Distracted Away From What?

Walking out early this grey morning with spring flowers, peeping through the cold earth. Hikers and dog walkers braving the brisk air. The birds active. Chirp, twitter, chirp and ???!!!X – What?!!! Looking up and there they were. Two Macaws, carrying on loudly, perched high on a chimney pot. Between squawks and flappings they upended into the pot. For what?

Anyway, I did know about the Macaws and had seen them low flying up the High Street one late afternoon recently. They are big, they are colourful and they are loud. (They and the man who flies them can be viewed on video.)

As I walk, the morning sound scape goes largely unnoticed. So it is with the visual scape, and the smell scape too for that matter. Only with something like the sound of the Macaws or the sight of first flowers will I notice, briefly. They escape from their background. The Macaws had their tasty inside the chimney pot, the flowers had the call of the sun to concentrate their attention. And so it is with me and the brown fluff from my socks. There it is, dark spots on the light coloured bedroom carpet. My attention is captured, briefly.

I can tolerate the spots on the carpet. However at some point I will get out the vacuum cleaner and have a good go through. Oh, and how that go through can last if I am not careful. There is always more to clean. More and more and more and then there is the recycling and the organizing of stuff. And before I know it I’m cleaning the registry on my computer at midnight. (No. I don’t do that!) This is harking back to Adrienne’s post on Distractions.

It is so easy to become carried away in ones’ day. One thing leads to another in a never ending stream. Responding to conditions or becoming carried away by them? And carried away from oneself. That (oneself) is not the self absorbed one. The me that worries unendingly about me and how to make me a better, happier, fitter-more-productive-me. And it isn’t anybody else or anything thing else either.

I have several emails waiting to be answered. This post could well answer all of them at once. Over focusing on ones foibles, faults and general life angst is, if you haven’t got the point yet, like becoming obsessed with dirt on the carpet. Buddhist practice is not about getting the carpet perfectly clean. Or about becoming in any, and all, of the endless ways one can imagine. Yes, there is cleaning to do and the loudness of the squawking is to wake one up, to get ones attention. Just that. And yes the carpet is just fine as it is – even with, so called, flaws. That’s why I say so called distractions.

Just what is it we think we are being distracted away from?

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7 thoughts on “Distracted Away From What?”

  1. Phew, I can feel that rushing from thing to thing that I can fall into as I read of the cleaning… Little things of no great import but they can take a hold so that in the end they do me as much if not more than I do them! And where am I then? It’s not easy just to be present and just to respond without adding a bit (or a lot). And how much I fail to notice. All the while the various aspects of the voice in my head wittering on. Then I (Being) might pop back a bit, for a bit and it all goes a bit softer a bit more open, stillness in the moving, awarness without any added comment.

  2. Glad to see you are doing so very well Dave. I understand and appreciate, so well, what you have written here.

    Minds witter on – and as the bumper sticker says, ‘You don’t have to believe everything you think’. First saw that sticker in a parking lot (car park) in Arcata Humboldt County, Northern California. Not so far from where contributor Jim lives. Now I have one of those stickers. It is stuck to the window beside my computer. Didn’t think England could handle it. And the car I am using is borrowed anyway.

  3. Hello Dave,

    I just have to express my appreciation of your phrase “awareness without any added comment”.Thanks much for the eloquent simplicity.

    Take good care.

    In gassho, Jim

  4. Thank you. Wonderfully timely as always, Reverend Mugo, since I am about to give up the day job… And how much time evaporates just wandering round websites and following links! In search of what exactly?! Well, support I guess. The feeling that there are indeed others out there on similar journeys. What a wonderful resource (in its rightful place!) the web can be for us.

  5. Hi Chris,
    There are others and my exerience is that support or rather connection with others of like mind/feeling is needed and does come.
    As someone who has given up the day job I wish you well, it’s not for the faint hearted but things have a way of resolving…

  6. Just a wave to you Chris. The matter of retirement is very much ‘up there’ at the moment. So I am glad that you find some timely contributions here on Jade. I hope in the future there will be posts talking directly to the training aspects of retirement.

    It does seem to take some time to settle to a different kind of day with different kinds of contact with ones human family. The real tendency is to fill up that gaping hole of a day with all sorts of getting-busy-and-productive stuff. Even really great stuff like furthering ones interests and education.

    Perhaps, if it’s possible it’s good to give oneself time and space to be uncomfortable. Lonely. Unproductive. And in the midst see what comes out of that gap time. Everybody has to live their life, retired or no. It is the real freedom to make the choices, when not under the influence of the mourning of ones working life still fresh in ones being, that can liberate and move one onwards. I see retirement as a doorway which takes awhile to walk through. Once through the living is right and as it should be. A time for the fruits of mature experience to be broadcast like seeds. No matter that they take root and grow – you are _over_ that.

    I heard on the radio that 60 is the new 40. And, since I have just turned 62 and feel better than I did at 42, I can vouch for something of the truth of this.

    And now, since I have written quite a bit, I will publish this comment as a post so it doesn’t get lost.

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