Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Mindful Weekend

As mentioned from my previous blog entry Being Punched in the Emotional Junk by the Dalai Lama, I spent last Sunday at the San Antonio Art Museum. What you do not know is that either at the museum or shortly thereafter (possibly while reading some of the literature I picked up on Buddhism and Tibetan Dieties), I picked up a new friend.

At first, all I felt was some subtle vibrations, unlike any entity I have met before but by Tuesday he has made himself known to me...the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. This deity is very well known throughout the Mahayana Buddhist world. He is a complex character with a multitude of names and aspects (both male and female). One of his female guises is of course the popular Guanyin. Needless to say, I have spent these last few days getting to know him and reading extensively about him.

Avalokitesvara is extraordinarily compassionate for all living things. It is said that he halted his own progress to becoming a Buddha so that he could help the rest of humankind reach their own enlightenment. While he has aspects of both sexes, I feel that the aspect hanging out with me is male, so I am referring to this being as "him."

So, besides spending this weekend learning all about Buddhism, I have also tried to be mindful of all my actions. The idea of mindfulness is to live in the present. Most people live either with their mind in the past or their attention focused on the future (or both). Very few of us are able to be present in each and every moment. I had many things I wanted to get done today, so it was the perfect opportunity to try and be mindful.

First, I went to my gym for a yoga/tai chi/pilates class where I was successfully mindful of the fact that I was getting ass handed to me by our instructor. Luckily, from the moaning and groaning going on from my classmates, I believe the rest of the class was also very present in the same painful moment (or in this case, hour). I then dragged my tired self to the rest of the errands on my list, including going back down to the museum to finish taking the pictures I didn't take last weekend. While I didn't get everything done, I feel good about what I did finish.

My days have become so busy with the "have-to's" on my to do list that I find myself unable to finish the "I-want-to's." This leads me to feel guilty about all the things I feel that I have been neglecting. I got a lot of stuff done today and I feel good about it. Maybe being more mindful of each and every task will help me feel more joy in what I need to do, leaving me some energy to do all the extra stuff.