If we really want to get rid of suffering, completely and totally, then clinging has to go. The spiritual path is never one of achievement; it is always one of letting go. The more we let go, the more there is empty and open space for us to see reality. Because what we let go of is no longer there, there is the possibility of just moving without clinging to the results of the movement. As long as we cling to the results of what we do, as long as we cling to the results of what we think, we are bound, we are hemmed in. Meditating on No-Self: A Dhamma Talk (Edited for Bodhi Leaves), by Sister Khema(1994)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

No Sugar Coating

There is not way to say it politely.  I have had a really bad 7 days.  Really bad. Have to go backward a bit to work my way to today.

Recall I had back to back 20km runs on Saturday and Sunday of last week.  Unfortunately, in my effort to stay strong and work with mindfulness, kindness, etc. and to work with getting off this medication I've been on for so long, I didn't write about the two strange events that occurred on those runs. 

On Saturday I ran and five guys spread out across the sidewalk I was running on and wouldn't let me pass and made it so I had to run around them into the traffic out on the street.  This was disconcerting enough, except for the fact that it all happened in front of a police officer, if you can call them that.  This all happened before I had run 7km that day, and is part of my angry run that I talk about before, the one where I figure out the only person listening to my angry diatribes in my head is me.

On Sunday, it was worse, the area near Poshtova Ploshscha has  street under construction and it is closed and has police at both ends, at least it did on Saturday and Sunday of last week.  Since I was running the route the normal way this is the beginning of a steep long hill that ends near Khyrshchatyk.  Well I turned right on this closed road, near the McDonald's, and started up the hill, well right behind me came two cars that went around me and then closed in a V around me and four guys got out of each car.  Each started to stay things to me and I made a decision to jump on to the hood of the car on the left and run like hell, they chased, I'm in good shape, they were not, I put 50m then 100m on them in about 30 seconds going straight up hill running like hell.  Guess what, ran right by a police officer doing absolutely nothing.

Two days in a row, both times with police watching.  Lets just say this was the beginning of a spiral that is unprecedented for me.

Monday was supposed to be the day off, but about 5 p.m. I started to get some pain in my left knee that is symptomatic of ITBS.  Uh oh.  No problem, no running consider it as not an issue, no self, impermanent, trying, trying, mindful, trying....  tuesday it hurt like hell and I began to perseverate on it terribly all day, reduced to limping down stairs, no mindfulness, this is my pain, i'm the only one with pain, struggle, struggle struggle.  No run, easy to convince myself of this. 

at the same time I was struggling with my emotions in general.  Having short quick electric shocks throughout my head, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating due to trying to come off these meds.  Then emotional swings started to come fast and hard.  By tuesday all I could think about was my knee, the attacks on my runs and my problems at work all of which were mine, owned by me, the only person with problems and were permanent, fixed and would never change.  Uh oh, this can't end well.

Wednesday was the crest of the rising and falling away and impermanence of the feeling.  I come to work and due to several things coming on top of each other in a short period of time (I endeavor never to name my co workers or their work, it isn't fair to them, and really these are my experiences not there) I ended up literally in the corner of the teachers' room crying.  For my own sake for some reason my mind and body chose to do this when  no one was around, but it was 10 minutes of emotional frailty that was heaping sadness on me.  A pervading sadness came over me that stayed on top of me for 36 hours.  I didn't run.

Wednesday night I did not fall asleep until about 3 p.m.   I woke at 7 on Thursday, I sat on the couch from about midnight to 3 just looking at the wall engulfed in an inability to be mindful of anything, I tried several different techniques but I couldn't accomplish anything.  Thursday at work was more of the same.  I didn't work. 

On Thursday at work I began to get a bit better, I began to see some daylight out and meditated several times for about 10 minutes each time.  I spoke with people in a fairly calm manner I thought about running on Friday, but I still had this inability to want to do anything but sit there.  However I was beginning to work with the mind to see what was happening and where things were wrong or right in terms of meds, no meds, mindfulness, impermanence, no self, suffering (oh was there suffering).

I also tried Tonglen for a bit, this is where you breath it all in, negative and all and make sure you embrace the whole thing to work with all of it and not avoid it. 

Friday, was much better, a curtain was lifting in meditation, impermanence was being observed everywhere, mindfulness was occurring when I moved about, the breath was being followed.

I also bought shoes this week that I intended to use during the week.  They were bought on Wednesday before the apex of the meltdown. 

i finally ran in them today.  I went faster than I have run in almost a year in a training run today.  I went 12k with the intention of doing 20k tomorrow and trying for my mileage target from this week for next week.  The shoes are okay, but the jury is still out.  The run was not mindful, the foot steps however were.  What is mindful is this writing.

Can't sugar coat it, it was a brutal 8 days.  My thanks to all those persons who helped me, you know who you are.

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