Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


A Good Mu

I woke up hurting all down the left side of my body. From aching sinuses in my head down the side of the leg to the ankle. I was glad to be working from home today and have even opted to not attend the women's practice group I started going to last week. I could have finished up the reading and went, but I decided that some rest tonight would probably be more beneficial.

I did go down and sit in the new "zendo" space I cleared up for us over the weekend. It is in a little nook at the back of the sitting area. On Saturday I hung various wall hangings over the rather unsightly unfinished walls and put down the carpet that had been upstairs. The dull olive green of the carpet looks rather cozy in the lower light and smaller space.

While sitting I had what felt like a rather silly realization - I could do Mu chanting at home! I really have enjoyed toning and Mu chanting while in retreat at Great Vow, but never had made this connection to including it in my home practice. I've even done some chanting practice at home as part of the my last Ango commitment.

I was aware of the dull ache of my neck, I think the amount of sneezing I've been doing may be part of the problem. My tailbone hurt and in turn that ache radiated into my hip. My mind was all over the place, just unsettled and full of anxious, judging thoughts.

Breath practice? Nope, let's consider the unwashed dishes.

Body scan? Nope, instead we shall reflect upon the practice group we made a commitment to and now are missing when we're not really sick.

Metta practice? Are you kidding us?! No! Have you see the state of your studio/office upstairs? Someone needs to sleep there on Thursday!

Now, quit all this sitting here nonsense and go organize the storage area!

I don't know why it struck me to start Mu chanting, but I did. Several loud, long, powerful, deep breaths worth of Mu. I felt the vibration of it deeply in my whole body. Like I've done up at Great Vow I envisioned concentrating, focusing the vibration into my sore head & neck and into my back.

I felt more clear after a few minutes of this and returned back to Metta practice. Whenever a thought arose, I let out another Mu. There was no one in the house my Inner Critic would say I was bothering, so I just went with it. Felt the thought, felt the irritation at catching myself thinking, and...


Take that, Discursive Thoughts! Mu!

Mu, to you, Inner Critic!

Mu, indeed!

My thoughts settled further and my need to use a "Reminder Mu" did to. I was able to sit in silence, practicing Metta for all the fears and anxieties that have come up the past several weeks. When the bell rang I felt much calmer than I had in several days. There's even been a little popping and shifting in my tight muscles.

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