Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Loving-Kindness Sesshin

I'm tired tonight, fatigued. I still don't feel completely well, my throat hurts a bit. My brain feels like it is cycling in and out of stillness and throwing around ideas to write about. It felt so busy being back in the office today, being around several people again, that stillness is appealing.

I get tired of being at home everyday, working and sleeping in the same place. It is nice to get a break now and again. I suppose if we do find a large home, or turn some large building into a home, that has an office as well we'll have to really make it feel separate. An argument for having an office away from home, like CK does now.

Contemplating sesshin some more. I sent KH a message last night saying that I'd asked Hogen about Jukai and got approval. She sent back that we can talk on Thursday, she'll be at the Dharma Center, but that the immediate thing is to plan to establish my sesshin practice. I realize more than anything sesshin is the thing I feel anxiety about in taking Jukai. Those anxious feelings largely do to my fear around my physical pain.

Well, and maybe some of my dislike of crying in front of people. Combined with how crying sets my body off into spasms it generally leaves me wanting to avoid the experience. That the physical pain, the intensity of it, sometimes leaves me off-balanced and like crying.

When I read the sesshin schedule I feel a clench of anxiety. The amount of sitting is so much more than I've done. I'm anxious about muscle spasms that leave me nauseous, crying that causes my whole body lock up. The silence is fine, I feel comfortable in the silence.

I made myself look at the calendar, just get it over with. In doing so I believe I have found a sesshin that fits well. In April, a few weeks after I finish my teacher training program, Chozen will be leading a sesshin on loving-kindness.

Loving-kindness, metta, practice is something that challenges me when I try and direct it towards myself. I believe it underlies the ability to incorporate the traumatic events in my life. Hogen told me that I cannot try to "get rid of" these things, that they are part of the whole of who I am. To do that I must be able to extend that love to those parts of myself that talk in the language of shame, feeling inappropriate, of fear.

It is daunting, it also seems like a sesshin destined to have me in tears, often. But perhaps a silent week of trying to generate loving-kindness for myself, for the child who was hurt and is still afraid, will be a week of worthy effort. I put it onto my Google calendar.

No comments:

Post a Comment