Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bibliomantic Quote of the Day

Image from Philosophie et spiritualite

This is one of those days when I feel uninspired. It's the busy time of year for personal trainers, so I'm working long days that start too early and go too late.

When I get into a mood like this, I use bibliomancy as a way to peer into what might be going on beneath the surface of my awareness. It's kind of like holding a mirror up to my psyche.

Here's how it works: I pick a book from the stack I am currently reading or one that I found meaningful when I read it. I open myself to whatever I might find in its pages and just open the book. Whatever is on the page I open to, or within two pages of that on either side, is the message for me at that time.

Today I used Pema Chodron's Comfortable with Uncertainty as my book. This is the page I opened to:

Slogan: "Abandon any hope of fruition"

"Fruition" implies that at some future time you will feel good. One of the most powerful Buddhist teachings is that as long as you are wishing for things to change, they never will. As long as you're wanting yourself to get better, you won't. As long as you are oriented toward the future, you can never just relax into what you already have or already are.

One of the deepest habitual patterns that we have is the feeling that the present moment is not good enough. We frequently think back to the past, which maybe was better than now, or perhaps worse. We also think ahead quite a bit to the future, always holding out hope that it will be a little bit better than now. Even if things are going really well now, we usually don't give ourselves full credit for who we are in the present.

This addresses exactly what I am dealing with right now. I'm working too many hours, and it will go on for a few weeks. I am telling myself: "Just suck it up. You'll get through it, and then you'll have more time to write." Instead of being with whatever is happening right now, I'm postponing my life until these few weeks are over. Rather than BE HERE NOW, I am waiting for "then" to come--and feeling adrift in the meantime.

Putting off "now" until a future time makes me feel disconnected, abstracted, ungrounded, and unhinged. It's like removing my soul, setting it in the corner and saying, "Be good and we'll go out and play in a couple of weeks." I want to play now.

I love my job, so it's not that I hate going to work. I've gotten spoiled only having to work 20 to 30 hours a week, so working 45 to 50 is tough. I need the time to meditate, write my blogs, think, read, spend time with my girlfriend, and be a vegetable. I need to nurture myself better--even when I am as busy as this. I can't put "now" off until tomorrow, or next week, or next month.

So it is resolved: I will try to be here now, and I will try to be mindful of when I am waiting for things to be better at some future time.
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