Friday, February 17, 2006

My dear little heart

I'd meant this blog to be a chronicle of the journey of aspiration to Thich Nhat Hanh's Order of Interbeing, a nice little description of the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings, the teachings of my dharma teacher, and my attempts at integrating all this into my life. Turns out this blog's edges aren't so neatly defined and it's definitely not nearly as esoteric as my ego would like.

Well, I can't make it up, can I?

So charging on with all the inelegance that my life and the inner workings of my mind I am pondering right action. Yesterday I subjected myself to a barrage of cardiac tests designed to determine just how much stress my heart could take in light of my recent ER visit for an arrythmia. With some kind of metal electro-shock-like device on my head with an arm hanging down in front of my nose to hold a snorkel-like mouthpiece in my mouth, a clothespin pinching my nostrils shut, all kinds of wires on my chest and a blood pressure cuff taped to my arm, I was expected to ride a bike! If only I had thought to bring a friend with a video camera I'm sure we could be millionaires right now or at least stars of "Americas Funniest Home Videos".

The good news is that there was nothing that could be found wrong with my heart. The other good news is that in addition to taking medication, I need to look at stress, diet, and exercise in my life which could be categorized as high, fair to poor, and none. (Did you get that feigned cheerfulness though?)

These three things and the inconsistencies between my beliefs and my behavior around them have been presenting themselves to me for consideration at pretty regular intevals over the last several years and with increasing urgency. I perked up my ears yesterday when the cardiologist casually referred to my heart as "irritable". Irritable! Enter the image of a cranky heart shouting out it's complaints like Archie Bunker chewing out un-zenlike.

So I guess it's my time to make friends with all this dissonance, thank my heart for all it's done and been for me, and vow to make amends. The middle path, here we go again.

I have no answers right now only a lot of vague thoughts and ideas about.....the quality of my relationships and what I want in my life, my crazy all night work schedule, how to make a commitment to go completely vegetarian while still cooking for a child allergic to beans and soy, how to eat in moderation and to promote health, and how to fit in the right kind and amount of exercise not just for short term but as a lifestyle change. It's been more my style to jump into a crash diet and join a gym class in which I have no hope of keeping up... but we know where that leads.

So today, I am sitting with my heart, inviting it to sit and have a cup of tea with me. I will ask "My dear little heart, I am here for you as you have been here for me. Tell me what it is you need now." I'm guessing that I will get some answers.

Authentic Kindness of the Heart


Blogger Beth said...

hi zenmom! thanks for stopping by my blog. our lives are indeed alike. i was just at my cardiologist's office last week for a checkup. i used to have episodes of palpitations, extra beats, skipped beats etc. that were really disturbing. i was all wired up for various tests. my heart is fine, except for minor mvp. stress causes the palps. and the palpitations, in turn, cause more stress. when they come now, i just breathe. it's not easy to deal with!
i look forward to reading more of your posts.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Nacho said...

Ah, I see Kim beat me to here! : ) Zenmom thanks for stopping by Kim's (one of my favorite places in this sphere), and facilitating my finding you! : ) Welcome to blogging, and to the blangha (blog sangha)!

Yes, this blogging thing gets large indeed. We think we have a narrow and tight focus and then it all goes boom and we are everywhere. As such, it is both a challenge to practice, and a wonderful aid to being aware, to paying attention (even when we are at our less mindful). Then again, Dogen reminds us that there is nothing outside the dharma.

Hey, cooking should be interesting at your place! Really, don't worry too much about the vegetarianism -- there aren't only two poles. : )

Oh, and keep aspiring to the Order. : ) Who is/are your mentor(s)?

All the best,


9:29 PM  
Blogger Zenmom, aspiring said...

OH thanks for dropping by Kim and Nacho...I feel honored as I am a regular reader of both your blogs! Nacho, I am mentored by Jim K. and Joanne F. and feel very lucky to have access to their wisdom.
I need all the help I can get!!!!!
a deep bow to both of you!

10:19 PM  

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