Archive for February 29th, 2012

Bertram's Blog

And so begins the countdown to the two-year anniversary of my life mate’s death.

I don’t know why the second anniversary of his death has me so spooked. I can’t imagine there are many surprises left for me when it comes to grief, though everything about grief up to this point has shocked me. I was shocked that I even felt grief — he’d been sick for so long, and I’d been looking forward to an ending for his pain that it never occurred to me that I would feel more than relief at his death. I was shocked by the severity of my grief and its global nature, affecting as it does, body, mind, emotions, equilibrium. I was shocked by the recurring violent upsurges of grief that made it seem as if he’d left the earth that very moment instead of months previously. I was shocked by how long grief…

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English: A zafu, the pouffe-shaped traditional...

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From Tonglen:  The Path of Transformation  By Pema Chodron

“When you practice by yourself, be sure to do some sitting meditation both before and after tonglen.  If you only have a short time to practice, it would probably be better just to sit.  Here is a possible schedule for a one-hour practice session:

To begin, you could chant the Four Limitless Ones, Bodhisattva Vow, and/or Friendliness.

Sit for at least 15 minutes.

Practice tonglen for 10-15 minutes.

Sit for at least 10 minutes.

To end, you could chant the Dedication of  Merit.”  

Maybe you don’t have an hour a day.  I know I often don’t with everything I have going on in my life.  So, maybe use this as a guideline for a weekly 1-hour schedule, a mini-mini retreat for yourself.

Studies in neuroscience show that even 1-2 minutes a day makes a difference so don’t ever feel like if you don’t have time you should just pack it in for the day.  Take your 1-2 minutes.

As you become familiar with the practices, you will start to do some on-the-spot practicing in the moment it’s needed.

Also, remember this is from her book on Tonglen.  (More about the actual practice later this week).  You can do 5 minutes of metta meditation or 3 minutes breath counting.. a few minutes of deep breathing, etc.  The opportunities for practice are endless.

You can also check out Meditations in a New York Minute:  Super Calm for the Super Busy by Mark Thornton at http://www.soundstrue.com.  He was a bit fast-paced for me and my life isn’t anything like that of a former investment banker.  But if time is not your ally, check it out.

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