so then I have to think.

My sangha meets on first and third Saturdays at the home zendo at our teacher's house, where we do three sitting periods mixed in with a service (chanting and bowing and bells and things), a light semi-formal breakfast, work practice (cleaning stuff), and discussion of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and Trust In Mind. We often go around the group and just talk a bit about the kinds of stuff we're practicing with--we're looking for where we get stuck, those things that push our buttons, push us right to the edge of what we know how to cope with. That's where our greatest practice is. Talking about inner life is never my strong point, but it's harder these days because there's not a whole lot of stress going on. I've been heads-down on my little subproject for over a month now, not having to deal with the insane politics going on over my head. The two software architects are pretty blatantly trying to take over my engineering department. It's really something to watch.)

Anyway. The short version of the story is that I'm still busy being content and happy, and don't feel a lot of need to write or do anything other than the stuff I do. I'm even really accepting the fact that I don't actually want to be dating right now. (I've been used to it, but it's sinking in enough that I think I'm going to stop going out on dates even just for fun.) Everything changes, but that seems to be the path for the forseeable future (which isn't very far at all). But it's so strange. Everything's fine. No angst, no wanting, no scrambling after desires. I guess for some people, their life has always been like this. But mine wasn't.

I did get a reminder over the weekend of where my limits are, and they're completely, absolutely, one hundred percent in relationships. A lot of my reactions, my habitual thoughts, under stress in close relationship with another person, were just what they've always been, but I can see them and know how unreal they are. And if I don't chase after them, they evaporate, and there I am, relatively undisturbed--maybe feeling emotionally down, as I was, but also not caught in a spiral of dank and despair.

I'm trying to ramp up for my aikido test in September. (Should be the Thursday before the first weekend: anyone is welcome to come.) If I were thinking about it as much as I should be, I'd probably be nervous; but I don't, so I'm not. First kyu is a lot of material, much more than second kyu; actually, it's essentially the black belt test, without the knife takeaways. It'll be fine, though. I've been training pretty seriously for a long time, and the worst thing that would happen is that I would do a mediocre test. But I'll probably do better than that.