It’s Not Real!

So weird when I woke up this morning.

I had a dream, or at least I think I had a dream, that somehow involved work. I can’t remember what it was about, all I know is I woke up at 7am, with work in my head, very very angry.

Internally I was raging about something – couldn’t tell you what, some imagined slight or problem – and I actually had to stop and remind myself that it wasn’t real, to let it go, that there’s nothing to be angry about. Even so it took me a few seconds to focus and get it out of my system. Like I say, very weird indeed.

But that’s the same with so called ‘real life’ as well isn’t it? Imagine, you get cut up in traffic on your way somewhere. You get angry, but then you’re still angry by the time you reach your destination some 20 minutes later or so. Why?

The incident is over. It was over 20 minutes ago. Chances are the other driver didn’t even realise what he’d done. So now it only exists in your head. And for it to continue to exist, for it to stay alive, you need to concentrate on it, you need to feed it, you need to make it real.

And that’s what a lot of us do all the time, we go through life angry. I know, I’ve done it, and I know plenty of people who still do it. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, it’s just a habit we’ve gotten into, and to get out of it we need to learn a new habit; and it starts with letting go. Simple? Yes. Easy? No.

But like any habit it comes with practice. That’s what meditation is really, learning not to get caught up in the thoughts and emotions that arise in our heads. Learning to observe them, to watch them peak and die out, and to realise that they are impermanent and ultimately not real. That’s why I like it, because it helps me deal with the stuff going on in my head, and to not be a slave to it like I have been in the past.

Well, that’s not what I expected to write when I sat down. Hope that wasn’t too weird for you? I’m still getting my head around a lot of the ideas I’ve come across recently myself. To end on a different note, here’s an interesting pic of some purple basil I’m growing in my garden at the moment. Hope you like it.

purple basil

It’s a whole other world down there, isn’t it.

Stripey Sarnie Batman!

How to amuse yourself in the kitchen.

stripey sarnie

Nuff said really.

Had a weird thing when I was meditating today. I was doing the usual thing, trying to focus on my breathing, and the usual things were going through my head – mentally constructing a stripey sandwich, wondering why it’s always my left leg that goes numb, scenes from Scott Pilgrim – when all of a sudden I was just breathing, and nothing else. My thoughts were only on the sensation of breath at the rim of my nostril.

Of course that lasted only a few seconds – about as long as it took me to think “Wow, that’s weird!” – but still it was very interesting and highly unexpected. I look forward to next time a sit. I wonder what’ll happen next. 🙂

An all round update

Ok, so where is everything at the moment?

First off, I’ve decided not to do the food blog idea (for the moment). I mean I’m hardly keeping this one up to date, so if I started another one that’d just be two blogs I’m not doing. But I am still cooking and I am still posting recipes, so it’s not like I’ve moved away from the cooking idea completely. I’m just putting it on hold until I can give it my full attention.

ohmmm...

What I have been doing though, which is a bit unexpected, is meditating every day for over a week now. Ok, so ‘every day’ is a bit of an exaggeration (as is ‘meditating’ probably ;)), but I have managed to sit for eight out of the last nine days, which is still a win as far as I’m concerned. If I can keep this up I’ll be enlightened by the end of the year, lol.

The day I missed was all down to work. I’ve been meditating in the morning you see, after doing my yoga (I am still doing the yoga every day since I started, which is a good few months now!), but that day I had to get up at 5:30 to go to work, so there wasn’t time, and I just plain forgot to do it in the evening when I got home. Of course this only goes to underline the fact that I need a new job. Plus I’ve been reading Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness, by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, which quite simply states that if you believe your job is interfering with your spiritual development then you probably need a change in career. So that’s my main priority for the moment, finding something else to do for cash. I know what I’d like to do, which is write, but I’m also looking at other possibilities too.

That being said the writing is going well. I’m on the second round of rewrites on the script I finished before Christmas. Once that’s done I’ll give it to a friend to proof read, then I can go back to the book I started working on recently. I’ve also got a few other script ideas I’m playing with, so hopefully come the summer I’ll be ready to start chasing down agents and production deals. And no holding back this time. I’m not going to get bogged down with the ‘reality’ of what’s possible. I’m aiming for Hollywood, and ain’t nobody gonna stop me!

Week 41 : Working For A Living Sucks!

Working for a living sucks!

I know this won’t come as much of a revelation to most of you (hello my generally mute and fairly non-existent audience) but after having a week off I can unequivocally say that not having to go to work is markedly better than having to go to work.

I spent the first few days just tidying up. Y’know, washing, dusting, hoovering, all those things you can’t be arsed doing after a day at work (and don’t want to do on your days off). Then I watched some really rubbish movies. Why are films so God damned boring these days? Seriously, it’s really starting to get on my tits now. Dull, badly paced, crap characters, woefully functional dialogue, it’s getting impossible to find something with a bit of interest and originality in it. And I weep for the future. With people like Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight, Inception) and Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) getting all the big franchises to muck about with (Superman, Wolverine) even the films that are meant to be no brainer entertainment are set to go the boring, over-worked, who-gives-a-damn route.

But there is an upside. All this crap I’ve injected into my head has inspired me to get on with writing my own stuff again. I was working on a new book, which I still am, but the freedom of that has released some kind of block in my head. I sat down the other night, started on this script I haven’t done anything on in months, and suddenly it just started pouring out. I couldn’t stop almost. Next thing I know it’s 2 in the morning and I’d knocked out 5 or 6 scenes. Same the next night, not as much but still a good chunk of work. And again the night after. And it’s good stuff too. Plus the most exciting bit is there’s more waiting to get out. I know how the rest of the film is going to go now, I just need to get it down on paper. It’s just a matter of time. Unfortunately I go back to work tomorrow for a couple of night shifts. They always wipe me out, so by Friday who knows if I’ll have the energy to keep writing or if I’ll just sit there watching The Big Bang Theory on DVD. Let’s hope not eh?

I’ve bought my Christmas cards already, can you believe it? I feel a little embarrassed. I was just going to buy one to send to my brother in Australia, but then Waterstones had a 3-for-2 on so it was only £8 for 24 cards, and it was for charity, and, and, and… and it’s not right is it? Shops shouldn’t be allowed to advertise Christmas until after Halloween at the earliest. One pagan holiday at a time fellas. There’s no rush.

I sat down to meditate the other day and sat for 35 minutes, which is the longest I’ve ever done. Not that I intended to that is. I set my alarm for 20 minutes, but I couldn’t do that (or so I thought). I opened my eyes, a little confused, to find that I’d actually set it for 20 hours (damn you digital displays). What a numpty. Still, nice to see I can go for a lot longer than I thought I could. Not that I actually ‘meditated’ for all that time, but at least I tried.

Saw a mouse in the flat last night. Been hearing them for a while now but this was the first time I’ve spotted a dark figure scuttling across the floor. Now I have to buy some utterly ineffective humane traps to get rid of them. Have to say, this is where being a vegan Buddhist sucks. Poison may be nasty stuff, but it gets the job done.

And coz long posts are boring without a pic or two check out my latest bit of baking.

chocolate chocolate chip cookies

They look nasty but they taste pretty good. Lots of winging it and substitutions going on, hence their splatty nature, but they can’t all be winners eh?

Week 36: part 2

The advanced Buddhism class last night was… interesting, but I’ve decided not to go back for now. Some of the concepts were a bit heavy going for me, and the discussion of the sutta got completely sidetracked (so it seemed) by a couple of old people who seemed intent on ‘discussing the arrow which had pierced them instead of removing it’ (defining the problem instead of taking care of it). I cannot say I found it entirely useful.

It did however give me an idea or two, like having one day off a week from the computer to just ‘think’. I also realised that I need to meditate more (or at all, in fact), and that I should read and re-read some of the books I’ve got before going back. So not a completely wasted experience.

Week 36: some stuff, and some other stuff…

Well, I know I said no more reports, but what the hell, when you’ve got something to say…

Let’s see, yesterday I celebrated 4 months off the booze. I’m no longer forcing myself not to drink, I just don’t feel like it. My test will come in a couple of weeks when I have been invited to a cocktail party (emphasis on the cocktails). Dunno what I’ll do, drink or not drink. I’ll figure it out on the day.

Went to see Inception last night. Not as dire as I thought it was going to be. Nor as amazing actually either. Just a good film that was a little slow and which I’m not bothered about seeing again. About usual for Christopher Nolan really.

About to start work on a new writing project. Got an idea for a book which, if it works, will invent a whole new genre. No details online as yet, keeping it very hush hush, but I am writing a very detailed outline for the first time ever. Normally I don’t bother as once I know what’s going to happen I get bored and move on, but I’m realising you need the detail to stay on track. Been trying to write a film script and it keeps veering all over the place as I haven’t pinned the middle down properly. I’m learning from my mistakes.

Going to a class on Buddhism tonight. Been waiting all year for the course to start. It’s like 8 weeks, and they do it 4 or 5 times a year, but every time they had one starting I was busy or I forgot it was on. Now things have converged to make me free, able and aware, so I’m going. Looking forward to it!

Also, off to see Diane Cluck at the weekend. Really looking forward to that. Bought two tickets months ago. Now I just need someone to go with me. Lets’ see…

Week 19: In which our hero takes up gambling

the winning ticket

Well, as you can probably tell from the illustration, I ain’t a winner (yet). I know, I know, the chances of winning the lottery are astronomical, and really I don’t expect to win, but as a way of exacting massive change in a very short period of time the possibilities can’t be denied. But then again, that’s why everyone does it I suppose.

Actually this whole gambling thing came about initially as a way of getting me a car. I figured that the easiest way for me to get mobile would be to win myself a vehicle, as it’s going to take me ages to save up for one. A quick search online found loads of competitions that you can enter for free, so I went for it. Of course my inbox won’t be happy with me when the spam starts rolling in, but such is the nature of these things (there being no such thing as a ‘freebie’).

I also put in half a dozen entries to the Fuller’s Brewery to win a mountain bike, seeing as I’d drank the beer and had the bottle tops anyway. I even hand delivered them to save myself some money. I’ve already got a bike, so if I win one I’ll probably sell it and put the money towards a car. Also it seemed right that I should get something from the last lot of beer I had in the house. There’s a certain balance to that somehow methinks.

Still off the drink. It’s been ten days now. It hasn’t been easy, as everywhere I turn there’s something that’s stressing me out. Seriously, home, work, play, all of them are giving me aggro at the moment, and I’d give anything to be able to switch off just for a while and relax. But I know I’d regret it the next day, so I’m sticking to my guns.

Did a few more days meditation this week, which is good. The more I can do the better. And I had my first meeting with the guy who’s going to have a go at designing my board game for me. It was all very positive. Now I just need to do a bit more research and we’ll be on our way.

So it’s going ok for the moment. I’ve also done a new recipe this week, as it’s been a while, and maybe next week I can get back to doing some script work. Been in a bit of a funk this past month or so and it’s time I dragged myself out of it. Being in a funk really is an unproductive way to be.

TTFN.