Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Calm in Voice Despite Anxiety in Spirit

Last night was the first time HB told me I did a good job chanting for service after zazen. No reminder that I'm doing fine, to slow down. It wasn't the usual service I've been chanting either and HB had commented several times to me several times I needed to be stately in my chanting for the ango opening ceremony. He sent me to practice while people sat zazen!

I really never sat last night. During kinhin I let LM know I needed to chat with her to discuss the ringing of the bells. While I was going over that with her HB told us we had just a couple of minutes before he wanted to give a talk about ango at the end of zazen. As soon as I settled onto a seiza bench HB was talking. I tried to let his voice fade into the background so I could settle into my body, let my breath move around the knot of anxiety in my chest over chanting.

Afterwards HB gave me a thumbs up, a smile, and said, "Perfect".

I am just trying to stay with everything I'm feeling right now. There are these great moments -- the election, HB telling me I'd done a good job, Barry telling me twice how much he like my article, reading for SMART this morning -- all of these bright, positive things and the deep uncertainty I'm feeling right now.

Tonight in asana practice I was mindful of JW telling us as we started the teacher training program how for everyone that's done it stuff has come up. Every time she teaches things come up for her -- I can't imagine doing that! In the intensity of working, studying, teaching, taking asana practices, and going to teacher training classes I feel like I've pulled out thin again. Thin and taut enough that more falls away, things I kept saying I was comfortable with.

There is a part of me that is tired of this work, this endless unpacking of the great trunk of junk that makes up my coping mechanisms and PTSD. Disliking that learning how to help others, to teach better, to deepen my understanding of the Dhamra always seems to feel as though parts of me are pulled apart. I know that being sick the work is another form of resistence, although I think it is understandable that I will feel weary from the effort from time to time.

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