Monday, December 08, 2008


I'm still here. Still on dial-up (as I will be for the rest of the month).

I've been doing a lot of meditation work over the past several days. Deep stuff. Yoga. Part of the reason for this admitted self-torture is that I've decided it's time to move past judgement, into a place of acceptance and compassion for all people, not just those who think and believe like me.

Wow. There's a strong statement.

I put up a fairly good front in terms of always sounding fairly compassionate and accepting. And on some levels I am. But it never ceases to amaze me how quickly I get pissed off when I'm exposed to too much western thinking. (Sorry... but this is a truth place. I hope everyone knows that I am not trying to be offensive or disrespect anyone's belief system - but to maintain my integrity here, I try to speak my truth. My objective is that by speaking my truth, maybe others will feel free to speak theirs as well ~ and that is where healing begins.)

In meditation, I'm exploring that place, that angry place, the remembrance of how betrayed I felt by that kind of thinking and how many painful times there have been because I couldn't cram myself into that little box and live there. I couldn't be who I was expected to be. The isolation, the feeling of being brutalized and traumatized, the feeling of not being able to understand it ~ it all must be acknowledged and processed through because without doing that difficult work, I run the risk of continuing to over-eat and ~ worse case ~ end up back on the bottle. Even worse, we all miss out on the healing that comes from being exposed to different types of thinking and reconciliation.

The interesting part of the meditation is that on exhales, I've found some long-buried feelings that needed to come out, lots of old tears. (If you try, you can tell the new tears from the old tears. The old tears come from the core place, the center of us. The new ones come from the surface and go away fairly quickly.)

It's hard work.. but I'm committed to it so ~ on it goes. Every morning. No matter how long it takes.

In my readings, I found this really wonderful quote:

Insight opens your mind. An open mind leads to an open heart. Open heartedness leads to justice. Divinity is oneness with Tao. Oneness with Tao is freedom from harm, indescribable pleasure, eternal life.

Tao Te Ching


The times when I am not doing that, I've been reading a book, recommended by one of my blogging friends, called "The Hour I First Believed" by Wally Lamb. It's a wonderful book and I can barely put it down! Wally Lamb is a very good author but you have to be in a certain frame of mind to take it all in.

The rest of the day ~ this cloudy, foggy day (my favorite kind), I'm going to read that book, make some pineapple fried rice and settle into my most comfortable chair ~ lap blanket in place.

Wishing you all a comfortable chair and a lap blanket!





heartinsanfrancisco said...

I would agree that acceptance is hollow and meaningless unless it includes everybody. When reserved only for those who think as we do, it is not acceptance at all, but a private club.

When you automatically discard anything that is Western, you make your own life smaller and discount billions of people and their contributions to the world, including literature. (Wally Lamb, for example, is not Eastern.)

There is a whole smorgasbord of cultures out there to choose from. None of them has to be accepted in its entirety.

It should be noted that because you live in a free country which happens to be Western, you are free to reinvent yourself as you choose. We all are. We are also free to reject some values, no matter where we find them, and embrace others. But I think it is always a mistake to become so fanatical about our own beliefs that we lose sight of the fact that other people have the right to believe as they do, too.

The meditation sounds tough, but tears do have a cleansing effect like rain on the earth. I wish I knew how to reach the core place where my own tears are stored.

Peace and good reading to you.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate you talking about the difference between surface tears and old core tears.
I have always noticed a difference.
Usually the old tears leave me exhausted, but afterwards I feel more centered.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Thank you for sharing so honestly about your journey. I appreciate that you're willing to let us know the places where you want to grow.

meno said...

Could you be more specific about the Western Culture you reject? Is it really ALL Western Culture or just the popular stuff?

And good for you on the yoga. Meditating feels so good and clarifying.

storyteller said...

I just picked up Wally Lamb's book and can't wait to get started reading it. After reading his first two twice each (I really LOVED the second ... I Know This Much Is True), I've been waiting for his 3rd ... and here it is ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Anonymous said...

It's always good to hear your honesty and truth Chani!

flutter said...

this is remarkable work you are doing

Leann said...

Kudos to you for doing the hard work Chani. It is indeed a difficult process but so rewarding in the end.

Suki said...

Wow, Chani. Meditation is not easy. All the best and congratulations for having begun.

And on a much more shallow note - pineapple fried rice sounds AMAZING. I'll try making it next monsoon :)

Rebecca said...

Your post was the 2nd message in 2 days I received about meditation. I used to have a meditation practice and it was wonderful. I felt "clean" and able to navigate whatever came up during the day. With lots of changes coming up (again!), I know it's time to start again. But who can stop blogging long enough to meditate!!???

Woman in a Window said...

Firstly, I'm so excited Wally Lamb has a new book out! Yippee!!!!!

Secondly, I'm very excited (and maybe relieved in a sense) that you've come to the notion that "it's time to move past judgement, into a place of acceptance and compassion for all people, not just those who think and believe like me."

This is often the crucial problem of any belief system, religious, spiritual, political or otherwise. It's what builds walls, keeps us apart. It's what I strive for daily in my very losely defined belief system that is simple like a child's, treat others like you'd like to be treated. But it certainly isn't as easy as it sounds, but so crucial nonetheless.

Have great lap time. (Well, that leaves it open a bit, doesn't it?)

Woman in a Window said...

Chani, I started a second blog of just stuff but I linked to you today. Hope you don't mind but at times I feel like you are the parent to our blogging world.

In Through the Back Door: You can get there through my sidebar if you care to take a look.

Angela said...

I should probably do similar work on AA = it's the one thing I find myself rejecting over and over again. I don't have a problem with anyone else using it or believing in the program, but the program itself just sometimes makes me want to vomit, and it's the way people believe in it - like there's no other way. That's what really gets me.

I so appreciate your sharing your journey with us and your willingness to open yourself up.

MsLittlePea said...

First, I had no idea Wally Lamb had written a new book! I'm running out and getting it today. I had given up on the hope of seeing another book by him since it's been so long. Ok now that that is out of my system I have to say I was really struck by this post today because it made me admit to myself that I am guilty of putting up the same front. Compassion and acceptance doesn't work if we only practice it on the people who think the same way and you made me re-think it although I can make any promises. It's just so darn hard Chani. Today my comfy chair and lap blanket is outside. The sun is out and the weather is warm, only a lion guarding my door could keep me in.

MsLittlePea said...

I can'T make any promises---I meant to type that. Ooops.

Christy said...

I need to work on people who are rigid and judgemental--I judge the judger, and that is tough, logically to fix.

Like hating the hater?

I, too, cried when I started yoga, especially hip openers, and I also had unwanted orgasms.

It wasn't sexy, it showed me some old sexual problems.

I never did totally fix them.

Maybe that's something else for me to work on.

Thanks for sharing!

Sherry Peyton said...

Chani I am always awed at your willingness to speak truthfully from your heart regardless of whether the sentiment is poltically correct or not. The work you are doing is most hard, and I've spent a lot of time doing the same. It is easy to believe and speak one thing, but the feelings often betray us when we are up against a situation. It is clearly an ongoing process, and we all need to do more of it.

If you have time for a little fun, I've tagged you. Visit the post "A curious story" for the details.

Carol said...

Nice that you are doing the work you're doing. That takes commitment and bravery.

I'll have to check out the book.

Wishing you an amazing adventure as you do your inner work.

Olivia said...

I commend you, Chani, for continuing to work on yourself and challenge yourself. For continuing to dig deeper and then deeper still. I, too, appreciate your commitment to the truth and to being real about where you are.

Man, I'm envious of your breakthroughs with mediation!

I'm so glad you're reading "The Hour I First Believed". It was just so good I can't stop raving about it. Well-written, and can't-be-put-down as well.

Kudos and peace and perseverance,



Ian Lidster said...

I love Wally Lamb and didn't realize he had a new book. Thank you for that. Must check it out.
Peaceful meditation for you.

Defiantmuse said...

I have that tattoo on my chest. The Chinese character for Tao. I got it when I was 21, just before I embarked on my 2 month solo journey to Thailand. So. yeah. It resonates to the core.

painted maypole said...

oh, I hated the only book I read by Wally Lamb, the name of which of course escapes me right now.,,,

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