Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I always have some awesome post to write about and then the day begins and it goes and when I do have time to write, I find I just want to vent. I used to write a diary for years and I just wrote all my thoughts down. Good and bad and I just didn’t judge it. I don’t even look at them anymore like I used to. I probably wrote about longing for romantic love and wishing my life was more exciting that it was. Yikes, that’s scary cause I’d probably write about the same thing now. No one warned me I’d return to those lovely teenage angst moments at my age. Living in the moment is so challenging for me because I’m always thinking of what I would be doing if… or oh, yeah, I forgot to get to that – or I don’t really want to do that so I’ll distract myself by doing this. Most of the time I’m actually happy and content and but those pre-dawn anxiety thoughts seek to sabotage all that.
The extra chanting has been quite helpful to me lately. We’ve got some new additions to our Buddhist district, strong practitioners who are quite shocked at our comparatively lax schedule in our neck of the woods. Traditionally we’ve only held one general meeting in the month of November to celebrate Soka Gakkai founding day. They have graciously offered their place for extra chanting and study every week so I’m going to take advantage and get out of the house to concentrate on my practice. Sometimes I envy Buddhist couples who are on the same page about their practice and really center their lives around it. When you’re husband does not practice, you have to constantly juggle everything so as not to upset the balance of everything else. It’s wonderful to just have a group of like minded people who constantly encourage and appreciate all your efforts.
Back in the day when I was a newly minted Buddhist, I’d have all these youth meetings, hanging around young women brimming with energy and light and I’d always return home with such joy and enthusiasm, despite my skeptical partner. Once he understood that these people weren’t religious wingnuts nor did I actually have to follow some strict or strange dogma; I was actually happy and positive, he was so encouraging and accommodating. And yes, at times, he even came to the occasional meeting and chanted (or so someone told me). I had so much benefit.
Then life just got complicated. We had our – ahem – challenges. About a year after we got married, my mum moved out here and had a stroke, had dementia, and had to be put into a care facility, those lovely years of job loss, trying to get pregnant, infertility, depression, the stress of waiting to adopt, blah, blah, blah. And then after a spectacular victory of our son, more job loss, financial stress, marital breakdown, moving 3 times in 4 years, we’re just in the thick of all things challenging. And yet I am still here, breathing and drinking lattes. Frankly, I’ve managed to hold onto my marbles when at times I thought they would roll away. I have an amazing son who is the light of our lives, a dog who is a big scaredy cat around skateboards and traffic, but who is so full of love and licks and sleeps in. I also have a husband who is still committed to our life. Trust me, we’ve BOTH wanted a giant fucking break from one another. Tired and worn out does not even begin to come close to how I was feeling. And I still do every now and then.
And so…. this is why I chant. Not for deliverance from life’s problems or a magical solution, but for insight for a better way to lead my heart and life.