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marystan
15 February 2009 @ 04:53 pm
Tomorrow I'm going to play archaeologist. That's not why I'm excited. I'm excited because I'm going to see Rasha. She is a Syrian woman who I've excavated with since 2004, and she is spending six weeks in LA working on the material from a very important unit we dug for a few years. Tomorrow I'm going to see her and spend the day working on the material. Rasha is lovely, lovely, lovely. This picture is from the last evening we spent in Syria back in '07. It was just your typical evening lying around being weird. I'll also get to see Giorgio and Marilyn and Iko and the rest of the archaeology tribe. Nice.


In Tell Tamar with our cook Abu Asher to the left of Rasha, and our driver to the right. The wonderful Fonda (who now works for the ACLU in Boise) is sitting along the river.
In the excavation.
Syrian woman are awesome.
 
 
marystan
09 February 2009 @ 09:55 am
Dee-lightful. The rain is still coming down. Ah, this is winter, Socal style.
I just came out of four days of pretty intensive training with my teacher-to-be cohorts. Much love in that circle. And it was my turn to co-teach the Sunday class in front of THEM and receive some feedback. My perfectionist self has been relatively quiet and I've been able to receive the input with equanimity and the realization that their suggestions can only make it better. Where has the 'real' me gone? I am also in this new life of not-Xerox and different schedules and responsibilities and realizing that getting back to normal is not an option because 'normal' is constantly changing and moving and waking up to the way it is today is what I get to do. Good stuff.


 
 
marystan
05 February 2009 @ 07:54 am
We like the moon, but maybe not as much as cheese...



Singalong with a Spongmonkey...
 
 
marystan
05 February 2009 @ 07:48 am
So thanks to dasenergi for this meme which I first did last year. Yeah, I know I'm a month behind but that doesn't matter at all, at all. This is the first sentence of the first post each month from 2008. Not much seems to have changed, but other things have changed a lot. And it was  a nice trip down memory lane. What an amazing year I had.

2008

Last night I went to my third New Year's Intention Setting with Noah and the Dharma Punx crew. Happy February! It continues. I started this post to track my journey through the last few months of my life while doing the Year-to-Live practice. My life is so full these days that it's like those old games you used to play. Yeah, it's Tuesday, but I've been thinking about last weekend a lot. I've been gone from LJ for ages and ages. I've been back from Syria a year. Checking in because it's been a while. Working two jobs really takes a toll; I miss my husband and my friends. Drinking coffee and reflecting this morning that I will finally be in my home for more than five days in a row for the first time in a month. I got home from my 10-day retreat about six pm on Sunday evening.

 
 
marystan
02 February 2009 @ 08:05 pm
Apparently I took January off from blog-land. Hmm. January is typically a long month and this was no different. I stopped working at Xerox on 12/31/08, and have been employed only by Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society since. It was a long journey, but once I walked away from Xerox, I have not looked back. As with anything else, I miss the friendships, but email is always there. Now there is the challenge of something totally new and different. My personal demon is self-doubt, but it seems to be hanging back at the moment. I've had a few nights of wide open eyes, but was able to stay in the moment and the day was fine. Fear hasn't lingered. Lot's of things have gone on in January.

-- I started teaching meditation at a couple of recovery centers and I am in heaven. I cannot believe how much I enjoy it, but I think the reaction of the people and how it makes even the smallest difference to them is such a joy to behold.
-- My niece Monica and her husband Kevin came out from Philadelphia and spent a week with us. Monica wanted to spend her 40th birthday in LA with so many of her friends. She is a lovely diva and had her party at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA. Now that's a swanky place. We had much fun that week.
-- I got another tattoo, this of a sock bunny over my heart. Retreat after retreat has brought up how much more time I want to be with my husband. For some reason we've called each other bunny for years (origins lost in the mists of time, you know). So I got a bunny over my heart. It's almost our 20th wedding anniversary so I've decided to make a commitment. Ha. [pictures eventually].
-- Cried and cried and cried over Obama and the inauguration and the important message he brings to us about taking responsibility and being accountable, oh, and being here for each other.
-- Inauguration day is also the anniversary of my father's death. He died the day Kennedy was inaugurated. I was five, but my brother, who was attending West Point at the time, was actually in Washington at a color guard or something. Those memories are always there.
-- Learning, learning, learning. It's all about learning new things all the time.
-- I read The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. Greg my boss at Xerox told me I HAD to read it. It's great and so chock full of information. I don't necessarily agree that free-markets are a panacea but I feel I know so much more about the global phenomenon than I did before. And it's an easy read. Glad Greg is still my friend.
-- Gone are the 8-5, 40-hour work weeks. Now it's working when there is stuff to be done. Saturday? Sunday? Evening? Yeah. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
-- Is everyone an Aquarius?

And a bunch of other stuff. Hi everyone. Hope you're all well...Good to be back. I missed you.



 
 
 
marystan
29 December 2008 @ 03:20 pm
Life is like a pair of heavy boots right now. Picking one up and putting it down. Picking the next one up and putting it down. Yeah, doing walking meditation in combat boots. But it's a good thing. Xerox is slipping away, slipping, slipping, slipping. That's good too. That and all the Hannukah goodness we ate yesterday. Macaroons are my favorite part of Judaism.


 
 
marystan
28 December 2008 @ 11:57 am
I've spent a few days playing Luddite and not getting on line. It's nice because I tend to 'go to work' and it's good to have some total days off. Each moment marches into the next. Friday I went into Xerox and cleaned out the drawers of my cubicle. I've been working from home for quite some time so there is not much there. But there are all those toys and life-size rats that people have left on my desk. That's a habit of 25 years. I have a huge box of wind-up toys and other odd paraphernalia in the garage from the last time I quit Xerox in 1996. Now there is another, smaller collection.
I also had lunch with my friend Linda from Xerox. We've known each other and been friends since the early 80's (when all those movies they seem to be playing on TV were new). She is transferring up to Washington State and leaves this week. It kind of makes it okay. If Linda is leaving the area, then I won't miss much at mother X. It makes sense. We went out and had matzoh-ball soup at the deli we've been going to since I used to be hungover every day. Actually, I had my favorite: kreplach soup and a half of a tongue sandwich. Oy vey.
Christmas was good and quiet. Sees Candy and coffee for breakfast. Chinese food for dinner. A Christmas Story in the evening. And lovely rain. And we got the cats wasted on some powerful catnip-filled socks. Oh, yeah, vicarious pleasure.
I did the sit at the meditation center on Christmas eve. Five people came and we talked about why we were there. A Buddhist-Christmas sangha. Lovely.
I thank all my bloggie friends for all the movie reviews. I want to watch more movies and have gotten lots of good ideas.
I'm feeling warm and comfortable and grateful to be in the moment. This may pass, but lovely to be here now.

 
 
marystan
21 December 2008 @ 11:52 am
I may be dense but it's all in transition again. Aw shucks, it's always in transition except sometimes it's more or less noticeable. And then it's the solstice when the days start getting longer again, even if it's imperceptible. It almost makes me sad because I love the darkness and when I even think the days will be getting longer I start thinking about 100 degree days that last until midnight. Okay, come back to now when I have frost in the back yard and those lingering squash plants freeze over. I love this season of cold and dark. I am not even hating christmas this year but have found myself capable of playing nice. Actually I ignore it until just about now and then I can be in the spirit for a few days while the frenzy passes. Luckily our house is not frenzified. It's nice to be in the place of Just This Moment as everything whirls around. I don't get enough of that because sometimes it equals just lying around and doing nothing. Maybe that's what I like about xmas this year, the chance to lie around and eat chocolate for breakfast and chinese food for dinner.
Everything arises and passes away, arises and passes away. Today the fear doesn't grip, but is just seen for what it is, arising and passing away.



 
 
marystan
16 December 2008 @ 11:30 am
It's Tuesday and the year is almost over. I'm really excited because on January 1, I will have only one job. I'm excited to have all my time to devote to working at the Center and doing what needs to be done. I'm excited because I've turned the corner and am okay with leaving Xerox after 25 years. It's been what I would call a lengthy transition with multitudes of feelings and fears coming from all directions. It's all about sitting with what comes and let go of trying to figure things out. Like I could ever figure out the future anyway. It's still a little bittersweet about Xerox, but the excitement outweighs it. The corner has been turned.
Oh, and that figuring out the future thing? Well, yesterday I got an email from the director of my archaeology excavations. They are working on the publications this February and March and need my help and will give me money. HA! I quit archaeology after 28 years and then they give me money. No, you can NEVER figure it out.

 
 
marystan
12 December 2008 @ 07:47 am
I love Jon Stewart; he's smart and funny. And last night I watched his interview with Mike Huckabee on gay marriage where he makes a cogent argument and Huckabee sticks to outdated, wrong and ultimately foolish talking points. Now that Sarah Palin is out of sight, I see Jon's next cause...