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Buddhist Discussion #2

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I think this would be our second thread. No?

What are you working on right now?

I am working on:

1) Allowing my child to experience her own desires/realities/life-in-general without my projections/interjections/conditionings etc. I have noticed that I am constantly saying something! "You have a boo-boo? It's not so bad." Well how the heck do I know that?! I am sure she knows whether or not it's bad! Even subtler..."the pool is cold!" Well, yes, in my mind the pool is cold. In her mind? Who knows? We realized we were doing this, and the next evening we allowed her to strip down to nothing at the beach (it was about 60° I suppose). Thus we allowed her to decide if it was cold.

2) Allowing any muscle not in use to relax totally. I've noticed that my muscles are always tense, even when I'm not using them. Today in the car I tried to practice this, allowing my arms and legs and face to relax completely. It wasn't easy. I'm doing this because I read that whyen Swami Prajnanpad walked his arms and face would look almost paralyzed...that he used only the muscles he need to walk.

How about you?
post #2 of 7
hi parismaman
was just thinking about this discussion the other day, had a question i wanted to post but never got the chance to, so i'm very glad to see you've revived the discussion!
i like what you're working on! i've never thought about what state my muscles are in. very interesting...

i'm actually working on a couple of things but i keep having to jump up to check on the kids so i don't know if i'll be able to finish a thought here.

i'm working on examining my "story" about who i am and trying to push the boundaries that that story sets up for me. i'm questioning aspects of my personality i've heretofore considered fixed. (i posted about this in the GD forum as an aside to a poll i posted there but essentially i'm deliberately making myself uncomfortable by taking a stand sometimes and watching how i feel about that and what happens to those reactions. they usually just fade away.)

i've also been trying to be present in my daily parenting and experimenting with not having an agenda for the day. i find it's a much more enjoyable experience if i can respond to my kids requests and view the day as something to explore with them, rather than see it as a to do list with errands and chores to check off. plus, i get more of my chores done than i expect to, w/o the flack from the kids and the mental exhaustion i generate by resisting their demands and pushing them hither and yon. i do have to contend with the voices in my head that say that i should be in charge and i shouldn't let the kids set the agenda. they're very persuasive. but so far, they've been wrong! dh really notices a difference in the mood of the kids when he comes home and in my mood and energy levels too.

now, the question i was going to post about was this: i went to a move a couple weeks ago, first in a long time. i knew this wouldn't be a good movie for me to see (since i've unplugged from media so much and since i've been meditating a while, i can't watch violent or emotionally dystonic movies without feeling just sick inside) but i have a huge crush on the star so i went anyway. it was identity with john cusack. lordy, i got snared by the plot and stayed til the end but i really felt sickened by the adrenaline rushes, the violent imagery and the character conflict. it really struck home for me the buddhist admonition about being careful what you allow into your consciousness. and i walked out of the theater feeling completely disheartened that this is entertainment in our culture and thinking that we are doomed as a society b/c we are raising a generation that by necessity must cut themselves off from their physical and emotional reactions in order to find such experiences entertaining.
do any of you other meditators find that you cannot experience such movies without feeling physically miserable or am i a complete lunatic? i seriously was thinking about moving to sweden or some remote corner of the world, at least until the effects of the movie wore off an hour or two later!
anyway, that's what's been on my mind, fwiw.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Susan -

I am with you! We watch a movie about once a month. We turn it off the minute we start to feel like you did.

I like my remote corner of the world!

Also, when we moved here, I did the same thing as you with my dd - no more schedules. It's a difficult adjustment, but it worked really well for us. Then five months after moving here I started dd at preschool. It put a lot of stress on us and on our relationshp. I pulled her out just this Monday and things are already clicking back into place. I think you'll see that you have a lot fewer tantrums and stressful days in general.
post #4 of 7
i'm so glad to hear i'm not alone in my overwhelmed reaction to movies!
i've often thought how hard it would be to put maddie in preschool, if only b/c we would have to adhere to an inflexible schedule. i *know* that would create an enormous amount of conflict in our lives. i'm glad you had the flexibility to pull her out and that you are having less conflict as a result.
i thought of you and your muscle tension awareness tonight as i sat in my moms of spirited children support group tonight and found my arms totally clenched as the leader announced that she was disbanding us out of the blue! (very strange, another story entirely.) but boy, i sure did feel my reaction in my body right away!
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
We did a 3+ hour drive on Monday. Two minutes into the drive I noticed that the muscles of my shoulders, arms and legs were very tense. It was not easy to keep my shoulders and arms loose; even my hands constantly returned to a semi-clenched position. I did my best to remain as loose as possible throughout the voyage, and I was much more relaxed and painfree at the end of the trip.

Susan, I always wonder if I am the only human being on this planet who reacts to movies/TV the way I do. Thanks for letting me know I'm not! I get lots of "are you an alien from Venus?" looks when I talk about things like this. Fortunately my dh is just like me - times ten, actually.
post #6 of 7
me too! i think my parents are truly disturbed that we don't have tv reception or cable in our house (my mom offered to buy us a satellite dish!) and they've worried aloud about the effect it will have on our children to be so cut off!
and yet, dh and i kept trying to talk our daughter into seeing the new movie finding nemo (b/c it looked like fun to us) but she refused, b/c movies in the theater are too big and loud for her.
susan, going to bed feeling pretty bad about that little bit of unconscious parenting :
post #7 of 7
Hi. Excuse me for butting in on your thread here, but I had to thank you both for the bit of validation I felt when I read about your reactions to over-stimulating movies/tv. I've never been able to handle it well, but since meditating regularly (which I no longer do, but miss), it's even worse. I have to leave the room during violent scenes and do not enjoy supense thrillers at all.

In addition, you've both given me some very good food for thought about schedules, tuning back into my body and getting back to sitting every day. I miss it. DD discovered my altar a few weeks ago and loves to crawl (well, now she toddles/wobbles) in there and gong the tibetan bowl. I think that may be a hint...

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