Turn Off Your Mind, Relax and Float Upstream
At first, I tried to write my posts during the day, but that was unworkable. There's just too much going on. Plus, I began to think about it beforehand, so it dominated too much of my time. So the early morning writing proved to be ideal. It's something I never imagined I could even do, because I was never a morning person before. Nor a writer, for that matter.
As it is, I can hardly believe I was able to keep it up for so long, since we hope Future leader will make it until 7:00, but that doesn't always happen. So I often have to stop what I'm doing and feed and entertain him at the same time I'm trying to finish a post. On a good day, I would have a little window of two hours to get up, check my blood, eat something if my blood sugar is low, make some coffee, look at my email, and check out a few favorite websites while my brain comes on line -- e.g., American Thinker, Dr. Sanity, Powerline, LGF, Newsbusters -- just to get a rough idea of what's going on with the cosmic weather.
It's amazing how one little puppy can alter the delicate balance of the cosmos. Now I can't sneak out of bed without waking her up. And she doesn't just "wake up." Rather, like all puppies, she's either dead asleep or romping around like a maniac. First I have to let her out and try to get her to pee. No telling how long that might take. Then I have to feed her. Back outside to let her do her business again. Something about that particular business transaction gets her very excited, so she dashes back in the house as if it's chasing after her.
So now it's back to my office, but first we have to make it past Future Leader's room with Coondog tapping her feet on the wooden floor. Now we're in the office, where the last thing she wants to do is curl into a ball and settle down. Rather, they're like kittens at this age. She wants to play with every wire, every loose scrap of paper, every book. I give her toys to play with or something to chew on, but those only keep her occupied for so long.
Anyway, you get the picture. My entire seekosystem has been disrupted. Here's a fine example. Right now it's 5:36. I actually made it this far without Coondog waking up! But now I hear Future Leader stirring. There's no way he can get up this early. What to do? I'm trying to figure it out right now. He's sort of babbling. If that goes on long, it'll wake the puppy. Do I go in and try to settle him? Or do I let it go, at risk of waking her up?
I'm going in. Be right back.
"Baba Daddy?" There's another existential choice that no man should have to face at this hour. There's a school of thought that says if you give it to him, you just reinforce the early waking. But I tossed one in the crib like a hand grenade and ran out. Maybe that'll settle him for a bit longer.
I'm lucky. It's only 5:43, and the dog is still asleep.
This should be a temporary situation. We got the puppy at eight weeks. She's now, what, going on eleven weeks? I forgot the exact figure, but Mrs. G said that it won't be too many more weeks before her sleeping patterns are more like an adult dog, which will solve my immediate problem and restore some order to the cosmos.
Did I mention that I'm not a very fast or efficient typist? I just never learned. I took a typing class back in my sophomore year of high school, but I just blew it off. I mean, I went to classes, but I didn't even try to learn how to type without looking. I think I got a D the first semester and an F the second semester. The whole thing about typing struck me as kind of... I don't know, gay, I suppose. We didn't use that word, but there is no question that it didn't fall into the masculine sphere, and insecure adolescent boys have a compulsive need to devalue anything vaguely feminine. At least they did back then.
That's the actual source of so-called "homophobia." Ironically, while I suppose that some cases of male homosexuality may have genetic roots, I don't think there's any question that our ambivalence about homosexuality is genetic. There is a kind of more or less benign "homophobia" that reinforces sexual identity and guides the otherwise fluid hypersexuality of adolescents down the appropriate channel. This is not to excuse it, any more than one "excuses" other genetically based behaviors such as jealousy. Rather, it just is. Nor is it to ever excuse violent or abusive acting out -- even though that is sometimes going to happen, just as it is inevitable that jealous lovers are occasionally going to go Othello. You could make jealousy a "hate crime" (or "love crime"), but it wouldn't have any effect on the crazies.
Wait. Now I hear the puppy. Better let her out. 6:02. She pees without too much of a drawn out ritual. Excellent.
Back in the house. I'm looking for a treat. I turn my back for a second and she poops in the house.
Meanwhile, Future Leader is singing in his crib. That perks up Coondog's ears, and she starts barking in response. "Shhh!" She has no idea what "shh!" means. Now she's running around with a shoe.... Hold on....
Everything is a puppy-game to her. She has no conception of seriousness. Why should she?
Chaos. Just changed a diaper. Hoping to get him down for another 40 minutes or so. Not likely. Where's the dog?
Oh man. She's chewing a hole in my carptet.
So now, with the loss of my little morning Shangri-La, there's a big hole in my life. To be perfectly accurate, it's a missing hole -- the timeless hole I used to be able to jump through every morning. So yesterday I decided to start meditating again at the same time each day, come what may, at 4:00 PM. I'm going to make an appointment with myself -- which is actually an appointment with God. I find that if you meet at the same time and place each day, the space becomes "energized," like a sort of spiritual morphogenetc field.
Naturally, the same thing can happen around churches and other sacred places, but there's no reason at all why you can't do the same thing in your house. In fact, you must do so. You must have a room or corner of your house that you dedicate only to "higher things," so that when you're there, your mind already knows what to do. Eventually, you create a neural nouswork that interacts with the nonlocal field you're trying to access.
When I say "meditate," it's actually closer to prayer, or at the very least, trying to align yourself with an energy that surpasses yourself. For a number of years I tried various meditation "techniques," but without much success. For one thing, God is not something you access through a technique. A technique can be helpful, but you shouldn't confuse means with end.
I eventually evolved this technique where I repeat a mantra and try to focus above my head, above the crown chakra. As I inhale, I imagine that I am drawing this energy down the front of my body, and as I exhale, I imagine that it is traveling up the spine and back out the top of the head. At least for me, I find that this is effective in moving around various energy blockages, especially after a little yoga.
At the same time, I found it extremely helpful to employ what is in effect a mantra, although Christians may object to the term. For example, the Jesus prayer is in many ways ideal and is quite effective. On the inhale you silently say "Lord Jesus Christ" while imagining the force coming down, while on the exhale you say "have mercy on me" while offering the energy back upward. Naturally this cannot be done mechanically, but must be done with the heart.
I realize that some Orthodox will object to conflating the Jesus prayer with some kind of yoga, and it is true that this is not for everyone. But I believe we are dealing here with the "physics of spirit." There is a real energy and we can tap into it. It is actually the opposite of Kundalini yoga, in which one tries to rouse the energy at the base of the spine. Rather, the primary movement is the surrender to the higher energy which comes down, not up.
As I began practicing this method, I began to sense a subtle resonance with this spiritual energy, to such an extent that certain bodily movements would accompany it -- almost like a stringed instrument that will vibrate at the same frequency as a note from another instrument in its vicinity. Obviously, this energy is real. Countless believers have testified to its existence. Many people routinely feel it in church, which is one of the reasons people enjoy going to church, even if they are not consciously aware of it. It is very common for people to feel younger, lighter, more "flowing," and more energized when they leave church. This is why.
For example, in the past, I would occasionally attend services at the Vedanta temple in Hollywood. I wouldn't pay much attention to the sermon, which can often be sort of bland. Instead, I would simply "go within," concentrate above my head, and try to bring down the force. When this happens, my head usually spirals in a gentle clockwise direction. Always clockwise. I have no idea why. If I consciously try to do it in the other direction, it feels unnatural, sort of like I'm swimming upstream.
Like my mornings.