2 Nov. A wreck under blue sky.

Meditation is going great. (Talking to myself: Just sit and focus on the breath/body. When the focus is there – thoughts are missing. When the focus is lost – mind wandering begins. It’s either this or that. Time is a string of present moments, even if meditation was poor just a second ago, it is no longer important as long as you are mindful in the now. What will happen when I teach myself to maintain focus for 5, 10, 30, 60 or more minutes?)

A few days ago I woke up with a tonne of sadness on my shoulders. Madness. I don’t remember when I last felt so blue. I could almost touch it, taste it. How did I deal with it? I rolled out a yoga mat on a kitchen floor and – while my wife and kids were out trick-or-treating – I spent over an hour and a half furiously, almost non-stop, like my life depended on it, doing push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, squats and many other old school exercises, without any order, but with a sole purpose to sweat out the sorrow, to lose the mental pain amongst the physical pain of my muscle tissue being torn apart.

I’m reading “Swampland Flowers”, a collection of koans and Zen stories, and an anthology of Chan. I have those books stacked on a shelf (like a stupa) when I have a minute, I put the stack on the kitchen table and read a few lines from each book. No more than a paragraph, maybe a page. So inspiring. So beautiful. I feel strongly drawn to Zen Buddhism. I really like its aesthetics, sense of humor, absurdity, iconoclasm, wise sadness, poetry. Just empty your mind. So easy and so hard. Do what you got to do, and forget about it. Emptying the mind is not killing thoughts or emotions. Just not creating the excess.

When I open my eyes in the morning I start worrying more or less immediately. I’m so fed up with this. Especially because I know for a fact that none of this has any reality at all, I know about dukkha, annica, annata, and yet I’m still stuck in the old ways. I guess I have to keep sitting, reading, writing this blog (which is a form of thinking at loud), reflecting and maintaining mindfulness.

Yesterday, we went to the beach in Baltray (County Louth) to see remains of a shipwreck that ran aground in 1974. My son learned how to belch. My wife is irritated by it. I find it hilarious. I want to learn how to watercolor. I’m so happy with the “Stranger Things” season 2. The days are now grey and dark in Ireland. The nights are long. Way too long.

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