Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/03/2015

Weekends

Weekends seem to be more challenging than any other type when it comes to maintaining the practice. I have struggled with this reality for years but lately it seems to be getting even more difficult. Primarily I think the issue is the lack of the to oneself which is why I am taking this free moment in between one thing and the next to post.

So, how does a practitioner affront this issue? Where to find time without being a “bad” dad or husband?


Responses

  1. I’m not sure how others would handle their own individual situations, but my specific style of witchcraft-related practice generally involves going to places where one would hike or travel, like wooded areas or peaceful neighborhoods. So often, I’ll just go to the park. I’ve included my son in my walking meditations, and he’ll just play and we’ll talk and spend time together. Children are already living in the present moment, and all they want is happiness and happiness for others, so in my practice, I’m pretty much just trying to train my brain to rid itself of the learned behaviors that caused me to lose touch with what he is connected to all the time. So play time anywhere is a form of meditation and practice for him and myself. I just happen to love the woods. Occasionally, I’ll bring food and while we rest, I’ll have us both do a short sitting meditation and then we’ll go back to playing together. I think it’s easy to forget sometimes that every moment is an opportunity to remember and practice the dhamma. In every object of every moment shines the face of the divine for me.

    I actually have three blog posts I’ve been wanting to put up for a few days now, but I haven’t been able to find the time to even type them out in any coherent way due to so much going on in my life: my wife is in full-time school and is about to graduate, she’s also about to undergo a tonsillectomy, we’re both starting new day jobs in which my shift ends at 12:30a.m., my son is finishing his first year of school and transferring to a new full-time program which requires a billion registration and introductory meetings, I have a wedding and a baby shower to attend, I’m performing a home cleansing and a handfasting for a friend of mine, and on top of all of this, my car broke down yesterday. It can be unbearable sometimes. I also have recently begun teaching my wife some of these meditation techniques, since she’s also been stressed out and expressed an interest.

    For me though (at least recently), I’ve been trying to also include my stresses and lack of time to myself as an adage to those principles, using what could be a very difficult and infuriating series of events to cultivate a greater appreciation for my life and my importance to the people who are sharing these tough experiences with me. My wife and son need me, and so do my friends. I also need myself to be strong as well. It doesn’t mean that I’ll keep a perfectly level head or ultimate zen-filled mindstate throughout the entire process, but it will make that process easier. And at the end of things, I’ll have found that when I do finally get extended time to myself, even those precious few moments, I’ll feel so much more satisfied with it. Stress and a busy mind pass as quickly as time to yourself does, so there’s no use fighting it in my opinion.

    I include my family when I can, and when I can’t, and all seems to be collapsing into ruin or slipping from my fingers before I can even grip it, I bring myself back to the moment I’m in and remember that my reaction to what has passed and what hasn’t arrived is all a matter of perception. And that perception itself is void. Perceiving is to distinguish the method of truth, a classification of it, but isn’t truth itself. And clinging to my perception of my stresses causes anger in me and makes me forget the transient nature of all things because I put my frustration in the ultimate seat of my truth, which detracts from my path to it and causes me pain. Even if I feel I’m powerless to the situations around me, I try my best to find a way to understand the benefit of my own suffering. What better way to suffer than to know I’m not alone in my suffering? I have my family and friends, and the population of the world itself, and that fills me with a motivation to better my outlook and try to do the same for those around me so that there will be an increasing build up of better days for us all. To use my specific sufferings and our greater sufferings as a way to eventually not suffer from them. And in the meantime, I feel us gathered together to face a common problem and meet a common goal head-on, and that also gives me courage and a clearer mind toward my life and situation.

    And I also have to remind myself that needing some specifically designated personal time is not selfish of me. I give my all to my family, and I deserve some time alone, and those who love me should understand that – especially if it’s planned ahead of time. Even hawks take a day off from hunting and territorial squabbles to ride the heat currents that spiral miles into the sky. They seem to do this every weekend, which is a good mindful reminder to me. We all need our own time to fly for no reason, and I won’t feel guilty or like a bad father or husband for taking it when I need.

  2. My friend, I know this all too well. The reality is, if you do not spend any time on maintaining your practice or some other alone time, it does impact negatively on your other relationships. It’s a false economy to devote all your non-work time to your family. One of the ways I managed this issue is getting up early, before dawn to meditate, and again after everyone is in bed.
    You also need to communicate to your wife and let her know that this is something that you need. At the end of a stressful week, you need that time to decompress. If she is also feeling the same way after being at home with the children for the week or at her own job, then perhaps it’s a matter of negotiating and ensuring she gets some respite as well.
    with metta,
    Ben


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