Incense Leaf, Centre Me, Remind Of This Moment

incenseLeaf_01 by Format No Auto
incenseLeaf_01, a photo by Format No Auto on Flickr.

Mediation has been important for me ever since I dated a girl whose mother is a practicing Buddhist. I feel it’s incredibly important to centre, to find grounding, though so much of the time, we are swept away in the drowning currents of go go go modern urban life.

I went camping last weekend, a great 2 days away from it all; I even turned my phone off (!). I realized that as much as technology enables us to do wonderful things (graphic design, social networking, posting to this blog), it increasingly roboticizes us, it kills our flesh-and-blood contact to this world.

I was re-awakened on that camping trip, and upon return, dedicated myself to my physical presence. I have resumed a regime of stretching and exercising every morning, followed by a meditation.

It’s quite hilarious that I began this blog as a way to help me stay in THE MOMENT, to appreciate the here and now, yet I haven’t been here often. That says something to me – that I have become a slave to the go go go, that anxiety is the anti-moment, that I am not lost, but it is easy to be such. Here’s to meditation, here’s to THE MOMENT.


Has Anything Changed In 7 Years? (Or, learning from the past)

I discovered a container full of my old writing, drawings, and a variety of other things!

I found a few things I really liked, but a lot of the discoveries made me worried. I began to wonder:
Have I changed?
Have I grown?
Have I learned anything?

I’ll get to that. First, the backstory:

I’ve been wanting to own an amp
so that I could run my speakers through it.
I know, funny, right? Speakers but no stereo.
And it’s a crime, really, because I LOVE music,
I can’t even begin to describe how much I love music, how important it is to me, to my happiness, to my survival, to my inspiration.

Well, today, as I was cycling home, I noticed a neighbour having a yard sale.
I bought a big ‘ol amp for a few bucks,
and returned home all smiles.

Now the work to be done!
Connect my speakers – I have 6 total, thanks to donations from friends,
including a switcher, so I can have speakers in my kitchen only, or my bedroom only (which in itself is hilarious – I live in a bachelor apartment, so I’ll hear the music no matter what “room” I’m in)

I decided to place the amp under my desk, to be close to my surge-protected power bar. In order to make room for it, I pulled out a shallow rubbermaid bin. I thought it’d be a good size to set the amp on.
But before I placed it there, I wanted to know what was inside that bin. I believe I may have put it under my desk when I moved in here almost 2 years ago.
And I don’t think I’ve touched it since.

Wonderfully, it is full of all sorts of things that are whizzing me through recent-memory lanes:
My divorce certificate,
my proposal to SFU’s writing program (which was rejected),
a few forgotten drawings (which I’ll scan and throw on my Flickr page tonight),
my University transcripts,
magazine clippings of cute girls or cool graphic design.
And writing that just makes me chuckle and shiver at the same time.

I chuckle because when I find these writings, I realize how little I’ve changed.
I shiver because, goddamn it, these writings remind me how little I’ve changed.

For example,
something written about 7 years ago
(with my present-day comments following in brackets):

Remember these as inspirations in life:

  • continue to write down dreams, everyday, even if nothing but a glimmer, a whisper, a glance is lingering

(I truly feel the benefits of emptying my head first thing in the morning, yet I haven’t devoted myself to this practice since I was in my early 20’s)

  • exercise everyday, wrestle w/ Lucy, a game of frisbee, dribble football – anything to pump fresh blood through my body & free the way for improvement on all levels (yoga…!)

(exercise comes and goes.
I’ve tried boxing, weights, running. Currently, I’ve found great satisfaction from yoga, and am trying to practice it as often as possible.
Plus I love swimming. I swam length for the 1st time in months today. I plan on getting back into the swim of things now)

  • exercise the body, exercise the mind. Continue to write, to think, to question, to read, to progress. A balance must be met & at this moment the body is more fit than the mind

(right now, my mind is more fit than my body, but still the same quest for balance, and same knowledge that mental stimulation, mental challenges are critical to my happiness & growth)

  • meditate. Ask Lucy for help & take time to slow time down. Give myself a chance to sigh  – relax. release. refresh

(I’ve always struggled with my incessantly active mind. I constantly feel under pressure to be doing something important. Rest isn’t an option. But I have been (inconsistently) meditating)

  • buying music is never a waste of money

(Hallelujah! This has not changed, and thank god.
Truer words were never written, but this may have been the 1st time in my life, at the exact moment that I wrote those words, when I truly understood the priceless importance of music)

  • learn to type faster, w/ more confidence. This will help me not only w/ emailing & school, but always and forever in all aspects of life

(how true! Well, I can actually say that I accomplished this one!
Through school, both SFU and Langara, as well as working full time for ShowMakers for almost 4 years, I’ve been on a computer nearly every waking moment of my days.
I challenged myself in the early stages, to type with my fingers in the correct positions (rather than chicken peck).
Then I increased the challenge by forcing myself to not look at the keyboard. My type was an indecipherable mess for many months, but it improved, and I’m pretty damn good now)

  • take time to myself everyday – not just every few days & not just for a few minutes – get in touch brother

(ah yes, here is where I shiver a little – because I haven’t been respecting this knowledge like I should be.
The days I take time out for myself, I am happier, calmer, more focused. I know this, but I forget it so easily. There are always things to be done! My ideas! My art! So much to be done!
But when all I do is do, I burn out. Or lose focus. Or get depressed.
7 years later, I say again, “Get in touch, brother.”)

  • learn something new everyday – pursue my quest for French (& Polish) bilingualism

(okay, yes, this is lofty, to learn something new everyday.
Yet maybe it isn’t, because aren’t we learning everyday? Each day is never exactly the same as the last, even if it feels that way.
I must say: I tried Polish, took some night classes shortly after writing this, and it was really really tough. Even the instructor, a nice Poland-born lady, admitted to us that Polish is a very difficult language to learn.
Do you know that every noun has 7 different ways to say it? That even your name has 7 variations, depending on the circumstances in which it is said? And that one of those is when your name is being shouted?
Ha ha – that one killed me)

That’s one thing I found.
Maybe I’ll write about others.

It’s fascinating stuff to me.
And hell, writing this entry has truly accomplished what this blog is all about:
keeping me in THE MOMENT.

I was feeling pretty overwhelmed when I started going through that rubbermaid bin.
Feeling full of emotions, good, bad, and confusing.
Well, those emotions have every right to be inside me, but at least now I’ve written them down and I feel free. And grounded, somehow, at the same time.

Can we be grounded and free? Is being grounded also being free?