Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sleepy Mediation and Drowned Grass

I replanted grass near my driveway. My whole front yard is covered with crabgrass, creeping charlie, and some other weed that apparently attracts a powder fungus. Initially I bought fungicide to kill the fungus. The fungus went away (temporarily) and the weed survived. Now, I've decided to kill the weed by whatever means possible. I've declared war, spending hours weeding my lawn by hand, diligently using my spreader to cover it with weed killer and fertilizer (which is not working at all), and compulsively spraying by hand particularly irritating weeds with weed killer. I am obsessed.

A week ago, I pulled all of the weeds posing as grass next to my driveway near my front door. I ended up with a lot of dirt and no grass whatsoever. Although it's not the right time of year to do it, I decided to reseed it from scatch, use starter fertilizer, and also coat it with bug killer - so the ants dine on the seeds as I suspect they may have done in the past based on the number of happy ants in my yard. I have religiously watered (drowned) this patch of my yard daily at least once, sometimes twice, as an experiment to see if I can make grass grow without professional intervention.

Yesterday, I was happy to see that grass is sprouting up. Yeah! I know this behavior is very anti-Buddhist. I think we are not supposed to try to control the world - we are supposed to go with the flow, which is very difficult for me at times.

This morning, I ritualistically set out the sprinkler and laid down on my bed trying to meditate just a little after a very annoying morning with my family.

Yesterday I reread the part of my Zen manual that explains how to do zazen. I am very confused about the positions you are supposed to sit in but remembered that the left hand is supposed to cover the right to quiet it. This I could do. The book also recommended that newbees should follow these rules:
  • Try to sit in the position if you can, if not modify it until you are comfortable and quiet.
  • Count as you breathe.
  • Let any thoughts that pass through your mind pass - do not let them divert your attention away from the counting.
  • Do not give any attention to anything you hear or see.
  • Absolutely do not close your eyes.

I closed my eyes. An hour later I woke up, my grass sprouts completely drenched.

I peeled myself out of bed and decided to go for a run as a means of meditation (it doesn't follow the rules above, but I definitely will be able to pay attention to my breathing). It took me a while to stretch enough to reach my toes. I put on some running clothes and, inspired by the really morbidly obsese people on the Biggest Loser last night that ran a mile before stroking out, I attempted to walk and jog a mile. Within a quarter of a mile of walking and only a minute or two into running, I realized my sports bra was completely inadequate for the job, and walked.

During the remaining walk, however, I committed myself to meditating - eyes open! - every day followed by a run. I did find peace in my heart during my run and felt a little bit of the sadness I've been feeling lately melt away. I'm going to keep my running to myself (except for any of you who may be out there reading this). Maybe I can run a little 5K next spring.

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