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Hooray! One-Year Anniversary Blog!

August 23, 2010

It is now (just barely) August 23rd, and this blog is one year old!!

137 posts! At least 2 posts per week, on average.

I am tired right now, so this isn’t going to be as well-written and articulate posting like the one I wrote this afternoon, which I thought was pretty darn good.

One year.. has passed.

I’ve really dug into Buddhism, and will continue to do so.

I have determined that I am not into Zen, but might be into another form of Buddhism.

I have written about many types of spirituality and many different kinds of people.

There have been blogs about caring for animals at a wildlife center. I am still volunteering once a week, and had a pretty good shift overall this past evening, even though 4 birds escaped. Good thing I mostly work indoors and the birdies don’t get too far.

My first post was about animals. I think my main intention for this blog might have been to write about the critters I take care of and those that are around being helped that I am not responsible for.

In less than a month after I started the blog, I started writing about Buddhism. I addressed the subject of religion even before that. Yes, this blog really does go all over, and so does my mind, and that is why I have the title “Wandering Spirit.”

How will the next year be? BETTER, I hope.

I think I have come to some important conclusions.

I am possibly a Buddhist.. but not sure yet, or maybe I am, and just not ready to admit it to myself.. hmmm… I’m certainly still interested in Buddhism though, after months that have passed when I was not. I plan on going to a seminar on Tibetan Buddhism next month (see more on that in the posting right below this one).

I have dallied with the idea of becoming a pagan, but most aspects of paganism are DEFINITELY not for me. So I continue studying Buddhism, and mix in some yoga, bit of Hinduism and Taoism.

Damn, sometimes the argument for the existence of karma actually makes some sense to me! I could elaborate more here, but I won’t – I’m more tired than usual at this time.

Guitars – I have no guitars in my room now. I have hand drums, irish whistles, and a month ago I got a basic Yamaha keyboard that mostly works rather well and sounds great. It’s a model called the NP-30, in case you are wondering. Grand piano sounds on a budget. I didn’t have to pay much for it, because I traded in a saxophone that I’d never learned to play.

If I can stand applying myself, I think just maybe I can get good at this instrument.

I have not played the whistles much, even though I’ve been getting good. This is because of chronic tinnitus, which, tonight, is bearable.

I have spent countless hours reading – some novels and some non-fiction.

I have gotten into the Night Watch series of Discworld novels, and mostly, have found them to be exceedingly brilliant!!

I watched all 5 seasons of “The Wire,” on DVD, twice. Most amazing TV show – EVER!!

I actually have helped the world a little, in some ways. I have continued to be of help to my parents and aunt and grandma.

I have continued to care for animals, except for two months in the spring.

I have been tutoring a Mexican student in ESL since December. I am doing this as a volunteer. He is a very good student, and I am a very good tutor.

I have started chanting mantras – I found an app for that! For the iPhone – the app is called iMantra, and needs some work, but is definitely usable and helpful. I feel I should do these mantras more often – as in regularly. I believe sound can be a healer.

Tonight I listened again to some Buddhist teachings in the Tibetan tradition from a podcast by a nun named Robina Courtin. She’s from Australia. I got to hear her speak, and meet her a few years ago.

I had been trying for months to erase these teachings from my iPod, after I’d (ha ha) decided I’d lost interest in Buddhism, but still these teachings stayed on my device, and I’m glad they did.

I didn’t go straight home from the wildlife center tonight. I took a country drive through orchards and small towns before heading home – enjoying the drive, the night and Ms. Courtin’s words. You can find her podcasts on iTunes.

What else about the past year? Mostly I do not want to remember it. I hope I can do right and do well in the future.

I hope I can either someday be a real practicing Buddhist, or else give it up entirely.

I hope I will no longer ever be tormented by thoughts of Christianity.

I hope my mental health GREATLY improves.

This really could be a year of changes. Perhaps I can really get into Buddhism – in its Tibetan form. Maybe I can get past my skepticism and pessimism and obsessive difficulties, and.. I would like to be religious in some way, and spiritual at the same time.

I will continue to appreciate Nature. Nature is beyond any religion. I hope I can become more mindful when I am out in nature, and more mindful all the time.

Maybe I will move with my family to Idaho this year. My aunt and mom are very optimistic about this. I am not as much, but still somewhat…

I am not a prognosticator. I hope this will be a much better year, and that I will have much happier, many many much happier entries to write in the future.

Maybe I can actually get my act together gradually and maybe I can stop being so hard on myself and

well… maybe a lot of things.

Life can be so terribly hard. Surviving so difficult, even while living in an industrialized nation like the one I reside in.

I think my greatest accomplishment this year, is that I am still alive, still here.

And.. maybe (probably?) I will be dropping in next year to celebrate the second anniversary of this blog. I wonder what I will have written by then??

Thanks to those of you not trying to sell a product or service who were kind enough to leave a comment for me. I have enjoyed our dialogs. Good health and well being to all of you. And to all sentient beings, as the Buddhists say.

I don’t want to spend anymore time reflecting on the year. I will try to live by the lessons I have learned, and not think much at all on the pain of learning those lessons. Better to think about the pain I won’t experience later, well that is still framing it negatively.. better just to say lessons learned therefore life gets better. It is important THAT I learned a lesson, not HOW I learned it.

No more guitar playing at all, unless I move to Idaho and my brother and/or his kids want to learn a few basic chords and techniques.

Whatever job I need to do should really absorb my mind. I don’t know what that job is! (Or those jobs are??)

Things to improve in my life I can mostly do in my room with little or no financial cost – music, reading, learning, math, art..

Things I am thankful for..

Food and shelter, caring relatives, excellent music (special thanks to Van Halen, The Black Keys, The White Stripes, Needfire, King’s X, and.. Hooverphonic!!

Books! Discworld! And also books by Neil Gaiman and Tim Dorsey.

Nonfiction by Dinty Moore (The Accidental Buddhist) and Benjamin Hoff (Tao of Pooh and Te of Piglet)

Magazines – The Atlantic! Great magazine I’ve been reading these past few months. Also the Buddhist magazine Tricycle, and occasionally Smithsonian magazine.

This WordPress blog site! Best I’ve tried!

Photography.

A much cooler (weather-wise) than normal summer! Excellent! Beautiful!

Less noise lately from neighbors!

Safety – no one harmed or burgled or any property vandalized this year.

A fairly good keyboard.

iPhone apps that actually help! iMantra, iReadmusic, Pianochords, RevChordPro, Wordbook

eMusic – online music service

Pandora radio ( I need to re-subscribe)

Netflix and redbox for not having to deal with any people when trying to rent movies. Nice!

Movies! Whip It! One of my favorites! The Iron Man flicks, and my all time favorite movies that were made in years past : “Lost in Translation,” “Wonderboys,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” “The Commitments,” “Juno,” “I Heart Huckabees,” “Body of Lies,” “Syriana,” and the first 5 films by Wes Anderson.

Animals to work with – no major injuries caused by raptors, and have been enjoying working with the smaller, safer little birds since May.

The Library – hugely grateful for that!

A very good student to tutor, and being able to tutor well.

Some things I’ve left behind.

Lessons finally learned.

This computer, although I waste far too much time using it and really should learn how to use it better and much more wisely!

At least partial recovery of dad’s mental health.

Mom being cancer-free!

My brother and his family – who visited us this summer.

Being able to type fast.

A possibility of moving.

Having at least some talents.

Nature.

Some hope for the days ahead.

Possibilities:

Much improved mental health!

Peace in my head, joy in my life, and peace about women and religion.. etc.

Taking more responsibility for my life and becoming a better human.

Finding the right career to pursue!!

Having a spiritual life!

Eating better.. maybe becoming a vegetarian or vegan, or maybe not, but eating better, regardless.

Clarity!

Contributing more to improvement in the lives of others.

Moving to a much quieter part of the country..

Many happy blog postings to write!

That’s pretty much all I have to say right now. I’m tired, starting to get hungry, and wanting to shut my mind down for awhile – read for a bit (back to Discworld) and go to sleep.

Lots to do tomorrow.

May the next year be wonderful!

Thanks for reading!

Goodnight.

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