Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Challenge - redux

All my Friday Challenges are redux actually. They are all recycled because fundamentally they all say the same thing. So now in a an effort to be concise and straight-forward I am just going to tell you the pith instructions:


But how do we wake up? That's the tricky part. No, it's worse - it's why should I wake up? The world isn't all that pleasant out there - people are throwing nuclear shit around in Korea and kids are killing other kids everywhere and there doesn't seem to be enough of anything - clean water, good food, love - to go around. This is all a delusion though. There is plenty but we have to be awake to help everyone else wake up and see it. So the why is - because it is the dark age of materialism and awakeness is the antidote and the how is by not turning away and trying to distract ourselves by imagining the world we wish were in its place. The beautiful wounded world like our beautiful wounded selves is what it is and needs to be appreciated with our senses and celebrated with our art - and not just the pretty stuff either.

Here's how I wake up when I manage it - I walk in the woods or in nature and every time I notice I've veered off on my discursive thinking loop that takes me out of my body and the presence of the trees I catch myself and come back to my senses.
I write about things that matter to me - both in my blogs and in my creative work.
I show up for the people who depend on me to. I try not to turn my gaze away from the woman with a burn disfigurement on her face or the child who needs something extra or the old person looking bewildered at the bus stop.
I meet the faces of the beggars on the street even if I can't or won't always give them money.
I don't listen to the news because I think that is a step away from being awake to the world and it isn't good for my driving.
I  fill my heart and soul by reading good books by authentic people whether it is dharma or amusement - you can still tell the truth.

I hang around people who want what I want - an enlightened awake community who all know that love is the difference no matter who rolls their eyes when they hear you say it.
I always vote because I know how precious that is -
I remember the ones who served  in the military but also in so many ways - as volunteers at hospitals and daycares, as the ones who make pots of tea for grieving folks or put up hundreds of posters when a good teacher comes to town.
I celebrate birthdays and weddings and successes and sit in silence or tears when someone dies or is lost in other ways.

It is like taking care of a garden - it is always hard paying attention to every little green thing as it arises- it is like tending a song line in Australia - and the best way to do it is to find others who want to and remind each other that it is worthy and not to get discouraged or down-hearted which is really what discouragement means. To shout hooray when anyone of us stays awake for any period of time so that those times become more and more continuous and the islands of clarity that we all experience join to become continents of awareness.

So join me whatever your faith or non-faith is - breathe in this sweet sweet world and open your eyes.


Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - What a wonderful Friday challenge! Waking up and really drinking in the world! There are so many, many ways to do that, too, as you point out. Sometimes I can "tune in" like that by just walking my dogs. Pets, in my opinion, are such wonderful sources of wisdom about really experiencing the world. Being in touch with them helps keep me in touch with what is real.

Jan Morrison said...

Margot - I totally agree - pets with their unconditional love and their reliance on us for their needs make a simple claim for awakeness. Thanks!

KarenG said...

Ah, I loved this! Thanks for this challenge.

Helen Ginger said...

Jan, it sounds like you have a wonderful way of living and celebrating life.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love your list for waking up! Thanks for the challenge.

I think I try to wake up and genuinely pay close attention when my children are talking to me...instead of being distracted by other things. It's a challenge..but a reward for me, too.

Carol Kilgore said...

Wonderful, Jan. I might also add that for me it's detrimental to be around negative people for any length of time - those who find fault with even the good and beautiful things about life and the world. Sometimes I don't notice it about them right away, then it seeps in in small ways. We all need to wake up.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I think it’s the walks in the park, along the beach or in other nature sanctuaries that help keep me grounded, allow my imagination to soar, and to make me really appreciate the world I live in - oh...and being around my grandson also has the same effect, too.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it! You have such a lovely voice and way of expressing yourself Jan.

I try to be awake and aware too. I'm working hard to teach my students to be less self-absorbed and more award of their part in this wonderful world of ours.

Talli Roland said...

What a great post, Jan. It's easy to sleepwalk through the world and we could all do with a wake-up call!

DazyDayWriter said...

Sweet sweet world ... amen to that! Thanks Jan for some inspiring thoughts ... just lovely! I would love to read a book about the subject you tackle here, in fact. Waking up, morning, the dawn ... :)

P.S. You might enjoy the Zen of Noah @ as my beloved schnauzer makes a holiday appearance in SunnyRoomStudio this week! :)

Patricia Stoltey said...

This is an excellent post, Jan. In a world of zombies and folks with their heads in the sand, you've reminded us to pay attention.

Donna Alteen said...

Thank you for writing this because today I REALLY needed to read it!xo