Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Maintenance of the Vehicular Circulatory

One fine early morning in about 2004ish, I set out on a Sunday morning with my son of nine years in a large red car, marked mother mother mother van. I was on my way way up the road to attend to the words of a Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, because I aspired to un-furrow my brow and calm the soul and achieve a meditational cat-like serentity delivered by a clean-shaven man swaddled in brown robes. I craved a dosage of shhhh deep thinking to counteract the boys boys boys in my life screeching and squashing and bouncing and whacking and wrestling and swinging and swatting and exploding throughout the daylight hours. So about 4/5ths of the freeway zoom there, the very red car made a hot smell and a sputtering gutteral sound ground to eary silence. I managed to coast down a five mile long grade to nearly a gas station. The verdict: no oil. I mean less than none. So never mind that the engine warning lights had gone astray and that the car may have been leaking oil gently onto my driveway for six months. We weren't going to make it to the monk, and we had a large-scale hassle on our hands, in fact a melted engine far away from home. And because we hadn't properly absorbed the monk's teachings, we were now worked up with a guilt-distress-dismay-regret-expense combo. Let's breathe in and out and review some of his words now:
Cooking Anger
you need to sustain your mindfulness for a certain amount of time in order for the flower of anger to open herself. It's like when you cook potatoes; you put the potatoes in the pot, cover it, and put it on the fire. But even with a very high flame, if you turn the fire off after five minutes, the potatoes will not be cooked. you have to keep the fire burning for at least fifteen or twenty minutes in order for the potatoes to cook. After that, you open the lid, and you smell the wonderful aroma of cooked potatoes.
Your anger is like that - it needs to be cooked. In the beginning it is raw. You cannot eat raw potatoes. Your anger is very difficult to enjoy, but if you know how to take care of it, to cook it, then the negative energy of your anger will become the positive energy of understanding and compassion .....You can do it.
Ok - so he wasn't talking about cooking car engines, but anyhow, ever since that fiasco, the aroma of engine and its maintenance has been present on ArtRanger's mindfulness list. She gets her oil changed here
not only because of the visuals, but when complete, the man displays your fresh dipstick like a fine waiter would show off his prawn shishkabob:

And one more thing from the teaching monk:
As a father or mother, you have to listen to your son or your daughter. This is very important because your son is yourself; your daughter is yourself. Your child is your continuation ...

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