It can only be what it is...

Monday, August 29, 2011

108-Sacred Number

108 is the sum of 9 adjacent numbers: 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 13 + 14 + 15 + 16 = 108

The number 108 is considered sacred in many Eastern religions and traditions such as Hinduism,Buddhism,Jainism ,Sikhism and connected yoga and dharma based practices. A Mala (prayer beads has beads for 108 repetitions of a mantra, and likewise Zen prients wear a juzu( a ring of beads which consists of 108 beads.

The distance of Sun from Earth divided by diameter of Sun and distance of Moon from Earth divided by diameter of Moon is approximately equal to 108. It is claimed that the great masters of Vedanta knew this relationship and thus 108 is a very important number in Vedantic chantings.

The pre-historic monument Stonehenge is 108 feet in diameter.

According to Marma Adi and Ayurveda, there are 108 pressure points in the body, where consciousness and flesh intersect to give life to a living being.
The number 108 figures prominently in the symbolism associated with karate.
Several different Tai Chi Quan long forms consist of 108 moves.

The number 108 is one of many numeric motifs in the American television program Lost,which includes quite a few references to Buddhism. For example, the sum of "the numbers" (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42) is 108, and "the numbers" must be entered into a computer every 108 minutes. One hundred eight is also the number of days "the Oceanic 6" have spent on the island. And Jacob tells Hurley to rotate the mirror in the lighthouse to a heading of 108°.
and lastly...
The British television series Doctor Who has exactly 108 missing episodes.

Random ? I think not...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Resistance is Futile

One of my favorite lines from Star Trek , The Next Generation. It seems to ring true on a lot of levels though.

Have you ever noticed when you bristle against something, fight it with all your heart, it still comes to pass perhaps a little more than you expected even.

I am experimenting with trying to find the good in every situation.

Resisting seems to bring about more tension, I feel it in my chest and throat, clenching , tightening.

Being more accepting , open, feels better, regardless of the situation.

Easy , not so much, but it's what I am working on.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Quote for the day

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.-Buddhist Quote

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Last Day of taking portraits

Today was my last taking pictures of the veteran residents where I work. One gentleman after I had taken his picture seeing as there was a bit of free time before the next one was due to sit, decided to tell me about his best friend that me made and met last year when he first came to the hospital.
These two gentlemen were thick as theives as it were. Every waking hour they were together, especially when there was activities, dances, special meals, entertainment , you name it. Then as he was remembering all the good times, he mentioned to me their last day together. The fun they had, and how his friend was more tired than usual that night , how he brought him to his room, and his friend felt bad that he needed to retire to his room so soon. Promises were made to have breakfast together the next day, and all was well.
The following morning my gentlemen of this afternoon recounted how he woke up early and went to the floor where his friend lived, only to be greeted by a nurse who wanted to spare him the shock of finding his friend recently passed on. She was stammering he says to me , and his reply to her was , I know dear, I could tell last night when I brought him home that it was near.
The sorrow was visible in this gentlemen's eyes this afternoon, the loss of his friend, the companionship that he had.
I thanked him for sharing his story with me, and he left extending an invitation to me , "Pass by sometime we can talk some more,"
I think I will, I replied, I think I will,

Tsoknyi Rinpoche speaks about Mingyur Rinpoche's Retreat

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Obstacles, An opportunity for growth

I was reading about obstacles recently and how we can choose to perceive them. For myself I have pretty much held the opinion that obstacles are as certain in life as death and taxes.
You can choose to lament them, and for certain obstacles depending on the magnitude, that too, is inevitable.
At some point though, these obstacles are golden opportunities for progress , growth and perserverance.
It seems to me that that the boss you can't get along with, the brother, or uncle or whatever family member that gets under your skin can provide countless opportunities to improve our mindfulness and our practice.
What a great cost free workshop !( and it's sure to repeat , allowing for lots of practice !)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Who had the harder workout (Spoiler alert it was me !)

So, as I have mentioned here before my youngest is disabled. She has a syndrome called Angelman's and long story short it affects her mobility, language skills and she has epilespy. All that being said she has made great strides in the last few years.
I keep thinking now that I am doing yoga again, I should get her on the mat, there would have to be some benefits to it. So off I went earlier this week, got the mat out , did my yoga routine, which she found hilarious by the way. Not sure if I should take it personal, and then I got her on the mat.
I tried valiantly to get her into some sort of downward facing dog, you have to imagine the scene, I get her feet on the mat, her hands go up, get her hands on the mat she raises her feet,. This went on for about 3 minutes as I stubbornly thought I can get her to do this.
Then I had a flash, grabbed a swiss ball and placed it under her stomach, from there we rolled into downward dog, alternating hands and feet on the mat. She loved it , and it saved my back from near destruction.
Not sure if Patanjali would call it Yoga but it worked, maybe one day she'll not need the ball under her but until then ,why not ?
By the way she does an awesome shoulder stand, she's got strength my girl ! and for me , I was sweating up a storm trying to support her and get her into some postures. Really fun challenge.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Post # 100- A view on self image

At work I am still on this project of photographing all our residents. It's amazing to see that on average most of these gentlemen and a few women , when they are told that I am passing by at the appointed hour, really go to town getting ready. I guess on one hand when they don't have too many visitors, the idea that someone is coming to take their photo seems to be a huge motivator. One gentleman today insisted on shaving, getting dressed,( suit ,tie and proudly display his WWII medals). I didn't have the heart to tell him it was a head shot only and that his medals wouldn't be seen. It did however start a conversation, of the battles he'd been in and where he got his medals. After all his hard work in getting ready I felt compelled to at least share some time and conversation with him and thank him personally for his efforts.
On the other end of the spectrum there was a gentleman today that didn't want his picture taken. Categorically he was not having anything to do with it. You see, he was a good looking man in his youth, quite the ladies man apparently also. Time unfortunately , skin cancer, and a stroke have robbed him of his looks. The person he sees in the mirror doesn't reflect or jive with what he sees when he closes his eyes I imagine.
His words to me were :"J'ai l'air d'une citrouille"-he feels like he looks like a Halloween pumpkin. I managed to get him to sit and take his picture regardless. Deep in his eyes you could the strained confidence that was once there and that was conveyed in his portrait.
How many of us feel that disassociation when we look in the mirror ?
Separation of mind and soul, together and separate at the same time. Not easy at the best of times, harder still when you feel like you're marking time like this gentlemen. Afterwards I showed him the picture and mentioned that we will redo it in two years, his reply, was well, I won't be here, so at least there's that.