A bit of impromptu found-item Nicole art at DP
Thursday February 20th, 2020
Warm sunbeam sitting
Belly full body rested
Birds singing in praise
Nearing 5am (tearoom)
If we’re not interested in life and in people, there’s little hope and chance for developing the sort of happiness that isn’t dependent on external graspings. If we’re not interested in life; captivated; intrigued, it’ll be a rough go. If we’ve already got it all figured out that life sucks, people are stupid, and the world is doomed, no new information can come in to change our experience. Without interest, we are stuck with our current mental landscape, and the chances are good that it’s pretty brutal in there. Interest, curiosity, openness, and inquiry are all needed in order to grow and transform. Rigidity is a death sentence for making spiritual progress. Rigidity shows itself in the form of standing in our own way.
8:34am (Big Hall)
Lone sitting in the BH. Basking in a sun ray. Savoring, savoring.
This hall creaks and cracks and stirs, if you take notice. Perpetually shifting and settling into itself, just like the rest of us.
My body is doing surprisingly well for having slept part of the night on the hard tile floor of our room with only a sleeping bag for padding and cover. Mike got in late from the kitchen tile repair, around 11 or midnight, as I recall. I had left the bathroom light/fan combo on so as to muffle the sounds of my humming neighbor on the other side of the wall so I could fall asleep. When Mike came in, I woke up just enough to be unable to fall back asleep, on account of someone snoring on the other side of the wall. To remedy the situation and get back to sleep, I figured I had two options: pop into the vacant room next door or lie on our floor with my head as far away from the snorer as possible. Directing my head away from the shared wall wasn’t enough though. I had to situate myself so that my head was practically nested inside the bathroom door with the fan on (which meant the light was also on). It wasn’t ideal but it worked. I’m rather like the princess and the pea when it comes to my sleep environment. I’m a light sleeper and wake easy. Usually, if there’s a hint of light or a small sound, I’m up. Fortunately though, I’m not so princess and the pea that I couldn’t sleep on the tile floor with my head inside a bathroom with the fan running, so there’s that.
Before I lay down for my nap, I want to capture this while it’s fresh. My walk from Clarity Hamlet just now, was educational. I experienced in action how effort-filled walking is more taxing and laborious when I focused on how much further I still had to go. I am so incredibly tired and ready to nap and the walk up the steep incline back to my room felt a hundred miles away. Every time I looked ahead at how much further I had to go, I was exerting more mental energy and each step felt heavier and heavier. But when I stopped focusing on the distance left ahead or the steepness of the set of stairs I was traversing; when I simply focused my attention down on the ground, on each step one at a time, the heaviness and fatigue were greatly reduced. It became effortless walking instead of effort-filled walking. I vacillated back and forth between these two for most of the way. Tiredness and weariness weakens my resolve and ability to concentrate my practice energy, so I kept sweeping back into effort-filled walking. But then I would take notice and swing myself back into effortless walking for a spell. By the time I was in the homestretch – the last steep hill to traverse from the Dining Hall to the next tier up where our room is – I was walking as a free person.