Bunny Blog

Moment of Bunniness: Wild Bun 2

Our second wild bun for the week is this adorable youngster I came across years ago while traveling in the Denver area. If this isn’t internal harmony, then I don’t know what is. Thank you, little wild bunny, for being such a lovely example for those of us still struggling to find that elusive sense of inner peace.

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Need more bunniness? Try these:

  • Moment of Bunniness: Wild Bun
  • Moment of Bunniness: BUN
  • Moment of Bunniness: Pipi
  • Moment of Bunniness: Wild Bun

    For a change of pace this week, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some wild bunnies. Here’s one moment of bunniness featuring a wild bun, along with a reminder that there are no shortcuts to bunniness.

    We each face a path, and it might not be the one we wanted or thought we were going to get, but it is our path nonetheless. As seekers of bunniness, all we need to do is keep hopping and trying our best–every single day.

    If I can keep hopping, I know you can, too!

    Photo: Nickolay Stanev/Shutterstock
    Photo: Nickolay Stanev/Shutterstock

    Need more bunniness? Try these:

  • Moment of Bunniness: Julian
  • Moment of Bunniness: Kokomo
  • Moment of Bunniness: Dynah
  • Allowing Room for Healing from Grief

    Today is the first day since my husband’s suicide that I experienced the witness in my meditation. For the past eight months, I have experienced only an ongoing struggle with anger, tears, and racing thoughts that were intractable to say the least.

    Photo: Tonny de Lasson/Shutterstock
    Photo: Tonny de Lasson/Shutterstock
    If I were an enlightened being whose practice had taken me to a level where I no longer held any attachments, perhaps it would have taken less time to reach this stage. But I am not an enlightened being. I am an ordinary person dealing with ordinary life and grieving the loss of someone I loved in the best way I know how.

    To this point, I have tried mostly to be compassionate with myself and to allow room for the grieving process. This meant letting some overwhelming feelings exist in their extreme form for a while. The best I could do was refrain from feeding any additional energy into them.

    At long last, the extreme feelings have settled into more manageable moments of thought. Now, when thoughts arise about incredibly painful aspects of my husband’s death, I can breathe with the pain and let go of the storyline. I feel myself becoming closer to forgiveness for both him and myself, though I know it will still take time.

    While I’m not sure today’s experience is quite cause for celebration, I would say I think it is a sign of healing. I know the experience of losing my husband will color the rest of my life, but it doesn’t have to dictate the rest of my life. I will take this small sign of health as a signal that I am heading in the right direction and as motivation to keep on hopping.

    For more about grieving:

  • Grieving Mindfully with Mindfulness Mutt
  • How to Deal with Intense Emotions in Meditation: 3 Simple Steps
  • Recommended Reading:

    “We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
    – Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

    Moment of Bunniness: Brownie

    Thank you to Theresa L. for capturing this pic of her lovely little Brownie in a quiet moment of bunniness. This pic is a great reminder that we can’t keep going all the time. Sometimes we need to slow down, take a few deep breaths, and experience the healing power of silence.

    Brownie the bunny, Photo courtesy of Theresa L.
    Brownie the bunny, Photo courtesy of Theresa L.

    Need more bunniness? Try these:

  • Moment of Bunniness: Keiko
  • Moment of Bunniness: Eva
  • Moment of Bunniness: Kaku
  • Grieving Mindfully with Mindfulness Mutt

    Despite having my key with me, I got locked out of my house this morning when I went to walk the dog. I’ve come to accept that life comes with its minor frustrations, but this minor frustration became one of those huge “I can’t believe this is happening to me” ordeals, especially since I have a history of horrible Good Fridays.

    Immediately, I recognized my thoughts trying to run away with me. I reminded myself to breathe with my frustration, and for a moment I thought I did a pretty good job of letting it go.

    Thankful that I’d had the forethought to bring my phone on my walk, I googled 24-hour locksmiths and saw an ad that said, “15 minute response 24/7.” When I called, the man said a tech would call me back. When the tech called, he said he would arrive in 30 minutes.

    Fortunately, I live near a drive-thru Dunkin’ Donuts and I did have my keys with me, after all, so I hopped in the car with my dog. She got wet paw prints all over the seats because it had rained overnight, but I recognized my irritation and reminded myself that wet paw prints do eventually dry.

    I was determined to make the most out of my predicament.

    Coffee in hand, I drove back home to sit on the stoop and enjoy my morning beverage while I waited for the locksmith. 30 minutes later, he called to say he was going to be 10 minutes late. My own patience wearing thin, I tried to see the situation through my dog’s eyes.

    For those of you who like dogs as well as bunnies, please allow me to introduce my dog, Salem (a.k.a. Mindfulness Mutt).

    When the tech finally arrived, I told him I had my key and it just wouldn’t turn. He told me it would cost $325 for him to drill out the lock and let me in. Once he drilled the lock, he told me it would cost another $125 plus labor to replace the doorknob.

    Convinced he was ripping me off, I politely told him to go ahead and do it. He left to get the new lock from his car. And I broke down in tears, very much aware of the fact that the problem never would have occurred if my husband were still alive.

    It is unexpected moments like these that make me miss my husband even more. As much as I try to work with the painful emotions and allow myself to grieve, there are times when it just hits me hard and it feels like it’s never going to get better.

    Then, I am reminded of one of my husband’s favorite quotes, part of the last sentence from Samuel Beckett’s The Unnamable:

    “…you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me, strange pain, strange sin, you must go on, perhaps it’s done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”

    So, with love, memories, mindfulness–and the knowledge that my pain teaches me more with every tear–I go on.

    Oh, and tears saved me money today, too. When the locksmith heard me crying, he knocked $230 off the price. In a way, I guess my husband is still rescuing me from the problems I sometimes create for myself.

    Looking for the moral of today’s story? Don’t hang bags full of books on your doorknobs. Evidently, the key is not strong enough to turn the lock when there is too much weight on the other side of the door.

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    Moment of Bunniness: Keiko

    Today’s moment of bunniness comes to us from Brianne G. and her angel bun, Keiko. Keiko’s pic is perfect to go along with a Bunny Buddhism quote that is very near and dear to my heart right now. It is a dark time in my life, no doubt, and I have to keep reminding myself not to sit and wallow in the darkness. I am still alive, with many beautiful moments of light to come, as long as I am willing to watch for them. Thanks, Keiko, for the reminder–I definitely needed it!

    Keiko the bunny, Photo courtesy of Brianne G.
    Keiko the bunny, Photo courtesy of Brianne G.

    Need more bunniness? Try these:

  • Moment of Bunniness: Eva
  • Moment of Bunniness: Kaku
  • Moment of Bunniness: Luna
  • Bunny Buddhism Book Signing March 28

    I am very pleased to announce an upcoming Bunny Buddhism book signing to be held at NOMAD in Cambridge, MA this Saturday, March 28, 2015 from 2:00 to 4:00pm.

    Please join us for some tea, carrot cake, and bunniness!

    1741 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA 02140
    (617) 497-6677

    Hop to see you there!

    In Memoriam: Bellatrix

    Bellatrix and Voldemort on one of their many dates through the fence. Photo courtesy of Callie L.
    Bellatrix and Voldemort on one of their many dates through the fence. Photo courtesy of Callie L.
    From the first day they met Bellatrix, Callie and her husband, Dave, knew she was a special bun. They got her when she was a wee little bun and quickly bonded her to a little blond lop named Voldemort. Bellatrix and Voldemort became fast friends and loved each other dearly.

    For such a little bun, Bellatrix was unusually strong and had an enormous amount of life and spirit. She loved to chase Callie and Dave so she could groom them and give them bunny kisses. And she still had plenty more affection to offer her bunny companion, Voldemort.

    Sadly, Bellatrix developed head tilt and many other medical complications early in life. Callie and Dave did their best to support her with vet trips, syringe feedings, medications, and lots and lots of love. Despite their best efforts, though, Bellatrix passed on when she was only eight months old.

    Callie and Bellatrix. Photo by RogueWolf Photography, used with permission.
    Callie and Bellatrix. Photo by RogueWolf Photography, used with permission.
    Remarkably, Callie found her way through the pain that always accompanies such a loss and was able to find some inspiration. From the experience of caring for Bellatrix, Callie learned to love a special needs bunny, and she knows how many more of them are out there looking for forever homes. She hopes to open her heart and home to another special needs bun at some point soon.

    In the end, Callie says she takes great comfort in knowing Bellatrix is binkying her heart out in the great beyond, free of all the physical limitations that held her back on this earth.

    Well, Callie, I also find your story inspiring. Bellatrix was clearly a master of bunniness with a staggering amount of love to offer. Thank you so much for sharing your story. May you continue to heal from your grief and find ways to help the bunnies who need it most.

    Bellatrix the bunny. Photo by RogueWolf Photography, used with permission.
    Bellatrix the bunny. Photo by RogueWolf Photography, used with permission.

    Looking for more inspiring bunny stories? Try these:

  • Story of Bunniness: Hazel and Fiver
  • Story of Bunniness: Nestor
  • Story of Bunniness: Koucha
  • How to Deal with Intense Emotions in Meditation: 3 Simple Steps

    As many of you know from a previous post, I lost my husband to suicide last August. If you have noticed me being a bit less frequent in my bunny photo posts since then, this is why. I am still very much grieving.

    Photo: Witsanu Keephimai/Shutterstock
    Photo: Witsanu Keephimai/Shutterstock

    Meditation has helped me enormously—I have no doubt—in dealing with this devastating loss. What I find strange, though, is that memories of my husband don’t come up every time I sit. I would think there would be so many emotions and so many memories to sort through that they would come up in every meditation session.

    Why don’t they?

    Today, I think I found my answer. I am now at a point where the emotions aren’t hitting me at every single moment of every day. They hit me when I am over-stressed or over-tired and they hit me when something unexpectedly triggers a specific memory. When I cued up a guided 30-minute body scan meditation today, it unexpectedly triggered a specific memory.

    At one point, the meditation began focusing on the chest and the heart and the lungs and these precious systems that support life. As soon as I thought about these systems, my mind was taken to the hospital, where I had watched for 90 minutes as 20 or more doctors gathered around my husband’s bed in the ICU and tried to restore his pulse and breathing.

    Of course, tears came. I briefly panicked and awaited the full-body sobs. I thought for a moment that the whole meditation process was a wasted effort. But this kind of thing has happened to me so many times now that I have learned how to deal with it. The approach is always the same:

    • Acknowledge the memory and the emotion;
    • Try not to fight it and just let it be;
    • Gently return to the meditation, when you are ready.

    For me, this meant seeing that hospital scene for a moment and reminding myself I was no longer there. The full-body sobs came and went, briefly, as soon as I allowed myself to feel. And then the task became gently turning my thoughts back to my breathing and the guided meditation.

    As I write this, it sounds so easy. It sounds like I expect that every intense emotion can be handled in one sitting with three simple steps. But the fact is, it is not at all easy. It is incredibly difficult. I have been doing this over and over and over again since August. And I only know it is worth the trouble when I reflect on where I used to be.

    When I read that post from September, I realize how far I have come. The fact that intense emotions don’t come up in every sitting is the result of working through the grieving process in the best way I can. I am fortunate to have made some progress.

    To be fair, I think it is also important to note that I have had some fantastic professional help throughout this entire process. I would encourage anyone dealing with intense emotions to find a reputable therapist and to keep looking until you find one you trust. Meditation can help with intense emotions, but sometimes we all need a little more help. And there is absolutely no shame in asking.

    Today’s meditation was one of the guided meditations included in the Insight Timer App. I am a fan of this app and often use it just for the timer and chimes, but today I used Elisha Goldstein’s 30-minute body scan meditation.

    Elisha Goldstein’s 30-minute body scan meditation is also available online at ElishaGoldstein.com.

    Image: Witsanu Keephimai/Shutterstock.

    Der kleine Buddha-Hase by Krista Lester

    With special thanks to translator Karin Weingart and the good bunnies at Lotos (Random House Germany), I am very pleased to announce that the German translation of the Bunny Buddhism book is now available for pre-order. The German edition has a release date of March 16, 2015—just in time for Easter gifting!

    If you’re in the US and looking for a German version on Kindle, you can find it on Amazon.

    If you’re in Europe or interested only in the hardcover version, please click on the cover below to check out buying options for both the hardcover and electronic versions.

    Wishing very happy reading to all our German-speaking friends!

    Der-kleine-Buddha-Hase buying options
    Click on the cover for buying options!