Sunday, November 16

Another stormy day.

The butterfly wingflap that occasioned this one was Bhante Vimalaramsi asking on the dhamma-sukha list if I had continued to recite the "Six Sets of Six" sutta, and how was that affecting my meditation? I had to reply that beyond the first few times (which in itself may have been an exaggeration, as I can't recall if I ever made it through the whole thing without ellipsis more than once), I hadn't kept up with it, the repetitions were too much for me. Today I feel just dreadful, because I didn't do what I said I was going to do, and I didn't take Bhante's advice.

Now there's a strong urge to hurt myself, to punish myself. I want to withdraw from all contact, especially my cyber-sangha. I want to quit all my Yahoo! groups, even UpasikaTalk. I want to deprive myself of the support of admirable friends. I want to cut off contact with EVERYone in my life. (I know I'm not going to actually do this, I'm just giving voice to that perverse, childish desire.)

Every time I get my head above water again and can take a few breaths, along comes another swamping wave, crashing over me and forcing me under.

I know that most if not all of what I'm now feeling is because I haven't had any proper food today, just a Geni*Soy bar at 8:30 (and a few swallows of soy milk a little while ago), and it's becoming increasingly clear that they do me no bloody good at all. So I'm way, way overdue for a blood-sugar fix -- but I won't, because I'm supposed to pick up brunch, and this obstinate brat won't eat something before then.

I know this is just bad chemicals in my head, and I'll be back to equanimity and loving-kindness after I eat.

But...

I feel really hurt because Leigh has still not responded to my email, still has not acknowledged receipt of the transcription of Ayya Khema talking about metta. I understand, he's probably busy, or there could be any number of reasonable explanations for his silence... but still, this resentful baby projects onto silence and takes it personally, takes unresponsiveness as rebuke or censure.

Even when you've reached a certain degree of realization in the Dhamma, you still have all the baggage you brought in with you, all your unresolved childhood and developmental stuff. Experiencing anicca, dukkha, and anatta directly doesn't resolve any of that stuff.

And yet, when I return to that view of Dhamma, seeing it clearly... the sufferer disappears.

Can you tell that this morning's meditation was unsatisfactory? It went OK for a while, then the mind turned poisonous. I couldn't send metta to anybody without going off on some resentment binge. Just awful. I know the technique: let it go, relax, return to the metta. But sometimes it just stops working, and I'm left sitting in the midst of a big stinky pile of garbage, like a landfill of soiled diapers. Ick.

Half an hour before brunch. Can I hold on?

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