Centering


29 March 2022

Last week, one of my cats, Emmanuel, was admitted for diabetes. His conditions have since stabilised and will be discharged soon.

Waiting for the vet to see Emmanuel last Thursday. It had been a tense week.

Since March last year, Emmanuel & Oliver have been waking me up at all kinds of hours through their daily territorial disputes.

Sleep deprived & anxiety-ridden, I wandered the mall last Friday in hope of getting a new cat carrier for Emmanuel’s follow up vet trips as the current one has rusted and is being held together by cable ties.

Emmanuel is 15. Oliver is 16. Both cats are as healthy as can be given their age. But realistic as I am, signs of ill health trigger memories of the suffering of my 10 cats and 1 dog before they passed on over the years. And in Emmanuel’s case, concerns over if I can administer the twice daily insulin jabs occupied my mind.

In the midst of meditating on syringes, the image of the world’s largest mandala, the Boudha Stupa came to me. I was gently reminded to unfetter my mind by accepting all things.

World Mandala of Peace, Boudha Stupa during pavement repairment work in 2019.

And as I was about to pick up the new cat carrier & head home, a friend texted to ask if we could meet up for tea.

Tea? How could I have time for tea? Don’t you know I’m in the midst of a meltdown? But I resisted my self-centered habitual responses and said “Yes” to tea. And yes, worrying is so dangerously seductive. It gives a false impression of feeling responsible even as it keeps the worrier fixated & drained.

During tea, my friend found out that his evening appointment had been postponed. Since I had no plans except to worry, I accepted his invitation to see the art space he had set up to pursue his pottery passions.

Still thinking of syringes, I was content to just watch my friend at the studio throwing a pot on his newly acquired potter’s wheel.

But he being generous, insisted that I gave the clay a go. He would help me touch up the final product if needed.

And so on Friday evening, while my cat received intravenous fluid at the clinic, I sat at the potter’s wheel in my friend’s studio to connect with the silkiness of wet clay and the coolness of water as I attempted to throw a pot for the first time in 36 years.

Touching earth to feel grounded.

As I leaned my elbows on the basin for added stability as taught by my friend, and held the lump of clay firmly in both hands, my breath returned. A centering peace soon emerged from the spinning mandala of a potter’s wheel. It seeped into my fingers, travelled up my arms, touched my shoulder & ascended my head through my neck.

My Bowl of Acceptance

And in that moment, my mind was still even as everything before me was in motion. Sitting at my friend’s potter’s wheel was the break I needed to be unhinged from the cycle of constant worrying & feeling of inadequacy.

I wish all who are reading this post timely inspiration from the Divine and supervision of wise friends in your hour of need.🙏

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