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I don’t even know where to start… I guess I am still surprised how the winds of karma change suddenly. Last week I’ve been preparing for the talk, studying and practicing quite a bit, and it was really good for me, I really managed to connect more with the teachings and with the practice. I felt more confident, at ease, and dare I say at times even joyful. ;)

Then this morning I get a call from a friend, who I feel very close to, and it triggered a lot of painful things inside of me. I don’t feel like quite going into details at this point, but boy, did it hurt. It still does. Hurts like hell. Or worse.

I was quite amazed at the magnitude of my reaction.  I guess at least one thing I got from all this training is that there’s a bit more space in my mind, and I didn’t immediately lash back. But boy, did I want to! I looked at this pain, tried to stay with it and embrace it, not to push it away, but uff… Difficult stuff. A very early early pain got triggered and it brings with it all of the feelings of overwhelm that a young child feels. I could see that it didn’t really have to do anything with the current situation, that was just a catalyst, but still, that didn’t make the pain any less. Well, all I could do really, was just to sit with it and try as best as I could to embrace it. Eventually it did lessen a bit,so at least I could go to work, but I knew this was far from being done.

I was also quite amazed at this insistence on hurting the other person back, like if she experiences some pain, this would somehow lessen mine. Could this be the root of all violence? All wars? This hurt that we just can’t stand and we have to lash out, thinking that we’ll be better off. Well, at least this much I learned so far - this just never ever works. My pain is not going to be any less, no matter how persuasive the thoughts in mind are about it.

So, no escape there as well. Again, back to just being with it.  Kept thinking about the teachings… Well, here’s the First noble truth, suffering is definitely here, no doubt about it. Ok, what about second? Cause of suffering - desire (yep, definitely here) and ignorance about nature of self (aha, that would be the big ME that is feeling so HURT. And where exactly is this ME? Hmm. Still hurts though.)

A wish arose as well, that you know, it would be really f**** nice if I wouldn’t hurt so much. If, like, I really got to the bottom of this whole suffering thing and finally see through it. Now this is something worth devoting my life too, I think… :) What is this called - renunciation maybe? Wish to rise up?

Now, for intermezzo, at work I find out I completely missed a big point in a project I’m working on, and I have to redo a lot of what I was doing. While already being behind the schedule. Just wonderful.

It gets better though. I come back home and I try out the new keys to the apartment, that finally arrived after a month and a half, and yeah, you can probably guess. Not only did they not work, they got stuck in the lock, couldn’t get them in or out. At this point my patience was slowly beginning to wear a bit thin, I have to say. I try to climb in the apartment through the neighbour’s balcony - guess what - my flatmates closed the balcony door, so no luck.

I call the janitor (? hisnik?) and he forgot his tools in a different car, so he can’t come, but then he remembers that maybe some of his friends might be able to help.

The neighbour keeps offering to bring pliers and for a while I thought what use could they probably be, but then I say, hey, can’t hurt (see, that’s the space again! :) ). And voila - the lock actually opens.

Now we’re in, trying out the different keys, not all of the keys work fine from the inside, but none work from the outside anymore. Great. Well, I’ll leave that problem for tomorrow, enough for today, I think.

Now,where was I?Ah, my state of mind. Well, for a while I actually managed to avoid being in touch with it, and busied myself with computer work, but i kept sensing it in the background. So I finally gave in and went to sit with it again. still there. as painful as before. Ah, but what about this moment? Next breath? Is pain the same on every breath?  Interesting… It shifts. Still hurts though.

It seems to hurt more when I think about it and less if I am just with the sensations. ok, that’s good to know. ahh, “thinking”, right. ;)

Then I come up with an interesting idea. I’ve been starting to practice loving kindness and compassion practices again, and I thought, well, why not. Now, usually I would do them for myself in this kind of a case, but here I tried something different. I did them for others.

Well, I’m in pain, but I can still wish for others to be happy, right? My students for example. My mother. My friend who called me this morning (ahh, no,no,no, not this one ! not yet) Back to my other friends.  Do they feel the same kind of pain that I do? Probably someone else feels the same way? Well, I wish they’d be free of it as well. I do this for a while, and something actually changes. Pain is still here, but it lessens and there’s some warmth here as well. I get an insight into the situation - seeing more clearly what is happening, seeing how the other person is doing actually exactly what she needs to be doing. And I also see what I need to do, although I don’t like it one bit.

It seems some friendships are just not meant to be…