Beginner's Mind

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few." - Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lost a Neighbor

We learned today that our neighbors' dog Dee-Dee died last week. They seem to be taking it pretty hard. Our dog Kane used to sneak over to their house when Dee-Dee was out. He'd head to the back of the yard and take a longcut path to their house. Dee-Dee would do the same. Why they just don't run straight across through the few trees between our houses I doubt I ever understand. They certainly came home that way, knowing they were in trouble.

Last month I began a taper on the pain meds, to take a "holiday" for a few weeks to let my tolerance lower. This will allow me to use the same amount of drug as I have been using. The other choice would be to go through a higher dose, but eventually I'd have to do this, so the current level seems a good place to start.

But, it's rough. Though not going "cold turkey", I still get the sweats and chills and upset stomach. And then, of course, there's the headaches without any real way to stop them. Sure makes me appreciate when the meds do work! On top of all this, I've got muscle aches, mostly in my lower back and hips. I have a few meds to help with the taper, but still I spend a lot of time hiding in the bedroom, which thermal curtains that block most of the light from outside. It isn't perfect darkness, but it's enough that closing my eyes, or using an eyebag, blocks out the tiny bits of light still getting through.

When I can, I try to spend as much time with Ethan as I can. He doesn't understand my need to lie down, and gets frustrated when I can't do things with him. So, I try to get in at least some time everyday with him.

Today I was slightly early for a doctor's appointment, so I meditated in the chair in the waiting room. I invoked the relaxation response, and it felt good, even if it was only a few minutes. When the doc came to get me, she commented, "Getting in a little doze?"

"No, I was meditating."

"Oh, that's a good thing to do. How often to you do that?"

"Anytime I find myself waiting, whatever it is (except while driving) I take the time to meditate."

This particular doctor teaches a seminar in mindfulness stress reduction, so she knows what I mean.

I've been reading Barak Obama's book Dreams of my Father, which was written before he was a U.S. senator. For the first time in a long time, I believe I will be casting my vote for him (as opposed to casting a vote against someone). He has a unique set of skills, and experience with a wide range of people, that I think he will make an excellent president. It's too bad that Republican followers are running smear campaigns. Negative selling is such a turn-off. If your campaign is based on showing the other guy's/gal's so-called shadowy background, it makes me wonder what you plan to offer in return.

I don't like to think about politics late at night, it keeps me awake, so I think I'll stop.

Music in my head: Call Me, Blondie