by Ang Kia Yee

Nothing much I can report here except that there have some upheavals in my heart, but also that this new self is taking them well and it’s really a new feeling — experiencing sadness, disappointment, anger without feeling totally swept up, totally overtaken. At the same time, it isn’t repression. It’s sitting in the pool of feelings while knowing clearly that they are not you, and that you do not have to identify as/with them. Letting them run their course but not indulging them or extending them unnecessarily. They are a part of your experience, your life, but they are not you. Does that make sense? (I ask as if you might reply! But if you wish to, please do.)

The upheavals have triggered some bad emotional habits/ responses which I am slowly observing and holding. It is sometimes hard to hear myself say aloud the harsh, selfish things. I am thankful for XZ, who listens patiently. The question, I think, is something like: how do you articulate these hot, resentful, tar-like thoughts and feelings without causing harm, without feeling overwhelming shame, and without totally identifying with them? It is a delicate distance and position to enact, but I think I am learning now.

I have been doing more research on monastic life, and wondering again if that is a path for me. I am conscious of the part of my desire that is ego, and the need to observe and dissolve that first before I continue. I am also conscious of the impulsive, lightly escapist energy here, and the need to attend local sangha events first to get a proper sense of things. Either way, there is no rush here. I will work on practicing alone for now, to absorb what I can and to build a clear mind.

As I plod along, bright and light as a daytime cloud, may I continue to extend compassion and patience to each moment, each person, each thing.