It came to my attention over the course of this weekend that a few more people than I expected are reading my webble. I was rather taken aback, since I thought that anyone who reads it posts, although that is a silly assumption.
So now I am going to strive to make reading this worth your while. Only, I can't figure out how to start...
Spring break is coming up, and so I'm distracting myself from my classwork by browsing possible things that Nathan and I can do over the break. Some of our friends are going down to Florida, which sounds nice and warm. Others are off to Paris. Although I'd like to think that I'd enjoy such trips, I know that what I need is a real break - no traveling, no driving - none of that. Our original plan was to take the train to Toronto to visit friends whom we met in Haifa, but we decided we'd rather stay home and venture out only in spurts.
I mean, I really need a break!
I was thinking also about materialism - and the desire of the self. I've been practising a little excercise recently called "watch the monkey," which I read about in the most recent issue of "Spirituality and Health." This exercise is designed to allow you to conquer the incessant self - my ego that pops its way into almost everything that I do!
Here's what you do:
In a group of people (like class or with two or more friends), sit an watch the conversation. Don't involve yourself in it, but listen to your ego and its promptings. When an urge to react comes, simply note it and name it. It may sound vague, but here's an example:
Yesterday night I was listening to two friends talk about W. E. B. Dubois. As I listened, I found myself wanting to say things like, "Yeah, I knew that." Even though sometimes I didn't really. I wanted to assert my coolness by showing that I knew a lot of information. And so, when these urges came up, I simply said in my brain, "monkey, your name is attention," because I would have said something to draw attention to myself.
Is that clear? It looks rather jumbled. But it's an interesting thing to do. Since the Fast is a time of reflection before the New Year, and since my ego is such a huge issue (since it's such a huge thing!), I am enjoying squashing it. Or at least reflecting on it.