Jump to content

Recommended Posts

8 hours ago, Mistr said:

Zen - 30 minutes Saturday, 2 x 30 minutes Sunday. We had four people on Sunday including me. It was fun to have a sit without the senior people. There is still the sense of not wanting to give up in front of other people, but there is not the sense of the teacher evaluating your performance. We did chanting with bells and drums. I did the drum again. I think it sounded better this week. Maybe because we went a little slower and everyone could keep up. Last week the leader kept gesturing to me to pick up the pace and I would lose my spot in the chant. We had a nice comparison of experiences at the end.

 

Hmm. Closest analog I have is being part of the worship team. That sounds hard. I don't envy you that, but I'm really impressed with your documented experiences and you're stepping into the role. I imagine it gets better from here.

Link to comment
7 hours ago, Mistr said:
  • Made soup. This was a multi-day process. I made stock from pork shoulder bones, cooked black beans in the stock, then sauteed veggies in the reserved pork fat and mixed it all together. Veggies included an onion, three aging bell peppers, three sweet potatoes and a bunch of cherry tomatoes that I bought at the store. My home-grown cherry tomatoes were much tastier than the store-bought ones, so those were a disappointment for snacking. I adjusted the seasoning with baking soda, allspice and chipotle. I am pleased with how it came out. That is good, because it will be my breakfast all week.

 

girl lol GIF by MatPrat

 

So... what time should we come over...?

 

And now I really need to get a whet stone, because the mental image of sharpening a large knife while talking to my mother-in-law is hilarious. :D 

  • Haha 2

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

Link to comment

I felt like I did all the adulting yesterday.

 

First I screwed up something last week at work and had to apologize and mend fences. After work I sent the last of our tax info (my part, Dumbledore was late too) to our accountant, three weeks after she asked for it. There may be late fees resulting from our procrastinating on this one. Then I painted. I got more than halfway done with the walk-in closet before running out of paint. I ran out of time a bit before that, but was not going to stop until the paint tray was empty. I was pretty close on time - I got to bed only half an hour late.

 

Between the stress and eating a lot of chocolate and ice cream to cope with stress, I couldn't sleep. I tried for a couple hours, then decided to get up and do something useful. I washed dishes and scrubbed the top of the stove. I figured that there was no brain activity needed for dishes and I would appreciate not seeing dirty dishes in the morning.

 

Tonight will be more adulting, but also some creative time. I am learning my lesson about that.

 

15 hours ago, Kishi said:

Hmm. Closest analog I have is being part of the worship team. That sounds hard. I don't envy you that, but I'm really impressed with your documented experiences and you're stepping into the role. I imagine it gets better from here.

 

Zen group practice looks kind of like worship, but all the participants are supposed to be actively involved. Even the sitting perfectly still part is supposed to be high energy. Once people get familiar with the ritual, they are supposed to take turns doing the various roles. The jikijitsu is the timekeeper for seated meditation and leads walking meditation. When a senior person performs this role, they will usually get up at some point during seated meditation to correct the posture of the junior people. In a monastery the jikijitsu is a senior monk. They carry a flat stick and can whap a sleepy monk on the shoulders to help them recover focus. That rarely happens in lay practice.

 

The chanting is another type of active meditation practice. It feels just like Gregorian chanting in Christian ritual, but it is in a form of Japonified Sanskrit instead of Latin. The bells mark the beginning, end and repetition of the chants and the drum helps people keep the pace. At the beginning, just keeping up with the chanting is hard. I'm finding it challenging in a pat-your-head-and-rub-your-tummy way to coordinate chanting and drumming and keep both consistent. Practice certainly helps.

  • Like 3

Level 59  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

Link to comment
On 10/12/2021 at 10:54 AM, Mistr said:

First I screwed up something last week at work and had to apologize and mend fences. 

 

Oof, that is frustrating. I hope you were able to put it behind you when you left work, and that it didn't follow you around all evening as well.

 

On 10/12/2021 at 10:54 AM, Mistr said:

The jikijitsu is the timekeeper for seated meditation and leads walking meditation. When a senior person performs this role, they will usually get up at some point during seated meditation to correct the posture of the junior people. In a monastery the jikijitsu is a senior monk. They carry a flat stick and can whap a sleepy monk on the shoulders to help them recover focus. That rarely happens in lay practice.

 

"Rarely"? 🤨

 

I am now envisioning how the promise of taking one's turn as jikijitsu is covertly used as incentive to increase participation in this ritual. "Focus, feel the rhythm... apply yourself and do well, and you will be allowed to carry the big stick"  😇

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

Link to comment
2 hours ago, Harriet said:

Impressive adulting, and even more impressively adult that you are pairing it with creative time. Very wise.

 

Well, my intentions were good. The plan did not survive contact with reality.

 

What really happened was the work got busy and I felt I needed to go back after supper and send more emails. I grilled chicken breasts, roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and picked cherry tomatoes from the garden for supper. It is mind-boggling to me that I still have fresh tomatoes in the garden in the second week of October. We still have not had a hard frost. Heck, we haven't had a night in the low 40s (5ºC) yet. That is just wrong.

 

After dealing with the time-critical work stuff, I paid bills and finally got signed up for electronic statements from my credit union. Then sat zen for 15 minutes. No creative time on Tuesday.

 

Last night I did better. I finished work only 20 minutes late, vacuumed the family room and got to the dojo early. After aikido I relaxed and did spinning. I finished the first bobbin of red-purple wool.

  • Like 1

Level 59  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

Link to comment
5 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

Oof, that is frustrating. I hope you were able to put it behind you when you left work, and that it didn't follow you around all evening as well.

 

I'm sure that is part of why I did not sleep well that night.

 

5 minutes ago, Scaly Freak said:

"Rarely"? 🤨

 

I am now envisioning how the promise of taking one's turn as jikijitsu is covertly used as incentive to increase participation in this ritual. "Focus, feel the rhythm... apply yourself and do well, and you will be allowed to carry the big stick"  😇

 

Well, no one got hit the entire week I was at the monastery sitting 6 hours a day. We don't usually even have a big stick at the dojo on Sundays.

 

I certainly could see that being part of the incentive for some people. I would find it even more intimidating. We had a practice session one day on how to receive and deliver proper blows to the shoulders. The person receiving needs to sit forward in a bow that exposes their shoulder muscles. The person delivering the blows has to be calm and focused so that they can strike with the correct intensity. It is a big flat stick, like a yardstick but heavier. It takes strength and muscle control to do it right.

 

You might not believe it, but it is a great way to get your shoulder muscles to relax. I would not want to get hit because I had fallen asleep. That would keep my attention up for a long time.

  • Like 1

Level 59  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, Mistr said:

I certainly could see that being part of the incentive for some people. I would find it even more intimidating. We had a practice session one day on how to receive and deliver proper blows to the shoulders. The person receiving needs to sit forward in a bow that exposes their shoulder muscles. The person delivering the blows has to be calm and focused so that they can strike with the correct intensity. It is a big flat stick, like a yardstick but heavier. It takes strength and muscle control to do it right.

 

You might not believe it, but it is a great way to get your shoulder muscles to relax. I would not want to get hit because I had fallen asleep. That would keep my attention up for a long time.

 

I can very easily believe that, actually, as long as the person holding the stick does it properly. 

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30; Ch 31; Ch 32

Link to comment

My big win yesterday was cleaning part of the garage. I got inspired and implemented my vision between lunchtime and after work.

 

One corner of the garage is now empty after Hermes moved his stuff out. He discovered that his workbench had become a mouse playground. He got rid of the infested stuff, but there were still lots of mouse droppings on the floor. Dumbledore made me double-mask before I swept the garage. I moved the lawnmower, grill and various random items out onto the driveway first. I found more junk that went in the trash or recycling. Sweeping the garage made it look much better. 

 

One of the things Hermes left was a large plastic shelving unit. I hosed that down and let it dry in the sun all afternoon. I put it back in place after work. It only took me 15 minutes to fill it up with boxes of things that I want to keep in the garage. We still have three pallets stacked with boxes and stuff. Moving a few of my boxes exposed more layers that need to be dealt with. The majority of the boxes are indeed Dumbledore's, but I have more stuff there than I want to admit. Things like boxes of linens and china that I have saved but never use. Two boxes of knick-knacks and keepsakes. Two boxes of artwork. Extra fabric. Old photos. Who knows what else I will discover.

 

Dumbledore came out to see it and was impressed. We now have clear space so he can sort his stuff and get rid of things. There is one pile that is already intended to go to Half-Price Books or recycling. When that is gone he will be able to get at the file cabinets. If we are lucky, those contain papers that can be recycled and he will have somewhere to put papers he still wants to keep. He thinks we could even get one of the cars into the garage this winter. I think he is dreaming, but I want to encourage him to realize that dream.

 

Other than that, work has been a bear and I have not gotten any of my other projects done this week. Tonight I am going to work on laundry and mending. Tomorrow I will go to aikido and do more painting. Maybe some gardening as a break. The vegetable garden is looking mostly dead. Time for me to collect seeds and put away the trellises.

  • Like 2

Level 59  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

Link to comment
40 minutes ago, Mistr said:

 Maybe some gardening as a break. The vegetable garden is looking mostly dead. Time for me to collect seeds and put away the trellises.

 

Time to plant chard, kale, cilantro, and parsley. (Well, okay, a little late, but worth a shot.)

I felt like I could run forever, like I could smell the wind and feel the grass under my feet, and just run forever.

Current Challenge: #24 - Mrs. Cosmopolite Challenge

Past: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6,  #7#8, #9#10, #11a & #11b, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23

Link to comment

It's kinda satisfying hearing about the tidying. Now there is more room for wool. No, wait. I mean, now the tidy space should stay tidy? I don't know... what is space for?

  • Haha 1

Let cheese and oxen and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination - Harriet the viking

Just be bold, fluid and unapologetic, not small, hairy and indecisive - Harriet the artist

Link to comment
9 hours ago, Harriet said:

It's kinda satisfying hearing about the tidying. Now there is more room for wool. No, wait. I mean, now the tidy space should stay tidy? I don't know... what is space for?

 

Oh yes, a box of wool was one of the things I put on the clean shelving unit. Wool is nice and light and easy to store on the upper shelves. I want to buy more clear plastic storage tubs that will fit these shelves. Now that I know that mice can climb, I want to protect my stuff in something much more durable than cardboard boxes. I lost a sleeping bag to mice last winter and it was on an upper shelf.

 

I made more progress this weekend. I swept up the spilled dirt around the gardening stuff and stacked it more neatly. I put the weed killer bottles up on a shelf high above the reach of children and pets. I also stacked the garden chairs on the back porch and put away the soaker hoses for the winter. I pulled the cucumber vines (which were dead) and put their trellis in the garage. The tomatoes are still bearing, so I left them. The peppers finally have fruit. I doubt it will get ripe, but you never know. The herbs I moved into the permanent herb garden (formerly the vegetable garden) look good. We had rain and warm weather the last two weeks. I also cleaned up the dead flower stalks and weeds in the front flower garden. Another small step forward.

 

Challenge Wrap Up

 

TL:DR - partially successful. To be continued next challenge.

 

1. Implement new exercise plan. 

DONE. I am halfway through the Elements program from GMB. I like their new format a lot. Some of the exercises are very challenging, but I can see improvement already. Aikido has been great. My rolls still need lots of work but at least I'm not scared to fall like I was.

 

2. Keep doing zen.

DONE. I have been far more consistent than before. I did not miss any days. Some days I sat less than 30 minutes, but only about once a week. I might even be seeing some improvement.

 

3. Do creative projects. 

Done for small values of the term. I am making steady progress on spinning the purple merino wool roving. I've done more prep of wool for spinning and washing. I have not done any work on either of my knitting projects.

 

4. Get on top of my &^%$#(@! finances and stay there.

Still working on this. I did get my tax info to the accountant. Dumbledore did not, so we will have to pay fines. I have not done any of the filing. I did submit health care reimbursements - twice.  More climbing to do before I get on top of things.

 

5. Flexibility in household tasks. Concentrate on doing the things that I care about.

DONE. This was a good goal. I feel much better about doing what I feel is important and don't feel so guilty about the rest of it. Turns out what I care about includes keeping the kitchen work areas clean, the upstairs toilet, vacuuming the floor where I exercise and cleaning the laundry room. Cleaning up the garage, the porch and starting painting the downstairs bedroom were tremendously satisfying. 

 

Overall, this was a successful challenge. I kept up my good habits from the previous challenge of getting enough sleep. I am really pleased by my consistency on sitting zen and by not stressing about chores. Related maybe? I still have plenty to work on for the next time around.

 

  • Like 3

Level 59  Viking paladin

My current challenge    Battle log 

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines