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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

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Oh, chalip and andrée (and anyone who may be lurking out there!)....

I can't begin to tell you how wonderful this little experiment has been for me. So much good has come from it! I feel like I've just finished a retreat with you! I am honored , humbled and exhilarated to have spent this time and this virtual space and the Dharma with you! You are my teachers, my confidants, and my true Dharma friends. I am very grateful.

So...how has it affected me? Well, for one, I truly developed a daily meditation practice for the first time in my life. I missed some days. I realize now that my agony over missing a day was clinging and that “perfect attendance” is quite unimportant. Overall, I was very present and engaged in my practice more than ever before. WOOHOOO!

As a result of the regularity and the close inspection of this new practice, my practice has gotten some traction. I can feel that my concentration is changing and I am developing a perspective on it that I could never have had otherwise. I have had the courage to attend two retreats and am going to attend my temple's five-day Yongmaeng Jongin in a few weeks. I have been attending interview with my teacher, which has added another type of support and guidance. I’ve even been thinking about seminary, because I have truly come to love the structure that practice periods like this exercise provide. I will definitely participate in future go-arounds of 108 days!

Some years ago, I felt I had fallen head over heels in love with the Dharma. It was a crush, I think, looking back. Now my love for the Dharma has matured and deepened like a relationship that gets better with age and time. I have a Dharma faith that sustains me and will do so for years and years.

Interesting how other things in my life have also changed. Since March 1, I have:

- Begun to create my John Goddard list and started checking things off.
- Adopted a “less is more” approach to many things in my life. Most notably, I have come to realize that I value space much more than stuff and have shed a lot of stuff I had around the house! My home is getting emptier!
- Become more effective in some ways at work. I have taken a deliberate approach to some things and planned neglect in reference to other things. This has yielded some great results. Understanding my mind more has helped me plan my work better and work my plan better. It helps that very little worries me. This has been a period of unprecedented upheaval at work, so staying calm and effective is very good.
- Read about 15 books. This is more than I might read in a year normally, sad to say. This is exciting. This comes from being more mindful of how I waste time.
- Paid off almost all of my debt (except my car).
- Lost 25 pounds or so. My appetite for garbage has diminished. I eat so much more healthfully. I am on the way to reach my goals in this area eventually.

You know…MINDFULNESS ROCKS!

To be fair, it hasn’t been all rainbows and fluffy bunnies 24/7. I’ve run into some bad habits, negative though patterns, anger issues and other stuff I didn’t know I had going on. I've come face-to-face with what a lazy neurotic obsessive wrong-headed scatter-brained jerk I am. :) Also, I have learned that meditation is HARD. I mean REALLY HARD. But even this stuff is good. Better to meet my monkeys head on I think. Looking forward to getting to know them even better….

I can be reached at sudo at dharmahead dot com. Let’s please keep in touch.

Until next time,
Sudo

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