Requiem for a Grudge

Published March 1, 2015 by patriciasnodgrass

For the past few weeks I’ve been harboring a fairly nasty grudge. I was aware of it and how miserable it was making me, so I called my teacher Lama Jigme Gyatso and told him. “I’m plotting revenge,” I confessed. Lama Jigme laughed and said, “Pat, have you become a James Bond villain? Are you in your control room petting your cat and plotting to destroy the world?” I couldn’t see myself taking the place of Ernest Blofeld, James Bond’s arch nemesis, and laughing I said, no. Lama Jigme told me that the fact that I recognized this most unpleasant desire was a good sign, that I was on the right path. Because of this I would be able to defuse the situation. This morning, I worked my way through the Five Hindrances section found in The Mahasattipatana Sutta Plus meditation Manual. If you are unfamiliar with the five hindrances, they are: Greed, Hatred, physical and mental fatigue, mental and physical agitation, and fear. Today I focused on hatred because that was the emotion I was feeling the strongest. As I worked my way through the practice text, I felt my desire for revenge get smaller and smaller. And after the practice I sat silently and just listened to the inner workings of my mind. I realized that hatred takes a tremendous amount of time, and effort. It means I’d have to stay up late at night, thinking about what happened, why it happened, how it happened and then, figuring out a way get even. Hatred wanted me to lurk on this person’s web sites, skulk around on his chat channel and his forums, spy on his students. Hatred really wanted me to waste  time on internet “investigations” kvetching on web forums, writing his name on ‘walls of shame.’ It came to me then, that harboring a grudge takes out a huge investment in time, energy and effort…and for what? Some vague sense of satisfaction? a need to pay back hurt in kind? And for what? For someone who hasn’t given me a single thought since (insert dramatic music) THE INCIDENT??? I am a slothful old heifer. I am just too lazy to put forth that much effort into hurting someone who, in most likelihood  is in far far more trouble than anything I could possibly do to him. And quite honestly? I just don’t want to be THAT person. I don’t want to be filled with rage, and hatred and a need for vengeance. I don’t want to feel miserable, nor do I want to make people around me equally miserable. I don’t want to be a ‘victim.” and I don’t want to spend sleepless nights plotting and scheming. My desire has been and always will be, to walk the path of enlightenment. And that means letting go of these hostile feelings and walking the path of wisdom and love. Which is what I am going to do. So I say farewell to Ernest Blofeld, his control room, his white cat and his hate filled scheming ways and go find something fun and interesting to do.Like watch a James Bond film. LL&P

SCI FI SATURDAY: A TRIBUTE TO SPOCK

Published February 28, 2015 by patriciasnodgrass

UPDATE: The Apple is duplicated on this page, and naturally, I cannot correct it. Galileo 7 will appear in the next blog entry.

Sorry about the inconvenience.

For today’s Sci Fi Saturday I offer you my tribute to Leonard Nimoy and to his character, Spock. These are my favorite Spock episodes. The First, Journey to Babel, is my absolute favorite Spock episode. Here, we learn more about the enigmatic biracial Vulcan. http://youtu.be/LX6yxLMBjts My second favorite is Amok Time. My father and I loved the show, my mom….not so much. She was tinkering around in the kitchen while Dad and I watched this episode. I will never forget my dad saying, “Hey Thelma come look!  Old Spark is in heat!”  My dad always called Spock Spark. I have no idea why. But thinking about it makes me laugh. http://youtu.be/Ppnw8u09j-k The Apple was NOT one of Star Trek’s finest episodes. But there is a truly hilarious scene where Spock has to explain how a machine can give reproduction instructions to the villagers. It also shows Spock having an exceptionally bad day. http://youtu.be/4hUKKK-mzjU Gallileo Seven  was probably one of the tensest and most dramatic episodes.  And Spock, trying to command a team of fear driven irrational humans. http://youtu.be/4hUKKK-mzjU I hope you enjoy these offerings for your Saturday Sci Fi viewing pleasure. LL&P

Impermanence, Interconnection and the Search for Spock

Published February 28, 2015 by patriciasnodgrass

My teacher, Lama Jigme Gyatso, often tells his students, “The Earth has a 100% mortality rate. Everyone on the earth eventually dies.” It sounds morbid on the surface, but it you think about it, it really is not. Everyone and every thing eventually succumbs to impermanence. Microbes die, plants die, animals die, people die…and on a grander scale, stars, planets, galaxies and universes die or grind to a halt. Even our beloved little planet will, in several billion year’s time, be engulfed by the sun as it swells into a red giant and finally decays into a white dwarf. Everything ends. It is what we Buddhists call Impermanence. Impermanence…that is a universal truth. A sad, depressing truth, but truth nonetheless. But it doesn’t make any of us feel any better about it. In our heart of hearts we always want to be eighteen, we always want life to be one endless beautiful summer and we always want our heroes to be immortal and with us always. And we are always astonished when we learn that it is not meant to be. Leonard Nimoy’s passing yesterday at the age of 83 shook many of us out of our complacency, rattled us down to our bones because, our legends and our heroes are never supposed to leave us. But they do, and we are all left with a strange blankness in our lives because, that person, even if we didn’t know them personally, had such a huge affect upon us, that person we expect to be there even if we don’t think about them every day, is supposed to be there. And now he is gone. Impermanence is a universal truth. And so is interconnection. When I learned of Leonard Nimoy’s passing yesterday, I was saddened but not surprised. He had been battling COPD for quite a while. I knew he entered the hospital a few days ago with chest pains. I thought he would be okay. Because, legends never die. But they do, and my first reaction to seeing his obituary on my Face Book news feed was disbelief.Surely, it was a cruel hoax perpetuated by some insensitive troll. I checked and as more news feeds picked up the story, the more I realized the stark and sad truth. Impermanence had come to Leonard. His journey on this earth had come to an end, and his adventures in the world beyond had begun. I was not alone in my grief. My news feed lit up and sadness and grief from friends all over the world. President Obama spoke of his love for Spock as did members of NASA, and astronauts who were inspired by the Star Trek franchise, and by Spock in particular. Ordinary people like myself spoke of their love and admiration for the man, Nimoy, and for his character, Spock, and through that I saw the web of interconnection–literally as we chatted via the internet, and openly grieved of the loss–and symbolically, because through Spock, we were all interconnected by the same desires, wishes and goals: to make the world a better place, to be inspired by the world around us and to aspire to be great. Some of us, who underwent the geeky stages of our lives found comfort in the Half Vulcan misfit who never seemed to belong anywhere. And some of us went so far as to write Spock personally and ask for advice. And amazingly, got it. The man has passed on, and he will be so very greatly missed. The legend, Spock, however still lives on, in the TV series, in books in movies, and in a special place in each of our hearts who yearn to expand our horizons and to truly boldy go forth on adventures of our own. And we can remember too, that impermanence is not always the enemy, but a companion that follows us along on our journey through this world and beyond. And interconnection ties us all to each other beyond any untying. LL&P

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