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Welcome to my blog, a quasi-weekly column on topics and issues that have my attention, or that are intended to inform or inspire--including the following reminder:

"Realize why you're here, and be about it!"

My 27 days of transformative change are over

My 27 days of transformative change (abbreviated CXC) are over and the consensus is that I regressed.  Although I honored the form of my commitments, I felt barred from the spiritual content.  I’d lost “beginner’s mind,” the ability to engage the practice period as an opportunity for profound spiritual practice.  Instead, the practice period became just another item on my To-Do list.  “Goals for the Week:  Honor CXC commitments.  Check.”  How disappointing.

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Practice, practice, practice

It was a troublesome week.  My visiting family members left and my life should have returned to normal--meaning I should have been able to return to my 27 Days of Transformative Change formal practice commitments.  And in some ways I did: meditate daily?  Check.  (Three times/day? No check.)  Refrain from alcohol consumption? Check.  Limit meat consumption?  Check.  Give three hours/week or more to community organizing?  Check.  Live from a place of mindful awareness of the matrix of conscious intelligence in which I am embedded? No flippin' way...and I was quite cranky about it.      

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We interrupt this practice period

Last Thursday, my mom, sister, niece, and three nephews came from Yuma, Arizona, to spend a long weekend with us.  We celebrated my youngest sister's 42nd birthday, cheered my brother's first place finish in the Master's Divison of the Rincon Classic surf contest, and reveled in the happy chaos of extended family.  My formal practice intentions pretty much flew out the window.  I wasn't silent, missed our Sunday sangha check-in, and barely got my butt to touch the cushion. 

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The second time around

So I've completed the first week of my second "Twenty-Seven Days of Transformative Change" practice period and here's what I've learned:  it's harder the second time around. 

That's counter-intuitive, right?  Things should be easier.  I should be able to drop right back in to the deeper level of awareness, serenity, and gratitude I experienced towards the end of my first 27 days of practice last December.  I expected to feel immediately enriched and empowered by my intentions for this practice period, just as I was last time.   But I was wrong.  I under-estimated the ego.

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What's my purpose?

Our thought for this, Day Two, of our 27 Days of Transformative Change is "What is your purpose in making this commitment?"  More to the point: as this is my SECOND 27-day "transformative change" practice period, why did I sign up again?  Did I not transform enough the first time?  How much more can I change?  Am I just a self-improvement junkie with such deep self-loathing that I have to be working on myself to feel okay? 

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Twenty seven days of transformative change

Today I start my second "Twenty-Seven Days of Transformative Change" mindfulness practice with the Center for Transformative Change.  I've made a commitment to myself to give selfless service, reduce harm, reclaim difficult relationships, choose life every day, be disciplined in my meditation practice, and "dissolve all ideas of who is doing practice, who practice is done for, and practice that is done."  In other words, I practice for its own sake, indifferent to results.

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An open letter to our President

Dear Beloved President:

Sometimes the most visionary act is also the most profoundly pragmatic. In times of great crisis or great opportunity, visionary change may be the most pragmatic action we can take. 

No one knows better than you the challenges we face: from dwindling oil supplies to rising sea levels; from crumbling infrastructure to soaring debt; from a Congress apparently bought and paid for by corporate interests to one that can’t seem to agree on anything beyond increasing the defense budget.

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