Be dynamite, Live dynamically!

Posts tagged ‘healing’

If I build it…

For the record, I’m really happy to be working on building up my blog finally.

I have a long-term goal of documenting much of my life’s journeys as a record – someone existed like this, whatever this is.   Maybe someone can learn something about themselves or another culture from my example.    Maybe not.

A friend of mine denies any of this matters.  Maybe it doesn’t in the long run.  Maybe the information I present here will be data in a file somewhere someday, out of sight, out of mind.   He says he creates art because he enjoys it, and I write because I enjoy it.  I like having the potential for an audience because I reckon I’m an exhibitionist.  😉 Hopefully this month off of school will see both a lot of writing and a lot of art on my part too.  🙂

At any rate, It is in progress.  The seed is growing.

Cest la vie, TBD.



Meditation Day 10: Wed 12/11/13 – Part 2 + “World peace and a cure for cancer” vs authentic healing

I “needlessly” “suffered” the wrath of playful puppy – I had forgotten I had made an acupuncture appointment.    It was to be a day of distraction, though.  While I was getting prepped for it, I had discovered my Ipod was dead, so no Moses code meditation for this session.  Thought about queuing up something on the phone/youtube, but decided to keep it simple.    As it turns out, “keep it simple” apparently meant let my brain run wild.    It wasn’t that noisy – I was tired, so it became a cycle of watch breath, feel buzzy needles, let thoughts float around, and doze off a tad.   It was relaxing nonetheless, but certainly not mindful.

That’s okay, though.  There was more meditation coming!  Woohoo!    I had been reminded recently about Zen Center for Contemplative Care, whose volunteers and chaplains I often see visiting patients at Beth Israel.   As it turns out, they had zazen on Wednesday nights, so I went.    It was nice to be sitting in a room full of people…well, sitting… again.  I felt at home as I did sitting in the meditation hall at Blue Cliff, feeling like I was surrounded by spiritually like-minded people, regardless of differing backgrounds and lifestyle beliefs.    I still felt partly shy and awkward, though.   30 minutes went by faster than some of my 10-15 minute sessions, followed by a walking meditation, a brief talk by the chaplain in which we were reassured of our mind being likely to leaves us 1,000 times during zazen, and another brief sitting session in which I kept reeling my mind back in and focusing on my breath.

Since I’m writing this several days after the fact I’m having difficulty recalling specifics of my meditation challenges though there were definitely some challenges adjusting my body initially.  I ended up sitting on one pillow and supporting my right knee with another.  I’ve had some sciatic strain on that side since September, hence the acupuncture.  It worked out, though, and my back in general didn’t feel too much discomfort over time.  My hands didn’t know where to find balance, though, and given a height difference in my legs a traditional zazen hand position wasn’t happening.

Afterwards, I talked the ear of the chaplain off, and cried a bit.   

I have this line I use.  When a waiter or customer service person asks me if I want anything else, I often say “world peace and a cure for cancer.”    It was just world peace until my mother got sick and died of pancreatic cancer 3 years ago.  If I don’t ask for them I’ll never get them, I argue. The chaplain, whose name I wish I could remember, reminded me that such a statement could cause harm to someone, which for some reason made me cry.  Not sure why I was so sensitive, except for being present in a space/community that was aligned with my goals – providing compassionate care to the sick and suffering.  Plus, I don’t like the idea of hurting people.

 Usually when I ask for those things, I get one of two responses:  “it’s impossible” or “I’ll get on that/I’ll see if we have that.”   Often it is an experience that makes people smile from incredulity or amusement.  I had grabbed a snack at Pret prior to meditating and the cashier was so rushed and unhappy seeming.    When he implied peace was impossible, I broke out the line from a t-shirt I had bought at Blue Cliff:  “Peace begins with your lovely smile.”  He said he’d give me half a smile, and I commented “Half a smile to go with my half sandwich.”    It actually led to a larger smirk.  

                I was able to recall an instance where a waitress who had grown up in Colombia did not believe peace was possible, understandably.   I continue to hold hope for her.   Did I cause her harm by bringing peace up?   I also think that my being able to identify with other persons who are affected by cancer is a chance for mutual identification, rather than a harm-causing event.  

                I look at this from several angles.   I think about Dr. Wayne Dyer, trying to help shift the gears of unhappy people we have brief interactions with.  The chaplain talked about interdependence, which I had also just read about that morning in Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child, and entering into the other person’s experience.  I also think about a concept that had come up in my English class this semester about authentic vs. inauthentic healing.  Though the context was about daytime talk shows, it came to mind about this situation.   The lines I use aren’t neccessarily an authentic way of entering into someone else’s experience.  They are a line, a gimmick, a shocker – I have lots of those sorts of lines.  

 Don’t New Yorkers need something gimmicky though to catch their attention?  How can I authentically enter into/make lighter the person who is “stuck in a miserable moment” when our interaction will be brief?    What percentage of the time are my lines likely to cause harm?  I do recognize that when I was working 12 hour shifts on a busy medicine unit, it was very similar to a busy waiter shift, and I was too busy to focus on my problems, which was a relief.   Am I interrupting their work zen-peace?  Am I possibly being too intrusive even with these simple statements?  

I can’t even just say “you can smile” to your average NY customer service e person because it would be perceived as rude, regardless of tone, a majority of the time.    Further, if I never ask for world peace and a cure for cancer, and possibly inspire other people to do the same, we might never think it was possible at all. 

With the chaplain, I was also discussing how I could better help patients.   After meditation the first thing I said to him was “How can you help me save the world?”   *grin*  I have a goal of leading nightly meditations when I work, which is not so easy to implement on a psych ward given the diverse diagnoses.    I also expressed frustration with not having meaningful conversations with patients every time I work.   I was reminded by the chaplain that even giving a medication or having a brief conversation might be all a person needs in that given moment.  I realized that chasing profound catalytic therapeutic conversation was chasing the high I would get from feeling I have connected with and helped someone.    A coworker had said that as psych nurses we are speed bumps in the insanity our patients had been living.   Just being there at work, looking out for these patients, interacting with them in the slightest, I am still a speed bump – a brightly lit, pink-haired, speed bump. 

Sitting with ZCCC and talking to the chaplain was an unexpected speed bump for me for which I’m grateful. It helps stimulate me to cultivate more intentional effects.  I seriously hope that the next year contains more speed bumps than the potholes this past year and a half has held.    A spiritual mentor and community and artistic collaborators would be nice, too.  

Meditation Day 9 – 12/10/13

FYI, I put the date in my subject because when I look at posts by category, the date disappears.  If someone can help me rectify this it would be awesome.  

Today’s meditation just happened, for 15 minutes.  Doing it at night should not become habit because in the past I’ve tended to get restless legs when trying to sit at night.

Gave the dogs some new bones to distract them and sat on a pillow at the edge of my (very sturdy) coffee table.  I had buckets of coffee while writing a paper at the cafe, so my heart is pounding, and irregularly given my sinus arrhythmia, my chest also felt tight.  Why does my chest often feel tight when I start watching my breath?

To ease the “gotta do this other thing” and “I should go swimming tonight but first I would need to get new goggles and….” I repeatedly gave myself permission to sit in the moment.  That seemed to be the most recurrent thought, was my consciously saying to myself, in my head, I give you permission to sit right here and observe this moment.   After a while of that, I could feel my body easing.

It’s interesting to observe the body melting into relaxation, and the breath and mind become that much more visible, clear.  “Gotta do…”  No, self, feel the body relaxing, all that can wait.  Observe this moment… Amazing how hard it is to sit in the moment with my eyes closed and body still.

Interestingly, at some point, tidbits of a dream I had last night that I had already forgotten came out.

I was with my family in a K-mart lobby of sorts, we were on a road trip and stopped here to pick someone up.   I remember finding Nanny (my deceased maternal grandmother) in a dressing room, though I think we were still waiting for someone else.  When I thought of merely her name coming up in a dream a few weeks ago, and then my use of her to provide nurturing while creating an improved “memory” experience during EMDR today in therapy, I thought to myself … maybe that’s a sign that she is hanging out, keeping an eye on me, and I got a bit misty.   Returned to focusing on the breath, though, which had calmed a bit at that point, instead of sitting with that notion – I’m not sure why I didn’t.

I find it absolutely fascinating that in the mental stillness, a portion of a forgotten dream resurfaced. What else might come up?

At some point I became concerned with time, wanting the meditation to be over already.  I had to surrender…”it will be time when it is time” I said to myself.   I’m unable to recall whether my upper back started getting achy before or after that.  🙂

One of my cats joined me at my back on the pillow once or twice.  She was the first interaction I had when re-awakened, being at my feet for some scritches.

When the bell rang, I didn’t want to move.

I felt peaceful.

20131210 – Dream log. PS: schoolwork segued into sensual quotas

This is my second dream in a week involving laundry.  Perhaps my brain figured since I got the first reference it should keep on with the metaphor.  This one isn’t so simple, though.

I was loading up a super duper ginormous washer (industrial size, perhaps) and then as I was putting in quarters I see it requires 45!! quarters.  (I just did the math and surprisingly that is only $11.25, I thought it was a lot more).  I decided the washer was probably too large anyway, and I wasn’t going to stand there and put in 45 damn quarters.  I started to look for 2 smaller washers.  It didn’t look like a normal laundromat as I walked around.  Each washer stand had a cabinet, not always a visible washer.  (Perhaps relevant: At the monastery the washers and dryers were behind cabinets).   I think the dream ended while I was walking around….my puppy alarm clock had started complaining to be let out of the crate.   🙂

So, metaphors.  I’ve already decided that laundry represents the inside stuff I’m working towards healing.  The washer being too big was both a good thing .. in that it means I don’t have as much laundry as I thought, and also is a reference to split the laundry up and tackle it in smaller chunks.    

The thing I’m most curious is the number 45.   Thank God for Google!

Site 1: 45  It is often involved in banking, or international institutions. It struggles to be comfortable with itself. It can be cynical.  


(Amusing, given the number referred to quarters.  But I am undergoing some financial challenges.)


Site 2: 45 / 9 makes one’s own investigation, freedom and change, firm foundation, co-operation, harmony, Universal Love, Brotherhood, unfolding, completion, humanitarianism, benevolent, intuitive, selflessness.


…The reason I am “doing the laundry” of course….


Site 3: Angel Number 45 is a message from your angels to put your efforts towards the things in your life that embrace and enhance who you truly are, your lifestyle choices and your life in general.  Be prepared to make necessary changes that will bring auspicious opportunities to advance you along your path.  Trust that these changes will bring ‘better’ into your life in all aspects.

The most useful answer, and a good reminder.  Still vague, though. I guess I’ll stay tuned.  I’ve got things to do besides interpret this dream.  More will be revealed.  🙂


It could also just mean I should do my laundry today or tomorrow to maintain a manageable weekly-ish practice … before it turns into a giant machine monthly affair, as has often happened in the past.  Or all of the above.  I really doubt it is only to be interpreted literally, though.  🙂

Moving along with my day.   Therapy at 3, a paper due tonight, Thursday afternoon, Monday evening, and a project to finish by Monday as well.  Then I get a break.    

Contemplating 4 classes next semester since the computer applications in healthcare class will be mad easy for me; my classmates are all like “you should be exempt from that!”  Not sure about working full time and going to school full time though.  :/   Even though I have a “system” now (studying late night after work) I’m not ready to challenge myself like that, likely more for fear of failure than preserving the idea of a social life.  This past semester I’ve slowly let go of the need for copious amounts of free time and weekly-ish sex, though I find I really want at least quality monthly cuddles & copulation.  🙂    I have balanced in some friend time as well this semester.   My animals would like to see me, though.  Ok, ok.  No 4 classes next semester, which means in the fall I’ll likely be taking 2 nursing classes.  Meh.

Happy Tuesday!


Meditation days 1-3

Monday, 12/2, Day 1:  When I swim at school, the pool is generally underpopulated so I get to spend some time floating after my swim.  I place a buoy between my legs to make it more relaxing so I can truly surrender to the water.  Generally at some point my body feels merged.   Today I decided to count that as my meditation, focusing on my breath.  It only lasted 7 minutes though before I floated into the divider and thought it was enough since the water was cold.  :p.   It was interesting observing the changes in the water as the other swimmer came and went with her laps, and trying to observe not react to the jet of water on my back as I passed by a spout thingy.

Day 2: Tired from staying up late to do schoolwork.  While preparing fuzzkids breakfast I started playing an om mani padme hum recording and sat for the last 6 minutes of it.  Sat in silence for another 4 minutes or so beyond its end.  At one point the dogs got into a fight and it made me jump.  Lucas brought a bone over to me once or twice.   It was ok, but listening to a chant helped me concentrate with the sleepiness.

Day 3:  This morning after fuzzcare I put on a 15 minute instrumental so-called kundalini meditation after  lreading a few pages of Reconciliation.  Invited inner child to join me, and then invited feeling seeds to rise which were grossness, sadness, awkwardness, anger, etc.   The feelings dominated the left side of my body (which I consider to represent the past) and I held minime on my right.  My mind eventually started to wander of course, but  caught it before feelings got suppressed.  Figured beyond just observing them I should conjure some healing but at first didn’t know what to do, then invited a healing light.

At some point the feelings disappeared.  I’m not entirely sure whether it was related to healing or renewed suppressive skillz…but that side of my body did feel a little lighter.  Sat in silence for a few minutes after.  Was sitting on my couch and after a few sips of coffee passed out for a nap.  Had an interesting dream where I was cleaning dirty laundry out of a garage.  🙂  A LOT of the clutter in the garage was dirty laundry.

Amusingly, I’m writing this as I do laundry.  🙂