Monday, August 30, 2010

A visit to the healing temple

Today was the fourth day of my morning meditative walk.  I had been reading Jack Kornfield's Path With Heart, and the last thing I read before heading out was something called "A Meditative Visit to a Healing Temple;" a meditation in which you imagine a temple with healing beings in it.

I had found myself picturing Ta Prohm, that hidden temple in the Cambodian jungle, the one taken over by trees and vines.  So when I got to the halfway point in my walk, at the top of the hill, and stood for a minute to catch my breath, I could almost see the Buddha hidden in the branches before me -- and then I looked up, and the moon was directly overhead, above the trees; so beautiful...

I don't seem to actually have the hang of meditating while I'm walking -- mostly my thoughts just wander loosely as I go -- so I thought (since I've been missing the peace of the sitting meditation) I'd just do a sit when I got back home.  And it was truly lovely and peaceful: I think it helps to get all the wandering thoughts out while I walk, so I can just sink into it when I come home to sit...

But still -- now that those quiet moments are behind me -- I have so much on my mind, and so much to share and think about: probably a result of not blogging (well, not a REAL blog anyway) yesterday; I have all this pent-up energy...  So I'll just do what in computer language is called "a random memory dump" -- just a list of what's pouring out.

1.  I got two photos into the abstract exhibit at the Vermont Photoplace Gallery in Montpelier (see link at left).  Yay!  It feels like an affirmation of that direction on my path...

2.  I've published my Goddess book (see link at left), and I'm very excited about it: it turned into a story of sorts, and feels to me both moving and uplifting.  I'm hoping to dedicate part of the sales proceeds to the prevention and cure of breast cancer and am looking for a good organization to do that for, though I don't expect it will actually come to a lot of money.  Blurb publishing is not inexpensive, so I can't really mark the price up all that much -- and I need to be sure to keep some for myself!

3.  My younger daughter is coming home today after her long summer working at camp.  I'm looking forward to seeing her, but I also know this is traditionally a very rough time for her; leaving camp and all the beauty of the woods, the freedom of her days, and the wonderful friends she makes is always very difficult for her -- and this year it may be doubly hard, as she has no idea what she'll be doing next.  Plus all of us are living at home now, including her sister's boyfriend, and we're all here, jobless, all day long.  I think perhaps I'll encourage the girls to start volunteering at Helpline, just to help them stay in touch with the whole "things could be worse" idea...

4.  And finally, my school reading these last few days has kind of been variations around the theme of niceness, the way we as women are taught to be nice, kind, gentle, avoid confrontation, learn to compromise, not make waves -- behaving, or " being have," as my younger daughter used to say, as in "I AM being have, Mommy!"  My reading is reminding me of what a handicap that can be in the workplace -- and at the same time making me wonder what hope there can be in our political system for "nice guys." 

And then, when we ARE "being have" and we get stomped on, there's the inevitable backlash of frustration and anger... Philippe Rosinski, in his wonderful book, Coaching Across Cultures, talks about a woman who was "committed to doing a "perfect" job and had not given herself permission to set boundaries."  He goes on to quote another coach named Cheryl Richardson, who writes "When we allow others to step over our boundaries because we fear confrontation or the consequences of putting our own needs first, we end up feeling angry, frustrated, and resentful."


"You have to give yourself permission to feel angry when your space is violated," says Rosinski.  "It is a vital emotional skill, and it doesn't mean you have to behave aggressively.  Anger is a wake-up call toward self-remembering: to protect yourself, you cannot always be nice to others, acting as they wish.  It should be apparent by now that the two constraining messages, "Be perfect" and "Be nice," tend to result in weak boundaries."

Instead of being perfect, he adds, try for just being effective.  In addition to being nice to others, try taking care of yourself as well.  Do not be afraid to calmly stand up for your rights.

And when it all gets too hard, I recommend a visit to that healing temple in the woods -- the one in your heart, I mean, the one that you can design for yourself.  What does YOUR healing temple look like?

3 comments:

Maureen said...

Love the image. Just looking at it brings me a sense of peace.

The quote from Rosinski: words so well-said!

Congratulations on the Goddess book (I've tweeted it) and on the Vermont Photoplace exhibit news. Good for you!

drw@bainbridge.net said...

Thanks, Maureen --

So I have a question. If I reply to your comment, do you know about it? I've not been replying (though I always want to) because I didn't think you ever came back to the site comments... Does something notify you?

I am SUCH A NOVICE in this arena!

karen gerstenberger said...

Congratulations! So glad that you will all be together under one roof, even if it's a challenge. You are giving me pause about the "downsizing" idea - we've been told it's premature, and so it may be...