Thursday, 31 July 2014

Practise, Practise, Practise!

I have it in mind to write for thirty minutes every day. It's part of my Resilience Programme which I am following as a consequence of my recent completion of the EdX. Course, "Resilience The Science of Stress Management", of which I have written in previous posts. I'm doing pretty well, but have lapsed rather, owing to some significent family events. 

Kate's marriage to Darren last Friday was a wonderful occasion. Witnessing these two lovely people make their vows to one another was a privilege, they are so obviously in love. The weather was perfect, the castle magnificent, everything just great. 

Some writers are methodical, embracing timetables, structures and the work ethic. If you write for a living, I heartily recommend this as a practice, but I am done with all this, having been handed the gift of retirement, which I see as an opportunity to do what I damn well please until I can't do it anymore. 

I rely on inspiration, which is a frequent if unobserved visitor to this butterfly mind. 

Inspiration, I find, needs a bit of a helping hand from time to time, and I have been applying my curiosity to the teachings of The Buddha. Just dipping in is mind-blowing. How come I didn't know this? I exclaim, inwardly, and I have thrown myself into a crash course which has left me knowing a little, a very little, and a thirst for knowing more. 

I am not going to insult Buddhists  by attempting to give you a run-down. I am not even at the beginning of understanding the profound insights they attain through years of practice of yoga and meditation, but I am going to work with this sentence:

"What do you practise?" 

I think I am beginning to understand that you become what you practise, particularly if you do it intentionally. Most of the time I don't think much about what I'm doing. I hare through life making it up as I go along, often meaning well,  in an off-hand sort of way ... Sometimes even congratulating myself on my trivial and rather superficial "goodness". 

So, time to get down to it. Somewhere in the middle of 2009, I began to wake up. Here's the thing:

I went out on the streets with Susan last week and soon found myself wanting to hit her. But I didn't. I never would have EVER, I'm much too nice to do that, but for the very first time, I allowed the inner eye to open and I watched myself wanting to hit Susan. "Hey," I whispered, so quietly, I hardly heard myself, "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?" "I'm thinking this woman is getting on my nerves," I reply, rather shamefaced, because Susan is MUCH nicer than me. "Ha! You're envious. that's why you want to hit her... . " Sad, but true. 

This week I stayed in the Mission Room and spoke to Andrew, and Maxine and Graham and Maxine's friend, Jesus (Oh Yes, for real. More of HIM another day) I listened and I laughed I commiserated and hinted that what's wanted is a revolution, and I waited for Susan to return and I knew. Having caught myself out in envy, and named it, and laughed at it, I no longer felt it. It was like losing a sack of boulders. Susan returned my hug with great affection, thinking it was just the usual City Mission Hug. But it wasn't.

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