that Rinpoche is a master of the art of well-being.
So how did he get that way? Apparently, the same way you get to Carnegie Hall. Practice.
When I called him at his Manhattan hotel… he told me he was in the middle of a shower – but not in the usual sense. The shower, he told me, had run out of hot water midway. When he called the front desk, he was told to wait several minutes and there would be more hot water. In this situation, I probably would have been peeved. But as Rinpoche told me this, he was laughing and laughing.
The only momentary glitch I’ve witnessed – a few years back – was slapstick: he sat down in an office chair with a faulty seat that suddenly plunged several inches with a thump. Once when this chair had done the same to me I cursed and groused about it for a while. But Rinpoche just frowned for a second – and the next moment he was his upbeat self again.
Another fruit of these spiritual practices seems to be a healthy dose of humility. When Rinpoche told my wife that he was being billed as “the happiest man in the world,” he laughed as though that were the funniest joke he’d ever heard.
So I’m wondering about this man. And his happiness. And my happiness. Wouldn’t being this happy be incredible fun? And wouldn’t I be so much more fun to be around if I were happier? And wouldn’t the happiness feelings drive whatever worry and anxiety I might be feeling right out of my mind? Wouldn’t everything in my life and surroundings look and feel and actually be different?
I’ve been a long time meditator, but unlike the great meditators whose minds are measured in laboratories, I’m sure I have nowhere near 10,000 hours of meditation. And I’d be lying if I said I was happy all of the time, or even the majority of the time. Sometimes I’m happy. Those times, sometimes, seem rare. Mostly, I think I’m in neutral. I have some equanimity. Sometimes, and I hope this is not the majority of time, like everyone, else I’m upset, afraid, depressed, anxious. I have negative feelings and emotions. Sometimes these occupy me for what seems like a long time.
So I wonder. What can I do to be more like Rinpoche? I want to be like
Mike Rinpoche. Wouldn’t that make the world a better place?
cross-posted from The Dream Antilles
Mar 01 2009
Part of the teaching experience unfortunately consists of the grading experiences. I have a veritable shitload of it to do. And I will spend most of the day pursuing that craft.
During the past week, as I struggled through a schedule of 8 overly spaced out classes which required my presence at school 12 hours a day for 4 days, with gaps filled with two programs I presented on transsexualism, a lecture on the Birth of Science and a faculty meeting, at the end of each day I took a little bit of time for some meditative time, working on a series of graphics.
They are shared inside. Clicking on one of them will open a larger version.
Feel free to add anything in the way of music, words or graphics.
Dec 14 2008
more specifically, the mind stomach connection for me right now. I am continuing to notice that I am stopping eating something halfway and putting it away, or not taking seconds when I would have before, or just not snacking at all sometimes at what used to be a time of day I would feel hungry. Now there are results,too, I lost an inch off my waistline at last! Aero, however ,looks as round as ever though I am reducing her portions and treats.
Nov 09 2008
(crossposted at www.dailykos.com, this series started there, and a commenter suggested they might be more in sync over here)
Nothing against dogs; it’s actually admirable that they are more willing to exert themselves, though it may not be to their own benefit. Cats are more likely to stalk patiently, take things step by step, take a break when they need to, or even a long nap.
It may be my problem with meditation is not taking small enough steps; sleep is another story. For those who don’t want to go back and read my old Kos diaries, I identified stress and a shortage of sleep as factors in my belly fat hanging around ( I have the healthy diet and aerobic exercise down good), and I want to get rid of it. More below the fold.
May 22 2008
Pay attention now. The value of this essay is completely dependent on the quality of your attention. I mean that literally. If you are reading this, the worth of your experience is not in the least dependent on the essay before you; rather it is completely inherent in the quality of attention you bring.
Am I being irresponsible? I hope not. Do I mean what I have claimed? I do, yet I also feel I could waste your time–squander your attention–if I don’t bring my focus to the task.
So, I’m here to lift attention up to the height of the gods. No, I’m here to say attention is where the one god resides–exclusively.
Apr 24 2008
You are what you think. Not what you think you are, just what you think. That miracles spark behind your eyes is very much more “You” than the whole of your body.
Close your eyes.
If you truly see nothing, watch for a while. Try to imagine nothing watching you. But, don’t try hard. Look to the edge of nothing, is there an end to it? Look around. This is where you are. You are the only one here. Look long enough, and you will learn to see what you are looking around with.
Amazing, to me, that each could be the way I see my own, if I see clearly.
But, …. The way I see it is just the way I see it, see?
So…What do you see?
Kertis Engle 1993 No title, No copyright.