The Mindfulness Difficulty…

I had only slept from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m. and what’s that but a mear five hours of fitful sleep beleaguered by pain, awakened by pain. So when I lie in my recliner at 5 a.m. with preparation for mindfulness from Dave Potter’s (teacher) recommended videos, and after having read many books on mindfulness and Zen books, and The Idiot’s Guide to Buddhism, I felt well prepared for the body scan. I had listened to Jon Kabot-Zinn speaking the body scan on CDs and several other Buddhist teachers helping me scan my body with CD recordings.

I covered myself with a nice fluffy blanket, began Dave’s recording, scanned my feet, and legs with dutiful listening moved into my ankles into my calves, vaguely remember something about breathing into the areas of my body, and fell asleep not knowing the order of body parts.

I awoke rested mentally, but in much pain at 7:00 a.m with two excellent hours of sleep. So, what’s to do? Muddle through the day with my body. Mentally I am alert. Physically I am a mess. I am listing to beautiful a capella choral hymns, Shall We Gather at the River, then orchestral accompaniment of Yo-Yo Ma from The Mission film score. These beautiful sacred pieces attend to my mind and my soul. So, the body scan was successful and even prepared me for heart-warming music, and now Band of Brothers film score. Such music moving my mind and body despite excruciating pain. One, two, three, I am no crying from pain., and much of my pain is now caused by an ice-collar which is designed to alleviate pain,. If worn to tight, and too long, one can experience head pain, and that’s because I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. The excruciating disease causes pain difficult to bear, and soon I will graduate to our bed in order to listen to the body scan. And, because I am well rested, I will reap the full benefit of the body scan, breathing toe to head to full-body.

Published by elgwyn

I was a University and college writing teacher, now retired, so I write poetry, and essays, mostly free verse poetry. I love writing. Computers, tablets, and smart phones are the norm. When one sees university campuses with students looking at phones while walking to class, one realizes writing can be blogging. I am an ordinary man writing for artistic pleasure writing, and simple taste-- blogs are an answer to high priced self-publishing. Walt Whitman had to print his paper books himself, because in 1855, and 1860 poetry did not sell. It does not sell now unless you have a Pulitzer Prize and even then the poet usually makes a living in other ways than writing. In all ages there have been writers writing out of their own needs, and blogs are an answer to get rid of high cost of self creativity. I am an older man with fewer computer skills than my daughter who has been at computers since she was three, so here I can satisfy my need to write without spending too much on self-published books. All three blogs let me reach an audience missed by books and stand a better chance to reach a wider audience. My two books, Winter from Spring, Meditations on Gratitude, as Kindle books and paperbacks did not reach as many people as I wanted, and blogs can let me avoid the printer. Layout and design is expensive. For me writing is more like the charcoal jottings of preexisting civilization made only for posterity. Blogs face two problems as I see it. They might be submerged into a chaos of too much writing, and they depend on electronic storage. Yet, how's that different from electronic books which must have specialized publication? Paper disintegrates, blogs can be physically stored and organized for posterity in data banks. All organization becomes chaos at some point, but charcoal images on cave walls still exist after the author scribbled eons ago. So what if I reach only a few interested people, but hopefully, readers will reach out to me. Writing is essential for showing the ways of culture before history knows those ways. To record each individual is essential especial for billions of people who need to know enough reading beyond pictures to save a planet. Writing without profit isn't new to me. I'm not seeking to impress the audience. Poetry in general never sells, and personal confessional, and emotional writing exists sometimes like journal writings only for the author. At least here is my hope for wider audiences. My writing is personal and informal, but my writing expresses some serious ideas like the writing of contemporary writers to rise above chaos in my own simple way, above self-absorption, a meditation, the simple writing of an ordinary man. I hope to find my own way out of my own chaos and make my record stand alone if even in electrons. Though I hope never to express nightmare in my poetry, fiction, or essays, some serious considerations are important to me after centuries of mechanized nightmare. The next decade is probably of the same failure in our world. This decade looks to be another time of diminished individuals and the next as well. We all wish peace and hope will become normal. It looks like if hope reaches each individual, not governments there is satisfaction in making means of writing available to many. My hope is for each human being to give their own expression out of the abyss. If humankind is to survive in any common way, we must each be able to express maturity and take responsibility in something beyond self. Electronic media offers people these possibilities so long as computers can store individual lives. Here people can freely see what I write and what others write. Though I hold an MFA in creative writing my simple vision never found a wide audience. I was disappointed about this earlier in my life, but now it's just what one expects of such degrees. I found happiness in family and especially in love of my wife and daughter. Writing can be more than a pastime now that I'm older. I approach seven decades living with some disappointing times, and some satisfying times. I'm like most people, and I've been married more than 37 years, and we sent a successful daughter into the world. We happily live in a country where even the poorest have food. Often as a young man when I traveled for nearly one year through Europe, where does a culture begin to feed and house so many people, and how do all these people live in harmony since World War II? Maybe it's been a question of survival. Writers can hold a little corner with blogging, blogging for harmony and peace. This is my hope. This is my question.

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