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Last night, before going to sleep, my wife and I watched Death Proof, Quentin Tarantino’s 2007 film. As I tried to go to sleep afterwards, images from the film kept flashing by. I felt rushes of adrenaline, tension in my limbs. After losing my mind a little in Canada, I’ve done my best to return to mindfulness over the last two months. I think that made the graphic detail Tarantino films are known for that much more piercing. I returned to my breath, focussed on the air sliding along the rim of nostrils, in out, in out. The movie began to fade and as the residue of adrenaline did the same, I was left with a few moments of clarity before falling to sleep. I thought about my progress, how I still have so far to go but in the three years since I’d first been introduced to the concept of mindfulness, I’m beginning to see progress. Of course, from that thought I had to immediately avoid the sense of pride that began to arise, but I was mostly left with a happy feeling. I wanted to tell everyone starting out, as I am, that it works! It all works! You can’t think about the months, the years. They will pass regardless. Just keep going, keep going. I thought about my blog, then a thought of Marcus arose, and I passed out.

Most anyone in the Buddhist Bloglands has probably read Marcus’ Journal a few times, at least. Many of us were probably a little (or very) disappointed to see it gone. I was fortunate enough to have spent time with Marcus while he was in Korea, and though it wasn’t a long time, he is one of my dearest friends. So, even though I’ll miss reading his journal, I’m absolutely pleased with Marcus for making that choice. Marcus was the one who first gave me the idea of starting a blog. Sometimes it’s easy and the thoughts flow relevantly. Other times it’s a struggle; is this appropriate? is this suitable? how will I blog about this? This last one is a big one (hence the bold text). In an email from Marcus, he expressed the same concern, how thinking about the blog began to consume his experience. I find myself often removing myself from the present, thinking about “how to blog” the moment until I no longer even see the moment I want to write about. I’m not going to stop blogging, it’s been a good flame to temper my thoughts with, but it’s good to be aware of the attachment that arrises from it. That was the last thing that went through my mind before I slept…

Mindfulness works! and Marcus, may we enjoy every moment, in the moment!

2 responses »

  1. Thank you Joseph,

    I have a pretty addictive personality that tends to let things take over, and I saw that the blog was doing just that. Every talk I went to, every temple I visited, every book I read started to become less about my own spiritual development and more about gathering material for the blog – a real exercise in boosting the ego!

    There is a middle way in all this of course, I see it in your approach to blogging for example which strikes me as very healthy indeed, but for me personally (recognising my limitations) quitting is the safest and most immediate solution. I do apologise, but, yes, it’s wonderful, for me, to get back to real life again.

    Thank you Joseph, and I look forward to reading your excellent blog for years to come!

    With palms together,

    Marcus

    • We’re warned about becoming attached to things of our practice; Buddha statues, how you can become attached to them by bowing to them or sitting infront of them; candles, incense, chants, etc…
      Maybe blogging should be added to the list!

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