I've been struggling the past few days.  After returning from the Mindful Eating retreat, I was on a bit of a high.  I felt empowered.  A tad more in control.  I dropped below 240lbs.  I had a job interview that went really well, and I look to be employed soon by a non-profit that I really believe in.  Our sangha has finally found a suitable building, and will pay a mere song for it, not a Wagnerian opera's worth.  I was feeling like...  I dunno.  Things felt good.

Somewhere between there and here, I've slid back into some old, unhelpful ways.  It's illustrated something to me:  No matter how "in control" one feels, it's an illusion.  A delusion, more rightly.  And it reinforces to me Sekito Kisen's admonition: "Do not waste your time by night or day!"[1]

It's so easy to lose sight of what's important, truly important.  It's almost as if we--as monkeys--are programmed to lose it.  I suppose in a way we are, or else practice would be unnecessary.

The weight has ticked back up on the scale a bit.  Not dangerously so, but not insignificantly either.  I feel a clinging arising in me lately.  A desire to fill voids.  A habit of seeing voids where there are none, or making them in my mind in order to feel gratified when they are filled, or by what I choose to stuff them full of.

This I believe is coming from anxiety.

I guess part stems from the initial tastes of S.A.D. 'Tis the season and all.  But I know that the lion's share is stemming from my going to my first full sesshin at the monastery.

The anxiety isn't as great as it has been in the past about this.  I don't feel panicked.  I know I'll be fine.  I have been needing to do this for quite a while, and I have the support of my teachers and my friends, both inside and outside the sangha.  I know I'm "ready" to do this.

I am just railing against the ideas of discomfort and dissatisfaction.  Fighting preconceived notions of a future that I think I may have an idea about.  How dumb.  Here I am, the guy that tells everyone to have no preconceptions, yet I'm busy being bitten in the ass by my own.

But that's just as it goes, innit?

I'm happy, though, in that I do now taste a difference on my palate regarding this anxiety.  It's less than it used to be.  I'm vastly more anxious about being away from my cat for a week, and her needs, than I am my own.  The worse that will happen to me is that I'm mildly uncomfortable and slightly annoyed for a week.  I've suffered worse.

I know this is a bit of a scatter-shot blog today.  Sorry.  Just spitting out a mouthful of what's on my tongue.  Maybe if I do it on a piece of white paper, we can have a pretty Rorschach to look at?