Tag Archives: buddhism

Meditation: It’s ok.

Sometimes all it takes to get my head screwed back on is a chance to take a look at my life through someone else’s eyes.  Rarely do I have the opportunity to really see it, my life, my family.

I have been cranky.  Scratch that – Cranky.  And cranky leads to feeling ungrateful and bitchy.

MQD volunteered us to host a student from the local Won Buddhism temple.  He asked me about it first, naturally, and I said “No problem!” in my customary way and promptly forgot all about it.  I was knee-deep in being Cranky when he reminded me “I pick up the student tonight from temple, don’t forget.”

You’re fucking kidding me, right?  I am limping (tendonitis and bursitis in my aging hips, a post to follow) and angry and Lucy is teething and I guess I need to put clean sheets on the bed and make dinner and paste a smile on my face and pretend to be the Happiest American Family in All the Land.  Great.

“I can pick him up after dinner time and we will go to meditation at 6:30 tomorrow morning, it’s ok.”

It’s ok.  MQD likes to say “It’s ok.”  I used to translate “it’s ok” in my mind to mean “what you are saying is not important and actually not a reason to complain, why are you so damn difficult?” I heard it as a dismissal when all he ever meant was “It’s ok.”  I have spent the last year learning to hear him say “it’s ok” and think only “Thank you.  You’re right.  It really is ok.”

So, in the spirit of “It’s ok” I said “Great.  See you tonight.  I will make dinner.  Vegetarian something just in case.”

He walked in to the house smiling.  He left his shoes by the front door.  His iPad in hand with the Google Translate app open, he simply smiled.  19 years old. He has been in the US for only a week.  MQD showed him to his room.  Emily helped me finish setting the table.  Lucy smiled back at him.

As I finished getting dinner ready I overheard him talking to Lucy.  She was yelling at him “Shoes! Shoes!” and trying on the shoes he had left by our front door.  Laughing again he said to me “I speak little English.”  Pointing at Lucy I said “You speak more than she does, and I hang out with her all of the time.”  I wasn’t sure if he had understood my joke and I resisted the desire to repeat myself, louder.  “Lucy and me – best friends” and he clasped his hands together.  He got my joke.

20130711-131201.jpgIt was a nice evening.  The kids were pleasant.  Baked ziti for dinner.  I had a cocktail on the porch with my neighbor while MQD and his new friend talked horror movies and music.  Studying to be a priest or not he was still a 19 year old boy.

Morning meditation was skipped. He asked if he could spend more time with our family.  Over the top of his cup of coffee MQD looked to me to answer.  “Of course.”  Somehow in the midst of pasting a smile on my face I had felt the fog lift just a bit.

As I drove him to temple later in the morning he struggled to find the words.  “Envy.  I envy you.  Your house.  Family.  Two children. And a dog.  It is as in a dream?”

It is.

It’s better than ok.  It is a dream.  And I needed to be reminded.


Words Words Words

By 3 o’clock in the afternoon I have read every single board book we own at least 137 times.  Lucy loves books.  She carries them around the house. If I sit down on the floor for any reason she will seize the opportunity to plop down in my lap with a book.  It will be a cold day in hell when I tell a kid I don’t have time to read a book that is only nine pages long.

For that matter I am not even any good at turning down a chapter book that I can’t stand.  (Word of advice: Stay away from Junie B Jones.  They are horrible books.  Terrible grammar, asinine characters, rotten, rotten books.) But books are books in my house.  We are readers.

Readers tend to be a wordy bunch.  We talk about words at dinner.  We break them down and put them back together.  Em and I spent an entire trip to the store yesterday talking about “the silver lining.”  What does it mean? What is an example? I like to talk about language with her.  She has a funny point of view typically.  She is a smart kid with a rich sense of humor.  We lucked out.

So, last night when she started abruptly chuckling at dinner we paused.  “What? What’s so funny?”

We had been talking about Buddhists.

She made a face.  “Buddhist?  Boooood-ist?” She paused as if that was the punch line.  “Like Artist?  A professional butt person.  A Boood-ist?” and she pointed at her butt.  In case we didn’t get it.

This kid has been shaking her bootie since she as teeny tiny.  She might be a Professional Butt Person.

This kid has been shaking her bootie since she as teeny tiny. She might be a Professional Butt Person.