This is my interpretation of the meaning of the Alanis Morissette song, Thank You (also known as Thank U). I don’t claim any special knowledge about the song; this interpretation of the lyrics is just based on my understanding of Zen and Buddhism. If you’ve read this website, you know a lot of what I know.
I’ll be joining a new yoga class soon, and I was just thinking about what I might say, or not say, to the other students in the class about the things I’ve experienced when practicing yoga very seriously. In an open discussion during a previous yoga class I told other students that I was able to feel various things when we did the “corpse pose” at the end of the session. I didn’t go into great detail, but I did tell them that I could feel my blood flowing in my body, how I could feel “vibration” sensations on my skin, and a few other things.
In the third line of her song, Thank You, Alanis Morissette sings, “How about them transparent dangling carrots?” In this article I’ll take a little look at what that line means.
“The path I have followed has been dangerous, destabilizing more than calm, excruciating more than pleasant, and hard to integrate (into ‘normal’ everyday life). It has also been profound, amazing, and glorious. Surfing the ragged edges of reality has been easier than slowing the thing down.”
~ A quote from the book, Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, by Daniel Ingram.
When my candidate loses an election like this, I feel like Al Gore in 2000: I want to sit on the couch, drink beer, eat pizza, grow my beard, and wonder what the hell happened.
While it feels horrible now, Al Gore turned his lemon into lemonade. He works with Apple and Google, is pursuing his passion in environmental activism, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
All of which makes me think of this old Taoist story.
The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there’s no ground.
~ Chögyam Trungpa
Expectations lead to suffering. :)
“Eventually we develop a continuity of awareness that allows us to maintain full awareness during dream as well as in waking life.”
From the book, The Tibetan Yogas Of Dream And Sleep.
When I first sit down to meditate, my mind is often too busy to get into it well, so one thing I’ve learned to do is to try to meditate for about eight minutes, then get up, stretch a little bit (a few yoga stretches), then sit back down to meditate normally. My second attempt is usually significantly better than my first attempt. There are other things you can do to calm the mind, but this works well for me.
Another thing I was reminded of again today is that the quality of meditation often changes over time. Today there was something new, and I thought, “Cool ... this is different,” before getting back to the meditation at hand. For me that happens a lot, so I assume it happens for other people as well.