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I have missed more than a few days of my “blogeverydamnday” goal. But I have been thinking about writing.

That is, when I’ve been able to think.

On Sunday I went to a singing bowls healing at my yoga school. Seven large quartz bowls were played. Chusang Rinpoche chanted during the beginning. A violinist played at the end. We laid on the floor with our heads towards the bowls. It was really loud, but calming. I felt serene and kind of dreamy. Muscles noticeably relaxed during some notes. My second toe on my right foot started throbbing at one point. I saw rainbows and some weird disjointed imagery. All and all, it was a nice relaxing experience.

But after…it has taken me a few days to figure out what happened after.

I think I dropped the storyline.

Pema Chodron, one of my favorite Buddhist teachers, often gives that instruction for meditation: drop the storyline, but stay with the feeling. To me, this is so much more helpful than “stop thinking” or “focus on the breath.” It feels good to stop thinking and feel your breath, but if you don’t feel your feelings, its just repression.

She has a great laugh.

After the crystal bowls event, I was walking across a parking lot when I heard a man yell at his kid. Something along the lines of “SIT DOWN IN YOUR SEAT!! I AM SICK OF THIS SHIT!” And from that point on, I was just so incredibly SAD.

I wasn’t feeling sad for that particular kid or parent. I wasn’t feeling sad for myself, although I’ve been the one being yelled at and the one doing the yelling. Or – my specialty – yelling inside while looking calm outside. We all have.

burning bush

burn, burn, burn.

I looked both ways before¬†crossing the asphalt, but got blindsided by a field of raw emotion. And I felt both sides: understanding for the level of frustration and anger that makes a person¬†do something completely pointless (like scream at a toddler) along with such sadness because obviously, screaming isn’t improving the situation. In fact, it is actively causing harm. I could feel it.


Oh, humanity. You are so confused much of the time. We are confused much of the time.

Luckily, as promised, I slept really well that night and now feel more like myself, but with my guard down a bit. Did my chakras (spinning wheels) get spun too far? Did the bowls heighten my sensitivity to sound, leaving me vulnerable to the frequency parking lot rage, as well as open to the good vibes of gratitude and caring so palpable at the shala?

I don’t know. Now I just feel like singing. And maybe crying. Then singing some more.



1 Comment

  1. JJ
    July 8, 2015

    My dearest Cindy:

    This was an insightful and interesting piece about the experience.

    I feel very strongly that it is true about compassion. It is my experience. I think I’ve always been empathetic, because so much of writing is imagining being a different person. I also think my mom (and my nutty grandma) gave this to me through animals. From the earliest age I was taught to think of what the animals was feeling. Anyway, it wasn’t until John and Jonpaul left that my heart got busted open that it went to another level.

    I think where we are different is you are an introvert and shy, or shyer, (though everyone is shy compared to me–I get I am out there.) That is why when you came to dinner, and I met the real you, I was so taken and delighted. (So was my mom.) You are so smart and funny and fun as well as having a ton of the main blessing in life–kindness.

    Let’s go on a walk again. There is a GREAT park up here, Moulton Park and good trails where our puppies can be leash free. Is there some afternoon you could swing it?

    With appreciation.

    PS: A for instance: I am unable to refrain from (very!) gently interrupting any adult caught yelling at a kid. I can’t help it. So far it has all gone well. Twice! Since heart busted wide open, no one seems to be able to yell at me–a gift! So I can get away with it.


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