“Start talking turkey, Warren, because the Macy Parade is almost over and grandma is getting drunk.” – Annie in “Community”
I woke up yesterday and waded into the day with an episode of “Community.” I had myself a good old-fashioned Serenity Saturday. Chicago was a snowglobe. And I had no plans until dinner and a play at 6:30pm. So, I cozied in my house and in my pajamas for the better 2/3 of the day.
I wrote a little. I read a little. I tubbed a little. I did my sun salutations leisurely allowing my body to benefit from prolonged stretching. I ate what was accessible in my confines: pretzels for breakfast and chicken noodle soup for lunch. I chatted. I texted. I chilled. It was an awesome respite from my usual frenzied mobility.
I also checked in mid-point in my “How to Train a Wild Elephant.” The book suggested after a few days of using the non-dominant hand to read the ‘discoveries’ section. Dr. Chozen Bays describes it best with ‘clumsy.’ It’s awkward to brush teeth or eat with my left hand. I’m trying but my right hand takes over to expedite. The experiment is about getting in touch with ‘beginner’s mind.’ I easily embrace the beginner mindset. I feel like a novice in ritual acts. It’s hard and awkward to type with my left hand. When I’m brushing my teeth, I feel neglectful to my left teeth. They seem unaccessible at the weird angle. The simplicity of switching knife and fork back and forth takes on the concentration of a surgeon intern.
Not surprising, habits are hard to break. The change does make me alert to the process.
“Zen master Suzuki Roshi, ‘In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.’ Mindfulness enables us to keep returning to the unlimited possibilities that are always emerging from the great birthing place of the present moment.”
“To bring possibilities into your life, unfold beginner’s mind in all situations.”
Having rested on the sixth day, I’m ready to whirlwind this Superbowl Sunday. I begin again.