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Thread: This is not a pity party. We're all in this together.

  1. #51
    The risk in letting fears and struggles show is often being met with silence, and/or being ridiculed or lectured for showing one's darker, insecure feelings. Many have experienced these reactions, and human nature is to learn from our experiences. The more it happens, the more ingrained it can become to close up and shut people out.

    People usually find other outlets for troubling feelings and emotions. Whether those outlets are beneficial or harmful is another matter.

    Wearing a brave face is ingrained in many cultures and societies, and is reinforced by peer pressure. Tough wall to get past.

    Gassho, Meian
    St lh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    Not all who wander are lost. (Tolkien)
    Sometimes there are no answers.
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  2. #52
    There is a difference, I think, between “putting on a brave face,” and truly abiding in the Beyond, where it is all okay. We practice and practice, and we “fake it until we make it,” sometimes. In the here and now, we are sad, worried, sometimes finding joy, sometimes stuck in confusion. There is no way to deny that or simply put a brave face over top of it and make it go away. But at the same time, all our stories are pieces of a whole that is beyond fear and sadness, good and bad. Just a beautiful mess. I am truly grateful and privileged to have all of you inspiring folks to practice with through these challenges. Please stay strong everyone, so much Metta and love.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  3. #53
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    Gassho
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    There is a difference, I think, between “putting on a brave face,” and truly abiding in the Beyond, where it is all okay. We practice and practice, and we “fake it until we make it,” sometimes. In the here and now, we are sad, worried, sometimes finding joy, sometimes stuck in confusion. There is no way to deny that or simply put a brave face over top of it and make it go away. But at the same time, all our stories are pieces of a whole that is beyond fear and sadness, good and bad. Just a beautiful mess. I am truly grateful and privileged to have all of you inspiring folks to practice with through these challenges. Please stay strong everyone, so much Metta and love.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #55
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    This is not a pity party.
    I share to share.
    I also share in the hope that all of us will share with each other at this time. When sharing we are all equal, we remember that we are all in this together and we look past our noses.
    This past week comrades has been pretty scary in all honesty. Not for Covid-19 because I knew my risk of exposure was extremely low but because what most people including myself see as a pretty mild and easily managed health challenge, Asthma.
    This past week saw me rushed to hospital twice in the back of Acute Care Ambulances with uncontrolled Asthma despite a shedload of steroids, antibiotics and inhalers.
    Friday's trip to the hospital was the scariest. Probably because I had only been in hospital a few days earlier the Ambo's arrived en masse and despite struggling to breathe I still felt guilty for using up public resources in a time of a pandemic. Silly hey.
    Within an hour at the hospital they'd given me 72 puffs of Ventolin and 12 puffs of another inhaler.
    For those unaware, that is a LOT! and there was much talk about placing me in the Intensive Care Unit.
    More bloods taken, more swab tests, more talk of ICU, more x-rays, scans and a whole lot more Ventolin Burst Therapy and I was exhausted.
    I was also scared and getting anxious.
    I couldn't lie down because of breathing difficulties and my lungs and heart hurt, really really hurt. The monitoring machine that was keeping track of my blood pressure, heart rate and giving regular printouts of ECG's alarm kept going off as I was rarely down from Tachycardic levels. This is just a fancy way of saying that my heart was racing.
    I didn't need a monitoring machine to tell me that!
    More bloods, more doctors discussions, more nurses keeping me company and more Ventolin Burst Therapy and other inhalers.
    Finally, after 12 hours things started calming down and I was down to a 2 hourly cycle, my oral steroids had been increased again and another antibiotic given as an anti-inflammatory.
    Another 12 hours and I was once again out of hospital.
    Like an idiot the next morning I tried to walk to the front gate and back. What a mistake that was. I had the most intense pain in the centre of my chest. It felt like a hydraulic press was pushing down on my heart. To say this freaked me out would be a huge understatement. I was incredibly close to asking my partner to call the Ambulance, the pain was that intense and for me to suggest such a thing was unheard of.
    After around half an hour the pain eased and I promptly crashed, exhausted.
    Comrades, I'm still really really unwell and having to take it easy. I'm on a stupid amount of meds, have a really strong action plan and if I get through the next 4 weeks without being hospitalised again I should be ok.
    This is not a pity party but social isolation is not as awesome as I'd hoped.
    We're all in this together.
    It's been an ordinary week in every way but one thing never wavered, my Practice.
    Over the past month as I've fought uncontrolled Asthma I drew on my daily Practice to sit with what is and I wasn't let down.
    I was surprised that I naturally sought Refuge in the Three Jewels and Shikantaza. It wasn't a chore but something I went to automatically and often in the most unlikely settings at the strangest times. I sat with life as I was living it right there, right then. I had no lightbulb moments, no unicorns and rainbows experience and gained no insights. What I did get though was the privilege to really experience every moment. That kind of experience can't be explained or qualified any more than the most basic understanding of Shikantaza. Just Sit!
    I did and I will continue to do so. My regular regime is a bit all over the place which in some ways has strengthened my Practice.
    I'll keep fighting the good fight with my lungs and Just Sit. Until then I'll Just Sit. When I'm well again in I'll Just Sit.
    Life... Isn't it extraordinary.
    Be kind to yourself and look out for each other.
    For Anarchy and Peace.
    Onka
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  6. #56
    Much, MUCH metta to you, Onka.

    Gassho
    Kendrick
    Sat
    “Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.” ― Dōgen

  7. #57
    Thank you for this teaching Onka

    Much Metta to you and your partner. Please take care and keep us posted.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  8. #58
    Onka.

    I am sorry for your challenges but you provide a good example. Best for you.

    Doshin
    St

  9. #59
    Much metta, Onka. We are all sitting with you. We are all together in this.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  10. #60

    This is not a pity party. We're all in this together.

    They just reported a case of COVID 19 in the assisted living facility my mother-in-law is in. My husband is freaking out and would like to get her out of there, but his five siblings and their families are more worried about how “China is taking down our economy” with all this. It’s all so very sad.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Jakuden; 04-13-2020 at 10:49 PM.
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  11. #61
    Onka, that sounds really really frightening and painful. I will sit Metta for you tonight. It is a scary time.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  12. #62
    Our dear Mum died from Covid 19 yesterday. She was 95 and in a nursing home. Mum's time had eventually come (she had miraculously recovered from near death due to pneumonia two years ago). Thanks to the care staff she had a peaceful death and did not die alone (the home was on lock down and we were not
    allowed to visit ). I am overwhelmed by the selfless care for others displayed by our NHS nurses and doctors in the UK and incredibly underpaid care home staff. The member of staff who sat with my mum, and phoned as she was dying so we could at least feel near, is pregnant, probably had no efficient protection and basically is putting her own life on the line.

    I have no words of wisdom to give from this experience - tomorrow I have to try and arrange some manner of funeral that we can't attend as too many of our family are in the high risk group. There may be no one from our family there at all.

    All we can do is live, experience and sit through this with compassion and at times anger ( because mistakes have been made).

    It's going to take me some time to reflect and have any meaningful words.

    Metta to all,

    Jinyo

  13. #63
    Jinyo

    Metta to you and your family.

    Doshin
    St

  14. #64
    Oh Jinyo I am so, so sorry. Metta to you and your family

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  15. #65
    Jinyo, holding you in my heart.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  16. #66
    Jinyo...

    Gassho
    Kendrick
    Sat
    “Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.” ― Dōgen

  17. #67
    Jinyo

    So sorry to hear of your loss. It must be so hard to not be allowed to be with your loved one when they are sick or dying.

    Metta to you and your family.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  18. #68
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    Jinyo
    I wish words could ease your pain but all I can do is offer Metta and reflect on how much lived experience comes with 95 years.
    The NHS is indeed terrific, as is Medicare here in Australia and yes, the selflessness of all frontline workers from cleaners and porters to doctors and the nurses who we see with your family once again have gone above and beyond.
    I will sit again today for you and your family Jinyo.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Gassho
    Onka
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    They just reported a case of COVID 19 in the assisted living facility my mother-in-law is in. My husband is freaking out and would like to get her out of there, but his five siblings and their families are more worried about how China is taking down our economy with all this. It’s all so very sad.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    I hope your family can work out a solution Jakuden. In times of crisis people respond in different ways as you are seeing. My mother was someone who blamed others and my sister was someone who deflected in order to deal with things. I'm all action unfortunately so never hesitate to jump in and deal with stuff.
    I really hope that you find a solution Jakuden.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Gassho
    Onka
    st
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Jakuden View Post
    They just reported a case of COVID 19 in the assisted living facility my mother-in-law is in. My husband is freaking out and would like to get her out of there, but his five siblings and their families are more worried about how “China is taking down our economy” with all this. It’s all so very sad.

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    So sorry to hear that Jakuden. So many instances of the virus running like a wildfire through assisted living facilities. Hopefully they have learned from past issues and your Mother-in-Law will be safe.


    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  21. #71
    Thanks all for your support.

    I hope your mother-in-law will be safe Jakuden - such a worrying time.



    Jinyo

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Jinyo View Post
    Our dear Mum died from Covid 19 yesterday. She was 95 and in a nursing home. Mum's time had eventually come (she had miraculously recovered from near death due to pneumonia two years ago). Thanks to the care staff she had a peaceful death and did not die alone (the home was on lock down and we were not
    allowed to visit ). I am overwhelmed by the selfless care for others displayed by our NHS nurses and doctors in the UK and incredibly underpaid care home staff. The member of staff who sat with my mum, and phoned as she was dying so we could at least feel near, is pregnant, probably had no efficient protection and basically is putting her own life on the line.

    I have no words of wisdom to give from this experience - tomorrow I have to try and arrange some manner of funeral that we can't attend as too many of our family are in the high risk group. There may be no one from our family there at all.

    All we can do is live, experience and sit through this with compassion and at times anger ( because mistakes have been made).

    It's going to take me some time to reflect and have any meaningful words.

    Metta to all,

    Jinyo
    Oh, may your mother now be at peace, dear Jinyo. And may all who love her be well and keep her memories long.

    If you think it appropriate, Jinyo, please let me know, and I will light some incense here for your mum. Let us dedicate all our sitting today to her memory, and to the memories of those among all our parents who have left this world ...

    Yes, it is hard to be away now ... but know that there truly is no distance no matter what the eye believes.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #73


    Kotei sat today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Oh, may your mother now be at peace, dear Jinyo. And may all who love her be well and keep her memories long.

    If you think it appropriate, Jinyo, please let me know, and I will light some incense here for your mum. Let us dedicate all our sitting today to her memory, and to the memories of those among all our parents who have left this world ...

    Yes, it is hard to be away now ... but know that there truly is no distance no matter what the eye believes.

    Gassho, J
    Many thanks Jundo, the lighting of incense and dedication is much appreciated.



    Jinyo

  25. #75
    Much metta, Jinyo. So sorry to hear about your loss

    Gassho
    Washin
    st-lah
    Kaido (有道) Every Way
    Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
    ----
    I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything what I say must not be considered as teaching
    and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

  26. #76
    ...sitting for you Jinyo

    Chris

  27. #77
    I'm so sorry, Jinyo.
    Much metta to your mother. May she be at peace.
    Metta to you and all your family and friends. May you all be strong now.
    We are all chanting and sitting with you.
    Gassho
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  28. #78
    Jakuden,
    Much metta to you mother-in-law, your husband and all your families. May all be well.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  29. #79
    Jinyo, I'm so sorry. Much metta to you and yours.

    Gassho

    Nenka
    ST

  30. #80
    Much metta to you, Jinyo. So sorry to read this. Yes, our poor NHS and care staff are working with such compassion and dedication to look after patients and to help their families in these terribly difficult times, but these circumstances must be so hard for family members. May your mum be at peace, and may you find strength over the coming days.

    Gassho,
    Libby
    ST

  31. #81
    Onka and Jakuden, I don’t know what to say other than that I am keeping you both in my thoughts and sending much metta.

    Gassho,
    Libby
    ST

  32. #82
    Deep Metta to those in care facilities and to the families affected by this situation.

    gassho
    shonin sat today/lah
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

  33. #83
    Jinyo, I am so sorry.

    Gassho
    Sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  34. #84
    My heart breaks for you, Jinyo.

    -Sara
    ST

  35. #85


    Thank you - the support within our sangha is so amazing

    Jinyo

  36. #86
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    I'm wondering how everyone is travellin'?
    I got news today that one of my closest friends and fellow Anarchist misfit tested negative for Covid-19 today. This bit of news brought a bit of comfort despite being unable to filter out the realness that thousands are dying from this virus daily, including friends and family of Treeleaf.
    I can report on my own health though comrades, despite not being Covid-19 positive. Afterall, we're all in this together.
    This is not a pity party but I report news that my Asthma isn't fantastic. It's relatively stable but teetering on the edge of getting to be taken to hospital again by Ambo.
    It's been just over a month now that my Asthma has been playing up and today, once again I was deemed too unwell to start reducing the amount of oral steroids I'm taking. Not great news but I'm not dead yet lol.
    I continue along this journey with light in my heart and an ever surprising deepening commitment to my Practice. It's not a new concept for unwell folk to find God in whatever way God manifests herself when in need so in that regard the deepening of my Zen Buddhism Practice makes sense. I don't believe in a God but I find sitting with whatever life throws my way to be a positive contribution to my lived experience. So what does deepening my practice look like? Well so far it feels like a NEED to serve my Sangha as much as I can in whatever capacity I can in my current state.
    My current health state feels strangely like a blessing at this time in history. I get to do nothing but continue to keep breathing and this in turn creates opportunities. I do a shedload of reflection around how I interact with the world and whether I'm living the Precepts as closely as I can and what if anything I can change in order to serve the greater Sangha better. Not sure I've found any answers but it really is an interesting experience to be fighting for breath but thinking of others. Weird huh?
    Anyway, nothing else to report but remember that this is not a pity party, we're all in this together... Life eh.

    Gassho
    Onka
    st
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  37. #87
    Metta to your friend, Onka. Has your current health been improving?

    My uncle is still in the hospital in ICU. His test came back negative but they don't know what is causing anything... his organs are failing currently. I haven't checked in with my mom yet today to see how he is as of this morning but will soon.

    Updates for me: Tensions were already growing at my day job, and I started working from home a month ago but my boss wasn't a fan of the idea and several times I had to remind him I couldn't come in to the office for meetings and such (they aren't social distancing there either). I've been having some meetings with my kids in the car and me and him standing in the parking lot at the business. Communication had been terrible since I had been left out of all the group meetings (no group tele meetings) and I had little idea what was going on and left in the dark much of the time making my job very difficult. I also got asked to do some things I wasn't morally comfortable doing and my refusal and resistance was putting major strain on the relationship. I didn't feel good about my work there anymore. Monday this week, after sticking it out one more week to think about it more, I decided to resign from my position. I wasn't going to be eligible for unemployment benefits anyway (didn't meet requirements needed here even if they shut down at some point) so it wasn't any different just leaving and disqualifying myself from them. I still have another job that I make about $412 a month at so that will help soften the blow right now while I try to get in some training and building out my online portfolio for the next job I look for. I was working for about 20% to 30% the low end of the national average for my job/skill, had no benefits, and no annual raises so it was a dead end anyway. There are better opportunities out there for me to find sometime. We will be fine until then.

    No one in my household is sick anymore either! We are all well past our symptoms we once had. We never got tested - they just started testing here less than a week ago. My parents have had a cough when I call them to take to them but keep telling me "its nothing" so hopefully they are okay too.

    The past few days have been added practice sitting and cleaning the house, cleaning my altar, taking care of the kids, and cooking food for my family while also working on my own website and social media stuff. I can honestly say it's been the best few days I've had with my family in a very long time. I feel a huge weight lifted, feel very relaxed, and feel very much more myself. I also no longer have to fear being fired for my beliefs at work, and am free to be myself where I live again now. Even when stuff opens back up again I will work from home and keep my two year old home with me from now on. She will get more daddy time now.

    Gassho
    Kendrick
    Sat
    “Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.” ― Dōgen

  38. #88
    Metta to all here and of who we know. _()_

    I'm much better and active again ( as we have seen _()_ ).

    saw.jpg

    Still three friends in and out of hospital; they all have the symptoms but have tested neg, so who knows, maybe some other virus is playing "let's do the exact same set of symptoms and freak 'em out" thing.

    gassho
    shonin sat today
    Last edited by Shōnin Risa Bear; 04-16-2020 at 02:58 PM.
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

  39. #89
    Member Onka's Avatar
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    Kendrick
    Thanks for asking, I'm relatively stable at the moment.
    Your post was full of so much positively that I was smiling like a big old Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
    It really does indeed sound like this time has created some fantastic clarity for you and your family. I'm really happy for you... and your daughter.
    I hope your parents cough sorts itself out although I do hope they get checked out.
    Be well comrade and thanks for sharing an update.
    Gassho
    Onka
    st
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  40. #90
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    Shonin
    I am happy that your friends have tested negative for Covid-19 but yes, I too wonder if there are other viruses going around that mimic this one.
    I watched a tremendous documentary series on Netflix called Pandemic that was only released this year. It really shined a light on the amazing work being done behind the scenes by Scientists and Health Professionals trying to be proactive in the identification of and preparation for possible pandemics. I highly recommend everyone watch it. It is eerily prophetic.
    In other news here in Australia our Health Professionals appear to be coming across and seeing more and more cases that are presenting Nas asymptomatic or showing no symptoms at all. I guess that's why in my last two hospital visits they've swabbed me for Covid-19 and other known respiratory viruses despite previous tests coming back negative each time.
    Thank you Shonin for sharing an update from your magnificent part of the world.
    Be well
    Gassho
    Onka
    st
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  41. #91
    Onka, I really hope you get better. Much metta to you.

    Kendrick, much metta to you, your family and your uncle. May he recover soon.
    Your attitude on your job really inspired me. I also am thinking a lot about changing my career and trying other things. The way things are going here makes the education a very bad career choice. The government is already proposing a bill to reduce in 30% the salaries and, in my specific case, I was forced to approve some people that didn't had any condition to to graduate. But the University I work for is now forcing us to approve everyone (or the students will search other institution to study). The more we want to increase our family, the more I long for a more stable job. Your post really helped me in more ways than you can think of. Thank you and all the good to you and your family.

    Shonin, much metta to your friends. There really is other respiratory diseases spreading along with Covid-19. At least here, the H1N1 influenza is also being a big killer. May this pandemic and the epidemics that are following be gone soon.

    In the case of my grandfather, he is doing better. Since yesterday he is breathing withou help and is now on a room isolated. The testing here in Brazil is very behind the schedules, so the hospital don't know how long more he will have to wait. But he is a strong fellow. Some years ago he underwent four kidney surgeries and managed to recover pretty well. Today he send a message to the family saying he loved everybody, but loved my grandmother more than the rest

    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  42. #92
    Love the grandmother!

    gassho
    shonin sat today/lah
    I'm a visiting unsui from Bird Haven Zendo. Take what I say with a box of salt. Mmm!

  43. #93
    Thank you, Onka! I talked to my mom a bit ago and they are doing great today - very little cough or anything, sounds like it may just be allergies for them which is a relief. Got an update on my uncle while I was finishing up this post: kidney function has stabilized but liver is failing, and left lung filling with fluid. Heart rate is all over the place, and currently on oxygen at highest level they are able to have him on. I was with my aunt (his wife) as she passed away several years ago so I feel for my cousins.. they really took her loss hard and haven't recovered from it, really.

    Mateus, thank you to you as well! I'm happy my post is bringing some positivity. I'm also using this time to learn more and hone my skills in web development (enrolled in a boot camp today), and personal training (working on completing my next certification right now). Never too old to learn more or new skills! I wish you and your family the very best.

    Gassho
    Kendrick
    Sat
    “Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.” ― Dōgen

  44. #94
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    Comrades
    I type these words with joy in my heart and an uplifted spirit but it should go without saying that this is tempered by the tremendous suffering people all over this fantastic world are experiencing.
    Beyond borders, class, gender, sexuality, race, gender identity and wealth there is suffering. As followers of the Buddha's teachings we understand this and try to sit with what is.
    Covid-19 is the current pandemic we're focused on because it affects us all. Everywhere.
    It has united the world by its indiscriminate nature, something we haven't seen for some 100 odd years.
    But suffering is all around us every day even if we aren't directly impacted or if we only know about it through the media. This is the suffering, beyond Covid-19 that tempers the joy in my heart and the uplifting of my spirit.
    This is not a pity party. We are all in this together. Life is hard. Life gets too serious at times but I firmly believe that life is too serious to be taken seriously.
    We are not special.
    My lungs over the past month or so have provided the kind of clarity around the fragility of life that can't be explained by a muppet like me.
    I've sat and sat and sat because it was the only thing that made sense when breathing, which is pretty important I understand lol was not easy and my heart was setting off Tachycardic alarms every few seconds.
    There was nothing more, nothing less to do but sit with life as life was. As life is.
    What an amazing time to be alive!
    Today comrades I went for a walk for the first time in over a month. A hundred metres or so, had a rest for about an hour then walked back.
    No massive chest pains, no full on exacerbation, it was brilliant.
    I saw some Galah's and Blue Fairy Wren's, heard lots of other birds and took some terrifically clean deep breaths. It was Kinhin with everything Kinhin should be. I felt the interconnectedness.
    Yes I'm still on a shedload of oral steroids and a puffer regime that is close to having me call the Ambo again but I'm finally done with antibiotics and did I mention that I went for a walk?!!!
    If all goes well I'll once again try to start weaning off of the oral steroids over a month starting Tuesday.
    Did I mention I went for a walk?!!!
    Life is life and it is beautiful in however it presents to us.
    What an absolute privilege this month or so had been.

    Be kind to yourself and look out for each other.

    Gassho
    Onka
    st

    P.S. did I mention that I went for a walk?!!! LOL
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  45. #95
    That's such good news, Onka!

    Gassho
    Kendrick
    Sat
    “Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.” ― Dōgen

  46. #96
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    In the interest of demonstrating my own imperfections publicly in seemingly unending, unfiltered, and unapologetic sharing in order to encourage others to share and I offer the following...

    This morning started great. I felt great, my GP thought I sounded great and agreed that I could start weaning down my dose of oral steroids. Everything was great.
    I used a walker thingy to walk to check the mail. The walker thingy allowed me to sit and rest before walking back. All great.
    No exacerbation, no pain in my chest. Great.
    I needed to go to pick up some oil for our ute, prescriptions from my GP then go to the pharmacy to get prescriptions filled. To do all this was a 100km round trip.
    When we got home I was really tired but didn't feel too bad. Great.
    Fast forward 30 minutes and I had an Asthma attack and literally collapsed.
    Fortunately my partner was there and was able to put a mask on me and just start pumping Ventolin non-stop finally getting enough into me so I was able to regain enough control to take over myself. After a Burst Therapy dose of Ventolin (12 puffs in a row with 4 breaths in between each all through a mask attached to a spacer) and a couple of puffs from a steroid puffer and a couple of puffs from an anti-inflammatory puffer and guess what? Not exactly great anymore. Shaking, hurting, crying and scared on the floor I was breathing.
    Without a word of a lie folks the first words out of my mouth to my partner were "I'm so sorry. I need to do some Zazen".
    She didn't care about Zazen, she wanted to know if she should call an Ambulance haha. I told her that I'd take more Ventolin and do some Zazen and see how I feel after that.
    Comrades I'm not uber-Zen or anywhere close to being free from a myriad of faults. In all honesty my Practice is ridiculously simple and I see little reason to complicate life more than I have to.
    But it's honest, authentic and transparent. When I say I've sat... I've sat. If I haven't lent a hand... I don't say that I have. When challenged I make contact with Jundo Roshi and when I tell you that I told my partner that I needed to do some Zazen... That's exactly what I said.
    I was drawn to Soto Zen Buddhism because it felt BS free and I kinda dug what little I'd read about Dogen. So far my life as a student of the Buddha Dharma hasn't steered me wrong.
    My journey has just begun but knowing in my heart that the Three Jewels will see me through anything life throws at me with more peace and equanimity than without is hard to qualify with mere words.
    I am one thankful simpleton but feel ripped off that I haven't been able to spend Covid-19 isolation doing fun stuff. Learning a language, taking up painting or putting comrade Geika's animal grooming tips into practice I could be doing other stuff. I wouldn't swap this past month or so though. When life comes at you fast you can't miss it and I reckon there's not a lot I've missed recently.

    How's life looking for everyone else? How's everyone's mental wellness? What are you doing at the moment that you'd not normally be able to do? Learning new skills?

    Be kind to yourself and look out for each other

    Gassho
    Onka
    St
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  47. #97
    Onka, I’m so sorry hear of your set back. I have had only one severe asthma attack and it wasn’t nearly so bad as yours are. I can’t imagine how frightening and exhausting it must be to have such severe difficulties. Your spirit is an inspiration.

    I have been following this thread and everyone’s experiences. Although I have my problems, such as waking in the cold, dark dawn covered in poop due to an ostomy “appliance” failure (one of many such failures, lol), I recognize that I am very fortunate. My health problems and surgical complications are uncomfortable and annoying, but not life threatening. My friends have so far remained healthy through this, though their businesses have suffered. I am fortunate to have a job still and can work from home. While I feel isolated and lonely at times because I live alone and have no family, I recognize that I enjoy a great deal of privilege. This isolation has freed me from a grueling commute and I have more time to sit (finally able to join sangha members in the sitting room) and I have some time to sew. I have made The Heart Sutra my special project. Working on getting this fuzzy, old brain to memorize it and reading all I can find about it.

    Metta to all suffering in this trying time. May we all learn to dance with the uncertainty and impermanence.
    Gassho,
    Krista
    st/lah

  48. #98
    Shaking, hurting, crying and scared on the floor I was breathing.
    This is a kind of Zazen too, Onka, although harder to see.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  49. #99
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Thank you Roshi
    Gassho
    Onka
    st
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  50. #100
    Hi all.

    I just wanted to wish much metta to all Sangha members who are suferring at this point. I will dedicate merit for you all when i sit again tomorrow.

    Deep bows, b.

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