Overwhelm

wheelbarrow in LumbiniWHERE DO I BEGIN? I haven’t written because I don’t know what to say. I keep waiting for 2014 to settle. Do you have this feeling too? So many people I know are feeling seriously off kilter these days. Others are hurting in more tangible ways. My heart goes out to them. The world feels even more crazy than usual. Mercury is in retrograde, they say, and I’m almost convinced it matters.

I spent most of January traveling through Nepal and northern India on a pilgrimage to the most sacred ancient Buddhist sites. It overwhelmed me in so many ways, and I’ll tell you all about it another time, once I figure out how. I’ve never had such a hard time adjusting to being back from a trip. The jet lag and lingering illness (and my cat’s illness) didn’t help, but they’re pretty much squared away by now. The biggest adjustment has been in my head.

I don’t want to overdramatize. I’m fine, really. But I feel spaced out. I find myself stretched thin emotionally. Or you might just look on the bright side and say I’m emotionally open. Things are getting to me in ways they usually don’t. It’s not all bad—a lot of it is good—but it’s all a little unsettling. And tiring. It’s too much.

I’d kind of like to have a normal, relaxing week. One way might be to start doing again those things I miss doing. Like this. Maybe I need to take myself on a nice date. Maybe I need a hug from you. Don’t freak out if I start to cry.

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5 thoughts on “Overwhelm

  1. Dear Dave,
    Thanks for sharing your life with us! And I second the Dharma Alan is sharing above:
    Just heard in my class on Abhidharma: one characteristic of stepping into a new level of realization and awakening, is that a lot of old karmic patterns emerge. The example was given that if one leaves a place for good, one is first cleaning up any unfinished work at the place one is at. The method to go through this work is the patience of bearing the pain and overwhelm with patience, i.e. being patient with the pain.

    I know this can sound lame in the face of any experience, really. Patience doesn’t seem to be the change and relief that one is looking for. And at the same time, in closer contrast, patience is the antidote to that which creates the pain on the first place: looking for relief.

    Trusting cause and effect is a big step to relaxing and opening to our experience. And given that I seem to write this all very much for myself as encouragement, I am looking to you and join you in your situation with much joy in feeling connected and feeling empathy. This is a beautiful journey we are on and I am so happy that time and space can be bridged, to make this moment of practicing and reflecting the Dharma together, happen.
    Thank you for your practice and wishing you many hugs and support and relief and new horizons and much love
    Shoho

    • Shoho, I am overwhelmed (yet again) by the generosity of your reply. So glad we are connected though on opposite sides of the globe. I’ll be posting more about the trip and all this soon. Love, Dave

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