May 21st, 2008

askew neutral


I was feeling melancholy much of today and yesterday, dwelling on a situation that's been bothering me for no particularly good reason. As is often the case, I held imaginary conversations in my head, thinking about what I would say and how the other person would respond. However, tonight when I got to the point of my reaction, I held it there, saw it for what it was, and stopped, without further processing. The reaction to this particular imaginary situation/conversation was something that would normally bother me and spiral into an out-of-control, real-world emotional response. But it didn't, this time. I could examine it objectively, label it as dysfunctional and irrational, and move on. Learning.

Thinking about this mini-breakthrough more later, I thought about my Buddhist studies and the wheel of life, and how if one recognizes when a certain point is reached and merely senses an event without experiencing unhealthy desire, the cycle of samsara, the pain and suffering of death and rebirth, can be broken. Learning.

I was finally able to put the troublesome thoughts to rest, at least for now, and work on more productive things. Playing piano - but not just playing a piece, working it, warming up with scales, using the metronome, playing hands separately then together, the same passage over and over until I could play it without making mistakes. Catching and redirecting myself whenever my attention drifted. Learning.

Finally stopping when my hands were sore, but staying musical, switching to vocals. Singing a song and then working out the chords on piano. Listening, playing, repeating. Learning.

Attachment is what I need to get away from. And yet, I want to hold on to this moment and memory. I can move forward, if I only grant myself the space to do so.
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