So today’s my birthday. I’m officially 26 years of age; closer to 50 than to my birth…And I can’t say I’m overly impressed…I want to write something profound, but the fact of the matter is, it’s just another birthday. Which is a sure sign of aging haha. I’m probably going to treat myself to some Thai and cake at the local restaurants here in Pukekhoe…Relax a bit. I sent off some gifts for the family which I’m sure they will love…Some good metta there.
I had a very curious meditation session on Monday morning. Sunday evening Venerable Johti Palo gave a Dhamma talk on Loving-Kindness (Metta) meditation, something we’ve been talking about for awhile, and something he suggested I try. So I decided it was past time Monday morning and gave it a go…According to his instruction, one first establishes a sort of chant; may ______ be happy, may _______ be safe, may _________ be well, may ________ be at ease…You first meditate on what these terms mean to you. What it feels like to be happy, to be safe, etc. And then you fill in the blanks. Starting with you, working your way to family, friends, every person, and then all beings. So I did the above. Interestingly, I had no problems at all maintaining concentration; not sure if it’s the newness of the meditation or just the fact that it’s more a contemplation than simply watching what arises, but I fell right into a deep state of concentration that I’ve only experienced a few times with breath meditation. You’ll have to bear with me because it’s hard to describe, but when I enter the state, which usually takes a half hour of breath meditation, but only took 15 minutes of metta-meditation, I feel…Expansive. I feel my body but I feel more than corporeal. It’s nothing like I’d imagine out-of-body experiences, however. I just feel "bigger." Note that I’m deliberately avoiding saying "connected to something GREATER than myself…" But what was MORE interesting was that I had an entirely new sensation occur in my meditation; for the last few minutes after my session of expansiveness, I shrank back into myself. It felt like a dream of falling; you all know the sensation. Only there was also a distinct feeling of…Pulsing…Waving. The only way I can describe it is with a visual; like the heat shimmer of a hot road. That sight is what I felt like, if you can understand what I’m saying. It was a neutral sensation, not positive, no shimmering ball of light, nor negative, though I was aware I had to consciously maintain my balance (when I was expansive I sat still with no effort). I talked with Venerable Johti Palo about it immediately afterwards and he was very curious and had a lot of good points to make that I won’t go into full detail here because I want to touch on something else…But I’m a bit hesitant to try it again and haven’t since then.
Called the folks again this morning and informed my stepfather that I did indeed know about Mom having breast cancer and asking (demanding, really) more information. He was…Exactly as I knew he’d be, honestly. Helpful and honest, yet vaguely critical of my choice in actions…He let me know all that he knew about her condition, which was little more than I did, surprisingly. He was just as surprised when Mom started acting loopy after her medications kicked in and was a bit irritated (understandably) that the doctors didn’t predict as much. He was also adamant that I stop accepting "I’m fine" for an answer and press Mom for more information, yet remained a party to the conspiracy in keeping the whole thing hidden from me. In MY mind, I see that as sitting on both sides of the fence; he has NO moral basis for criticizing my decision to go along with THEIR game. But I recognize that I’m probably reading far into a situation I’m physically removed from AND to make a huge deal out of the whole lie-thing would only add fuel to the fire, and that just doesn’t need to happen. Not when nurses and doctors are coming in and out, and he’s working so hard to care for Mom. And, I think he’s doing his best to handle this situation, and is doing so very well…So I remain supportive and am trying not to make this about me. But there’s been underlying tension between us every so often…If he starts pointing fingers I won’t back down.
And now I’m off to find some tasty Thai! Maybe a Pad Thai lunch special…Even though that’s what I always get…