If you have been a reader of this blog for a long while you will know that I am a Pagan. I used to do yoga and should still, but life is a lot busier than it used to be and after my meltdown of a couple years ago it’s hard to go back to. I remember lots of things I’d rather not when I get into certain formerly favorite poses, and until I get past that point in my yoga practice, it will remain much less a practice than an occasional stretch.
I also meditated in somewhat a Buddhist method: I would meditate on having compassion for all beings, especially those that really *pissed* me off. It helped. I have restarted that practice in recent months; there are things going on in my life with family members that require I consciously develop compassion toward them. And perhaps myself as well, since I am certainly one of those who is *pissing* myself off lately. My entire life is a reflection of my spirituality: growing my own vegetables, raising chickens, making my own soap, using a clothes line, recycling, weaving, spinning, knitting, etc….it is all a reflection of the reverence I feel for the planet I share with billions of other beings, the awareness of the fact that what I do has an impact on untold numbers of other beings. I am not perfectly consistent, but I try to live my values.
I think that my last post arose from the hurt I felt at my husband and me being basically the only significant family members not to be present at this rite. I am used to feeling like an outsider among my own family members but this was rather more than a simple lack of consideration, it felt like a very large slap in the face toward everything I tried to do in raising my children. I tried to raise them to have strong ethics (secular), values (personal) and to think critically and independently so as not to be brainwashed into a way of life that forces one to condemn others based on sexual or religious preference.
I have failed in that job. Completely, miserably, utterly.
One thing I have learned about myself is that I meditate and pray best when I am in motion; even holding a yoga pose requires active participation. As a result, I often make activities or housework a prayer or a time for meditation.
The fiber I prepped and spun into yarn was part of a meditation and a prayer for the person, the couple, and the relationship it was celebrating. While the rite is over, as far as I am concerned at least, the relationship will continue. For me not to complete the prayer by not completing the shrug simply does not seem right to me. The meditative and prayerful act of choosing, cleaning, carding, spinning the fibers, and then knitting with them, consciously imparting my hopes and prayers for a happy life for them at each step, is not dependent on their actions. Nor does my hurt and disappointment change my hopes and prayers for a long happy and fruitful relationship for them.
What it comes down to is that my faith is only as good as my discipline. If I cannot have compassion on all beings when they and I need it most, then I’m not engaging in any sort of meaningful spirituality, only in fooling myself. And so, I will complete the shrug. I bought some very nice silver lined beads, and have some that were given to me by a generous friend, with which to complete it. The yarn was wet finished first thing after chores this morning, before coffee even, and is hanging to dry. I will complete this prayer; not to do so is to deny compassion, for them or myself.
I will not be driving to Idaho in November though. The logistics of an 8 hour drive in winter for an event that was supposed to take place on the same day as my final (and has now already taken place) can’t be reconciled. I simply can’t leave if I can’t take the final, it presents too many problems and the instructor still has not agreed to let me take it early. Many things happen for reasons we don’t necessarily understand; perhaps this is one of them.