Sunday, March 22, 2009


Of course the retreat was great. It’s the same old story -- I’m unmotivated at first, then I get into the groove and wonder why I was so unmotivated. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ve seen that story a dozen times, and for that I apologize!

I read in Charlotte Joko Beck’s ”Everyday Zen” that anger stems from feelings of separation -- a sense that you are “other” than the person or thing that angers you, rather than part of it, or all part of the same whole. It strikes me that my feelings of resistance to practice -- and potential embarrassment about holding service positions -- also stems from that sense of otherness, that separation. And separation is a delusion. Something to keep in mind.

(Here I have to insert my usual disclaimer that I am not a Zen teacher, so please don’t take what I say about Zen to be gospel -- it’s just my personal experience. Go study with a teacher if you’re interested!)

The retreat reminds me that I really need to whip my life back into shape. I feel as though I’ve been practicing nothing but laziness lately. I’m going to work on refocusing on mindfulness and diligent, daily practice.

On a completely unrelated note, can I just say that I love Michelle Obama?! I love her refreshing candor in interviews, how she pokes fun at herself and the president, and I love her enthusiasm -- the vegetable garden, the green fountain. Despite our myriad national calamities, there seems to be a lot of good energy emanating from the White House these days.

(Photo: Greenpoint, Brooklyn, March 2009)


  1. I love Michelle Obama because she seems so much like a regular person. The fact that she is growing vegetables on the White House lawn says it all.

    I'm glad your retreat fired you up. A daily meditation practice would be good for me too. Once a week hardly reminds me how to sit mindfully!

  2. Interesting post. Thoughts to ponder here.

    I wonder about the concept of being lazy. I have friends who I could label "lazy" and have said it about myself when I am not motivated. But maybe 'lazy' is not such a bad thing if it is used to recharge. If it becomes a habit that is another matter entirely.

    Oh, yes. to Michelle Obama.

  3. Glad the retreat was fulfilling.

    I get a caught up in felling I have to do something. I makes me resentful

  4. Amen on all of this: the pre-retreat practice inertia, the post-retreat "Why don't I do this more often," the thoughts on Michelle Obama, and that wonderful photo to cap it all off. Amen, yes, amen.