Welcome to Mondo Samu - Questions and Answers about my self-work.

Mondō: "questions and answers"; a recorded collection of dialogues between a pupil and teacher.
Samu: Work service; meditation in work.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Thank you, Thay!

I started yesterday off giving my daughter a box of 120 crayons (and there is little in life more exciting for a child than that!) and then going for coffee near home.  At the coffee shop she drew pictures for the employees, each of whom always treat her like a princess.  We went home to prepare for her belated birthday party, and while cleaning out the coolers we rescued a little tree frog who spent the day in the bushes outside our house in a meditative pose.

Tremaine, the tree frog, Meditating on life.
We then spent the entire day at the pool for her 5th birthday party.  We had many friends and family around and I spent most of the time in the pool with a handful of 5 year old kids alternately attacking me, then "saving" me, from getting swept away on the "lazy river" tide pool (I guess is what it is).  It was a great day of family and friends and FUN! 

Then I mowed our yard as soon as I got home and we had family story-time before bed.  What a GREAT day!  I'm writing about it because there were two things that were very significant about the day for me.  One was that I was extremely mindful the entire day.  That kind of mindfulness is really wonderful.  To experience it all day, and to be aware of it, was just amazing.  For many, it may sound crazy that I'm even writing about something so utterly mundane.  For some it will make perfect sense.  And for those of us who have lived with obesity, it will sound like a dream.  If you're thinking "So what?!  I am in the present moment with my kids every day and play with them at the pool all the time!" then KEEP AT IT!  Good for you!  Many people live their whole lives without being fully aware of how wonderful it is.  If you're of that obese group, and you've excluded yourself from family fun because of size, self-image or simply lack of energy, then I would urge you to read "Savor" or ANY book by Thich Nhat Hanh.  The simple, clear wisdom he delivers is life altering.  It was for me anyhow. We zip through life so much, so fast.  It is nice, for me, to be learning to slow down, and pay attention. 

The second thing that was so amazing about this day was that 1 year ago, I would have complained all day long about being outside in the 100+ degree heat, would not have budged from beneath the meager shade of the tables umbrella.  I would NEVER have gotten IN the pool.  I would have been mindLESS all day and miserable.  Oh wait...I did....I did exactly that, this time last year.  We had her party at the same pool last year and I was miserable inside, outside and couldn't have been any less so to be around.  Now, one year and 105 pounds later, I'm so different in so many ways, and the day was absolutely amazing! 

And to think...a little bald guy in a robe started all this for me by instructing me to stare at an apple, while eating it mindfully, and see the universe within it.

So thank you Dr. Cheung, for your wisdom.  Thank you Thich Nhat Hanh, and the Buddha before you, for your simple, elegant, eloquent teachings and flicking the switch on in my head!


  1. The image in my head of 5 years olds "saving" you is much like the Lilliputians saving Gulliver. I know you have the most wonderful time.

  2. That's about the size of it. The munchkins were taking my Tilley (hat) and pouring water over my head while climbing all over me, then when the "lazy river" tide would wisk me away, they would swim frantically to "save" me from being swept away. We had a ton of fun.