Friday 25 January

The Plan: Friday
On waking Hot water
Mid-morning (10-11) Stewed apples and Ginger Tea
Lunch (12-13) Rice with red lentils (p 237 Jason Vale)
Dinner (18:30-19:30) Tasty Chickpeas (p 100) with rice

The Reality:
On waking None
Mid-morning (10-11) Two eggs
Lunch (12-13) Grilled cheese sandwich with tuna
Dinner (18:30-19:30) Pasta and vegetarian ‘kroket’

Wow what a day! Fridays are typically my day off but often my busiest day of the week. My pedicurist texted to say she’d come later than we’d agreed so that started my day off wrong. Then she turned up earlier than the original appointment. At the same time my work called to say could I come in anyway as my colleague had to stay home – luckily I didn’t have to in the end. I called a friend who has been diagnosed with tinnitus and spoke at length to him. I had a tea date with an acquaintance, I attempted to cook lunch and dinner, I had to go to the post office and also deliver some paperwork somewhere. I had to go to my other house and see a builder for a quote. Then at 6pm I wanted to go to my local sangha where I had not been for years. You can imagine I started to feel like a headless chicken.

So eating wise, nothing came of the plan. I ended up not having my mid morning apples. I started to cook and had to abandon the meal half way because my spice grinder broke (oh and I went to the shop to try and find a new one). I had a grilled cheese tuna sandwich when I met my friend for tea. I did not eat again until 10pm when I got home from meditation. Luckily as a back up I had taken some pasta out of the freezer yesterday so I ate that instead of buying some crap from the snack bar.

How wonderful to end the day at the local meditation group in the Thích Nhát Hanh tradition which is but a bus ride away from my home. It felt so familiar and I was glad to be back. I didn’t know anyone but everyone was there for the same purpose so the vibe was right. Thích Nhát Hanh encourages you to practice in a sangha (Buddhist community) as it strengthens your practice. I am finally incorporating this into my week again and as far as I’m concerned, like yoga, it is inviolable. Having said that it defeats the purpose if I attach myself rigidly to that idea, but I’m saying its something I have wanted to do again because its important to me and I want to remind myself of its importance every week.

A typical evening with the sangha from 6 -9 pm is as follows:
Guided sitting meditation (20 minutes)
Sitting meditation (10 minutes)
Silent sitting meditation (20 minutes)
Mindfulness movements (10 minutes)
Viewing Thich Nhat Hanh dvd
Tea meditation and dharma sharing

I felt great when I got home. I feel like I’m finally starting to walk my talk.

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