Still here…

…wow, can’t believe it’s been a month!

The last month has been busy and a test of my gumption. There’s been a lot going on.

We’ve got our 12 year old newly enrolled in a virtual school, which is turning out to be a stressful transition, even though it eliminates a lot of his previous school stresses and difficulties. (He’s very bright and has a real, honest to goodness case of ADD/ADHD – not the fad diagnosis, but the real deal.) On top of that, we’ve chosen to homeschool our middle son – he’d be in kindergarten this year, but he’s shown rapid development of OCD. They’re both wonderful, intelligent kids, but I’ve had my hands full. Oh – I’ve got a 3 year old, too. ‘Nuff said on that one.

On top of that are various “real life issues.” Always working on that whole ends-meeting bit….

Suffice it to say, whilst I have attempted to make every moment an opportunity for mindfulness, I must admit my daily meditative practice has slipped.

Now that things are beginning to calm down, time to begin anew….

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Hurrah!

Last night I went for my first Dharma Study, though it was a bit of a drive – I had to haul my cookies all the way to Gulf Breeze (just outside of Pensacola) to visit Palyul Changchub Choling. They’re “… a sangha or group who study and practice Tibetan Buddhism in the Nyingma tradition according to the Palyul nam-cho practices.[Links are mine]”

I doubt I can go every week right now (2 hrs in a car with $3 gas), but they’re such a great group, and I can do preliminary practices (Ngondro) with them and take refuge the next time the lama comes. I’ve thought about it, and I think Tibetan Buddhism is the best place for me to start right now, although I have a great deal of respect for the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. Going to the study group last night felt so right – I was comfortable with the meditation session and the dharma discussion – I felt at home in the material and even felt like I had something to contribute to the discussion. (For what it’s worth, they were discussing What Makes You Not a Buddhist by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse. I don’t have it, but it seems like an interesting read, if slim. Maybe once I’ve caught up on my other Dharma reading….Apparently, this is a much lighter/easier work than their last selection, which was a book on Dzogchen.)

Perhaps soon I can go back, and maybe I’ll even remember to bring my camera. ^_^

Buddhism in the Himalayas Video

This is interesting. My 12 year son found this moving and perhaps even inspiring. I wish the best for him….

Unbridled Joy

So, I realized this weekend that I am well-and-truly meant to be a Buddhist. I have not taken the refuges – there is no sangha close to me – but I have come to realize that I am Buddhist at heart, and always have been. You see, this weekend was a trial for me. My middle son (who’s 5) came down with appendicitis. All the sudden I found myself awake all night, waiting for my son to come out of emergency surgery. All is well, now, my son is recovering. However, when they took him back, and I was sent to an empty waiting room (it was early morning), it was up to me to accept my experience. So I did as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests – I smiled at my feelings and situation. I sat with my experience and, well, “experienced” it. Once I had done this, I found the peace of simple acceptance. Life was beautiful and quiet, and all I had to do was wait – to let experience happen. So I did, and found joy in the midst of it all.