Friday, April 01, 2005

I've been lustily tapping my fingertips together

Before I commence my daily banter, I want to extend a hearty thank-you to all respondees. Thou art Linked...or I am getting around to it.

Okay Class, turn to Chapter 3 in Pema's Wisdom of No Escape. You will recall that this is a series of lectures given at Gampo Abbey concerning Maitri, or loving-kindness. I decided to use this text to reflect on the many perils and complexities of parenting three precocious and oftentimes farcicle little boys. In addition, I vowed to be as respectfully irreverant as I can.

This particular chapter deserves to be read in its entirety. Its' chock full of gems. I've been lustily tapping my fingertips together waiting for that moment when I could scribe this online. Basically, its about our need to be perfect, the best. In conversation with her guru, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, he advices:

"I'm always suspicious of the ones who say that everything's going well. If you think that things are going well, then its usually some kind of arrogance. If its too easy for you, you just relax. You don't make a real effort and therefore you never find out what it is to be fully human"

I think not being "fully human" involves those tendencies to repress, ignore or try to change those "imperfect" aspects of ourselves. I have a couple suitcases full of them, don't you? Additionally, those imperfections are really just projections we impose on ourselves. They are mostly imaginary. To be fully human means not hiding the baggage. Yep, its me in the airport, with suitcase open wide and everyone looking at my size large underwear. We all have them, in all sizes and varieties, and we wish to conceal them by stuffing them somewhere between the socks and the travel alarm.

Pema continues by saying
"as long as you have these kinds of doubts your practice will be good". (p. 9)

In fact, she tells us, that our practice ought to in some ways feel like one giant fuck up - it's not a reason to get depressed over, but "its actually the motivation". So thats what that little voice inside my head is doing! All along I thought there was a wounded inner child that incessantly cried for attention. You mean the little voice is actually my inner cheer leader? Whooda Thunk?

Its refreshing really.

Meanwhile, back in the land of my Darwinian enigmas..I am watching an impressive display of dawdling and procrastination. I offered food treats if the boys picked up their toys. So far they have managed to cycle their efforts at least three times....pick up toys - take out toys -- play --watch DVD --demand treats ---remember to pick up -- and so on. For those who wonder about the value of my Pavlovian approach obviously have no children and really cannot comprehend the complexities involved in motivating two little boys to clean up after themselves. In such matters one uses whatever works. I am fully human. Here I sit in my messy livingroom...waiting for the pope to die (well I am...and I didnt say hoping)...and I think...

What the hell am I thinking?

Food treats before bed?

Oi...there is much motivation...scads and piles and reams and acres and furlongs and fathoms of it


Robin said...

and gaggles, even :)

Litany said...

Hmn, I'm torn. Being foolishly indifferent to one's failings is bad, but to dwell on our imperfections is also bad.

Everything in moderation, I think. You have to recognize your flaws in order to work towards fixing them, but to dwell on a kind of negativity, I dunno.

Jay said...

Flaws are what make us unique. I love mine, and embrace them.