Learning to feel differently

Done, the thesis is. (Mentally so exhausted, I am, only think like Yoda, I can).


Whether it’s because Jupiter (my chart ruler) stationed direct two days ago, I’ve started meditating again more regularly, or accepted Betty Dodson‘s advice for orgasm breaks (for mental clarity — try it), I don’t know. But I’m relieved.

I sent off the concluding chapter to a friend for her to have a look at, and complained that the conclusion sounded lame, compared with the promise expressed in the introduction. I think that is the nature of writing conclusions — one’s run out of steam. As I said to my friend, it’s done nonetheless, and all I can do now is learn to feel differently about it. And in so saying, I do.

I want to share a quotation from Maura Soshin O’Halloran’s Zen journal, Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind, here. O’Halloran was an Irish woman who became a Zen monk in Japan in the 1980s. I’ll probably write more about her later, but for now, here’s a passage from the journal:

Circumstances are forever making a fool of me. I should say ‘teaching me’ but I’m a slow learner. Sometimes I bitch about Tetsugan-san [a fellow monk] and stupid trivial things, the way he jeers when he thinks I’m doing something wrong or silly, how he never closes the door, no longer notices what I cook even when I make his favorite dish. I mused — he has no emotions or heart. It would never occur to him to bring me home a treat, for example; that kind of spontaneity isn’t in him. Of course as I thought the thought, he closed the door behind him. Yesterday he brought me home a piece of cheesecake …, tonight raved about the curry and comfrey tempura I made. Oh well. I’ve accepted that once I get to know people they’re always good; I always like them …. If only I could actualize Sono’s ‘Thanks very much for everything. I have no complaints whatsoever.’ Truly each situation is its own perfection. I wish I could uproot the bitch in me that knows, even as it bitches, that it’s nonsense and destructive. (201)

‘Truly each situation is its own perfection.’ I’m leaving this up here now as a visible reminder for when the oral defence comes around.

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