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Sitting in a hotel room in Timmins Ontario, listening to Neil Young on the radio.

We will spend the day circling the hospital.  Medical tests for the Raggedy Man and my MiL.  Me and the Diggedy Dawg are along for company, moral support and… general distraction and amusement.

Snowy Walk 2012Lying in bed, unable to sleep, I began to contemplate this new practice I have taken on.  Since attending my first 10 day Vipassana Retreat – I have been “sitting” for an hour each morning and another hour each evening.  Well, I’ve been AIMING for that.  I find the morning sit easy to work into my day.  I have more difficulty with sitting in the evening.  Works “best” if I do it around 5pm.

…ANYHOW….

I’ve been meaning to post about the retreat and to begin posting regularly about this here journey down the Dhamma Road.  I began a letter to Lady K as a way to… sort out my thoughts about the retreat and when I hit page ten – I realized that there will need to be a “series” of posts about the retreat.  There is so much I want to … turn over in my hands, look at, talk about, explore.  I learn by writing.  I come to understand things by writing about them.  This I know.

This is also why one of the hardest things about the 10 day retreat was that I couldn’t WRITE.  Couldn’t take notes every step along the way… notes I would review and sift and sort through in order to craft a post or two or five that would lay out my experience. For myself and for you.

So… There’s the letter… there’s some notes in the Scribble Book.  There is an urge to post this series on Meditation each Monday.  Because?  Because I so respond to a deadline, even if it is entirely self imposed.  And here it is … Monday… again… and I’m in a hotel room in Timmins.

Will a post emerge?

Does this count?

It will have to do… because now it is time now to walk the dog and then we will head up to the hospital for the first visit.

And I smile as I type this.  Knowing/feeling that this new practice is already having an effect on my over all… being.

Equanimity.

It’s a worthwhile goal, my friends.

For now… baby steps.

Have a good day ~p

From the above link on Equanimity – adapted from a talk by Gil Fronsdal, May 29th, 2004

The most common Pali word translated as “equanimity” is upekkha, meaning “to look over.” It refers to the equanimity that arises from the power of observation, the ability to see without being caught by what we see. When well-developed, such power gives rise to a great sense of peace.

Upekkha can also refer to the ease that comes from seeing a bigger picture. Colloquially, in India the word was sometimes used to mean “to see with patience.” We might understand this as “seeing with understanding.” For example, when we know not to take offensive words personally, we are less likely to react to what was said. Instead, we remain at ease or equanimous. This form of equanimity is sometimes compared to grandmotherly love. The grandmother clearly loves her grandchildren but, thanks to her experience with her own children, is less likely to be caught up in the drama of her grandchildren’s lives.

The second word often translated as equanimity is tatramajjhattata, a compound made of simple Pali words. Tatra, meaning “there,” sometimes refers to “all these things.” Majjha means “middle,” and tata means “to stand or to pose.” Put together, the word becomes “to stand in the middle of all this.” As a form of equanimity, “being in the middle” refers to balance, to remaining centered in the middle of whatever is happening. This balance comes from inner strength or stability. The strong presence of inner calm, well-being, confidence, vitality, or integrity can keep us upright, like a ballast keeps a ship upright in strong winds. As inner strength develops, equanimity follows.

 

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