This week, I was back in my groove.
I meditated or practiced yoga each day just as I’d planned. I’ve ordered a zafu and zabuton rather than continuing to use my yoga mat/two pillows/nursing stool contraption. This works okay for shorter sitting meditation, but during longer practices, my right leg falls into a very deep sleep. I figure buying a meditation cushion is a reasonable way to celebrate five weeks of meditation practice.
I’ve been contemplating oneness this week. Unity of mind and body, the interconnected web of existence, etc. In How to See Yourself As Your Really Are, the Dalai Lama writes about how the language we use to describe ourselves implies a kind of duality. To say, “My legs,” or “My memory,” implies that there is a separate entity to whom the legs or the memory belong. When we talk about a car, we talk about the steering wheel or the manifold (which in itself seems to relate to unity) with the understanding that it is still a part of the whole. The car is made up of parts, which, together, make it a car. There is not a separate entity to which each part belongs. It’s all “car.”
I wonder if this kind of contemplation might be why I’ve been forgetting names this week. In one conversation, I forgot the names of three people. I remembered other details about them (like the one person was from Vermont and was the person in his family responsible for preparing gefilte fish), but the names escaped me.
Perhaps I’m so focussed on unity and the threads connecting us that superficial distinctions such as names have lost their relevance. Or perhaps my 4:30 wake-up time is simply catching up with me.
I prefer the first explanation but admit that the second is more likely.
I have also been struck this week by a strong interest in going vegan. This has, so far, manifested itself in my eating enormous salads for lunch every day.
Susan Voisin’s blog, Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen, has aided me in this pursuit. Putting hummus on salad. It’s so simple and yet until I read the suggestion on Susan’s blog, it had never occurred to me.
Next week’s menu is strongly influenced by the recipes on Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen. Although in the interest of making an incremental and sustainable change rather than an extreme one I cannot maintain, I’m still planning two chicken-containing dinners and eating eggs for breakfast every other day. But for a woman who not long ago published posts such as “Classic Beef Chili – With Bacon!” and “Too Much Pork For Just One Fork” (which is a reference to a song by the band Southern Culture on the Skids, whom I met once hanging out in a bar in Chapel Hill, North Carolina), this is a fairly significant shift.
So Week 5 included forgetfulness, a dietary shift in the direction of veganism, and a sense of unity between mind and body and the entirety of existence.
I wonder what Week 6 will bring.
Besides my mom. I pick her up at the airport tomorrow. Other than her, I’m not sure what to expect.