Flood Them With Donations

I hope this rescue will get flooded with donations for saving this bully.

UPDATE: Our girl is safe and at the vet, freedom photo coming soon!! 🚨SOS🚨 We received an urgent call for this desperate girl. She’s been living tied up in horrific conditions as you can see. She has mange, is severely underweight, malnourished and appears to have had at least one litter. Despite the horror she’s endured, the people that have met her say she is the sweetest and most loving dog. We want to get her into the vet and our rescue immediately, but she will need everything. So we are asking for the support of our community to help make it happen. The first few years of this innocent dogs life have clearly been tragic, help us give her a new start and make 2018 the begging of a new life for her. Even just $5 will make a world of difference in this girls life. ❤️ ⭐️DONATION INFO⭐️ Venmo: nwdpOR PayPal: donations@northwestdogproject.org (link in bio) #help #rescue #bullterrier #bullterriersofinstagram #rescuedog #dogrescue

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💕💕SHE’S HERE!!!! 💕💕 Our precious girl has officially arrived at NWDP and ohhhh-my-goodness is she SWEET! 😍 She holds no grudges against humans and greets everyone she meets with a wagging tail and kisses. ☺️ She has clearly had at least a handful of litters, her poor skin is a mess, (likely a combo of mange, possibly allergies and just an overall lack of nutrition), she had parasites that she’s been treated for now, her blood work came back showing that she is anemic, and she also has two blood born diseases from ticks which we are currently treating. Even given all the neglect she has endured in her lifetime, our babe is in good spirits and you can tell how happy she is to be getting love. She’s got a strong appetite (she’s still got some lbs to put on, but we were pleasantly surprised to see she was not quite as underweight as we had initially expected) and we know that with some good old TLC over the next few weeks she’s going to be feeling and looking so much better! We are always so blown away by how resilient these amazing creatures are. ❤️ We cannot thank you all enough for your incredible support and generosity. Because of all of YOU wonderful people, this girl is safe and will know nothing but the #goodlife from here on out. Thank you so much for being part of our rescue team and making hers, and so many others, rescue possible. 🙏🏽❤️ Now, we are dying to hear all of your name suggestions, so please comment away!! 👇🏼

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Milan Does Not Dissapoint Either

A little bird told me that it snowed in Milan today also. Oh, how I want to go there!

Snow and Dusk Magic in New York City

It was so beautiful in Central Park today I wanted to squeal from happiness.

Great News

I've been asking the universe for this and it looks like it is happening - lab-grown meat pet food! I hope this company will get sufficient funding to roll out the products nationwide. I also hope they will have competitors so pricing will be reasonable. :) And, hope that Hill's Pets, the maker of prescription diets will also switch to lab-grown ingredients.

Ten Ways of Dealing With Difficult People

That title is a joke. Do you remember the trend on blogs, websites, etc. that everything had to be a numbered list in order to attract attention? ☺

I do have a list, however. It is scribbled on a post-it and sometimes I add to it.

The difficult person in my life is a coworker. Here is my habitual way of seeing her: young and extremely immature, unprofessional, narcissistic, possibly most negative person I’ve ever met, potentially bipolar, and with tendency to go on and on about everything that happens to pop in her mind including the most vile rumors about other coworkers. The thing is, in other situations I might have found her perplexing and somewhat entertaining even, but the problem is, I HAVE TO SIT RIGHT NEXT TO HER FOR HOURS FIVE DAYS A WEEK!

To complicate matters, I think she kind of looked up to me – we had a vegan connection. She felt comfortable enough to be who she is with me, but I was taken aback by this newly emerging stream of negativity and did not know how to deal with it. Then, through a series of events that are still somewhat of a mystery to me, she has decided to be mad at me. In a way, I saw it as a blessing – I no longer have to be her confidant. However, the last laugh might be at myself (and also, such a good life lesson), since I am kind of stuck sitting next to her while she chats all day with her buddies.

So, I felt annoyance and anger and resentment for months. I was suffering. Recently, some meditation stuff and teachings started sinking in properly and I feel like I now have a toolbox to deal with the situation much better. Here it is and I go over the points when things get rough:

  • Let’s play a game. Lately, I have the letters VR scribbled on my wrist, for virtual reality. I now try to look at life as some sort of game, like VR game. (And who has the proof that it is not – that’s what makes this way of seeing things very useful). This game has levels of difficulty. The main goal of it is to learn how to love unconditionally. It is fun to play but sometimes is very challenging as you move up the levels that are infinite as far as I can tell. ☺ You can hate the game and abandon it, but if you do, you will be returned right to where you started, so might as well play along. There is a big secret to enjoying the game and that is realizing what’s happening – that this is the game. As you play, you might forget from time to time and get swept away and too involved and that’s when you suffer. There are also ways to earn bonus points that would advance you to next levels. Those are – relaxing into being (into this moment) and compassion. Imagine, if you knew about the game, but most other VR players you meet did not realize that this is how it works. You watch them suffer because of it and you only have compassion towards them, but that would only happen if you yourself remember the setup – this is the game.
  • Gone – easily. That anything exists (for example, the game from #1 or whatever it is that exists) is a freaking miracle. There could easily be NOTHING in its place. And let’s not forget how easily you can be gone - here today, gone tomorrow; here now, gone the next moment. Easily. That you exist is a double freaking miracle.
  • Gone #2. The difficult person could also easily be gone. My coworker – she is into drugs and drinking until passing out and not remembering how she got home. If she dies tomorrow, how would I feel about resenting her all this time? I would regret it. I would wish that I was kinder to her and nonjudgemental.
  • Go to the stars. When I was on my self-retreat in Arizona, it would get dark very early – around 6:30pm. It was a bit scary to go out of the house since there were so many wild animals around and not many humans nearby. One evening, I ventured out for something anyway, equipped with my iPhone flashlight and when I looked up – OMG, what beauty! Galaxies upon galaxies! Overwhelmingly beautiful and vast and incredible. So, when things get rough, I tell myself to “go to the stars”. Remember that feeling of awe and also of how small my problems are when comparing to all that is out there.
  • Analyze it. Have you heard about analytical meditation? It is very cool and works amazing. Basically, you put out a question – whatever you can’t seem to find a solution for. You put it out in meditation and then just meditate as normal, do not think further about the matter. Every time I’ve tried this, the answer got mysteriously delivered to me. All of the sudden a nice, complete thought arrived out of the blue. When I tried this method on how to deal with “the difficult person”, this came to me: “You are her”. Wow!
  • They suffer. Even from my habitual perception's description of my coworker, you can probably see that she is not a happy person. She suffers a lot. She even told me that she was trying to learn how to deal with her anger. Can there be compassion for that? Certainly, tons of compassion.
  • I suffer. Can there be compassion for myself? I get angry and annoyed and if I do not use “the tools”, I am stuck in suffering. Can there be compassion towards feelings of anger and annoyance? Do they have the right to be? Where are they in the body? Can they be acknowledged and not pushed away?
  • Not “eating” what is being served. Based on one of the sutras, where Buddha says he will not accept what is being served, can I also not accept the strong negativity that is being served sometimes? Negativity is in the air and it is in the gossipy whispering and acid comments, but do I need to accept it? No, I have a choice not too.
  • “An Alternative Day” game. I was reading a blog post on presence, and in the comments, several people have mentioned that the movie About Time was very helpful to them. When I learned more about the plot, I thought that the idea behind it was genius! Basically, in the movie, the main character can live his day, life, moment, as he would normally would, and then he had a chance to come back and re-live those with more understanding and also the understanding of the limited time in this life and that every moment matters. The movie itself might be silly – I haven’t seen it yet, but what a great tip! If I were in my “alternative” day, minute, moment, how would I act, what would I say? I love that this has elements of game and imagination too.
  • Dependent origination. Oh, how I would love to fix things! However, will there ever be an end of things to fix? Why are things “broken”? Why are they the way they are? Why is my coworker negative? The thing is, billions of events had to happen to arrive at this current point in time. Am I in control of those billions of events or do I even want to be? I can’t “fix” anything. I can just have understanding and compassion of the way things are and try to work on myself, especially work on myself whenever judgemental thoughts arrive (often, so lots of work to do).
  • Worst problem. My coworker is annoying? Let this be my worst problem! Out of all the problems and difficulties one can have, is this one nearly that bad? ☺ I will take it over most others any day.
  • To be remembered? I think “Things are unfair!” Will I remember these particular unfair things when I am dying or even in five years? Don’t think so.
  • Thank you, teacher! Remember how I wrote about looking for a teacher? This coworker is a great teacher, actually. Look how many things I’ve learned because of her!
  • Is that so? This one is based on the Zen story where a monk gets accused of impregnating a girl, and he says “Is that so?” and accepts the responsibility for the baby. Then, the girl admits to her family that she lied to cover up the real father’s name. To which, the monk replies “Is that so?” again. ☺ Whatever stories I’ve made up about the situation with my coworker, is that so? I am not so sure, so why suffer based on those.
  • Who is suffering? So, I’ve noticed that on some days I was really bothered by the situation, but on other days, not so much. What’s going on? The trigger is exactly the same, but it is me, who seems to be floating from suffering to no suffering? Who is this me? Why does it keep changing? What’s going on? ☺
  • Things I like. I enjoy my job and I actually like where my desk is. Can I be satisfied with that and not let other things bother me or make me move to another corner of the office?
  • Deadline. If all of the above fail, I gave myself a date in the future where I will ask to move desks. ☺ My coworker can’t wait to get out also, so she might be gone by that time anyway. :)

Life on Meditation (Nov 2017 Issue)

Last week, one of the biggest sources of stress returned and I watched how it influenced me. People say that I am now less reactive to small stuff and I think I agree with that, but on the other hand I suspect that I feel major stressors much more. I feel those in my body mostly. The stress last week made me tense up a lot and I kept noticing it. It was very uncomfortable and tiring.

The good thing is that now I am equipped with so many tools to deal with this:
  • noticing the tension and softening it
  • noticing the tension and embracing it
  • noticing the tension and sending compassion to it and myself
  • noticing the tension and working with energy therapies (self-treatments) such as Reiki or SourcePoint or Zhan Zhuang (thank you, streamentry people for sharing that one – I love it)
Also, this came to me in sitting yesterday – realization that I am cool with whatever comes in mediation. Tension, discomfort - they seem very interesting, all of the sudden – the way they are, the way they come and go. There is a curiosity to investigate them, to watch them. Playfulness almost. Same with getting distracted, lost in thoughts, worries or planning. How interesting that that had to happen and that it came and went.

The Greatest Gift

NPR has Sufjan's soon to be released The Greatest Gift in its entirety! I assume that this will be pulled once the album comes out tomorrow, so hurry and listen. :)

Happy Tofurky Day!

Was so nice to see this campaign right on 33rd street by Macy's in NYC, where the Thanksgiving day parade will be and thousands of people walk to and from Penn Station.

We are all set to "sleep and eat" this weekend - I made two pumpkin pies and purchased an extra box of Trader Joe's Tureky-Less Stuffed Roast, because leftovers do not last very long in our house. :)

Wishing you peace and love this holiday weekend!

P.S.: Thanksgiving posts from previous years. Turkeys galore!

Zen, Dogs, and Donkeys

“Meditation is enlightenment. Just being in that moment is enlightenment. It’s not about getting somewhere. It is about being here. That is what life is about.”

What a beautiful video! Extra points for all the dogs and donkeys (and cats, he says).

In the Middle of Now

I’ve read so many things so I do not know where the idea below came from. It feels very intuitive and kicks in when the conditions are right for it.

Lately, this instruction comes during meditation once things are relatively settled. It usually happens when I cruise on “resting awareness on the breath”. The instruction / intention is to “get in the middle of now”. At this point, breath sensations strangely get mixed up with color sensations, so that I experience breathing as various shades of black interacting. When I do the “middle of now”, it almost feels like top of the breath is a little black arrowhead that dives into the sea of blackness.

I did this today, and it turns out, that the middle of now has quite a lot in store for me. First, I started breathing as if I just completed the NYC marathon. I can’t make myself breathe like that if you would ask me to try it now. Then, tears came, then, sadness. I find it very interesting that tears would be before the actual emotion and even more interesting, to experience emotion without knowing the underlying cause – just pure raw emotion. The sadness stops suddenly – that is also very cool, as if someone is pressing “emotion” buttons to see what each one does. Some more unusual breathing followed, and a bit of moaning as if experiencing low-grade pain, and a weird guttural sound almost like very quite growl.

It felt good to get all of this stuff out. Afterwards, there was a feeling of nice calm. So, I will definitely explore diving into the middle of experience again. It is pretty cool. I also see how it can be applied off the cushion – to everything.