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Hi K:  Guru RG checking in!!  Sometimes I think you’re me, living in an alternate universe.  I’ve been having a similar week.  These are rough times and for the very first time, I’ve had to sit with my feelings … I have no choice, I have no money to gamble.  Weeks like this one would have been the times that I would’ve flown, not driven, to the casino.  One night, I was so stressed, distressed, sad, disturbed, I thought my mind would snap and I’d end up in a corner somewhere drooling and babbling.  It was ugly, and painful … but I had to feel it.  And I’m SO glad I did.
Sounds like you’ve made great inroads yourself.  As I learn more about living in the present, I’m finding out more about what it means.  The meditations are not to relieve stress and send you to Nirvana (I know some people on here may think I’m ready for the tie-dyed robe), it is just to bring you into the present.  And that may be joyful, sad, terrifying or peaceful.  The idea is just to accept it for what it is.  I don’t meditate sitting or lying down.  I do it when I fold the laundry, when I do the dishes … and you know what … I find myself LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!!!  Never thought I’d see the day, but it is so restful to bring your mind to the exact thing you’re doing and not allow the loud noise of life interrupt.  You should try it, the next time you’re hanging out the laundry.  Feel the sun on your face.  Smell the freshness of the wet laundry.  Feel the cool wetness on your hands.  Observe your body as it bends and straightens.  Feel the smoothness of the clothes pegs.  Oh yes, my friend, their is Zen in laundry!!!  It’s really about engaging all your senses.
What has this to do with gambling.  Living awake and aware, we learn to feel the good, bad and ugly and observe it, without having to act on it.  We are so used to living on autopilot in these days of super-technology, that we live our lives asleep to the joys that are right in front of us.
When you go to Melbourne, practice mindfulness.  You will see and experience things you can’t believe.  Have I already recommended the movie The Peaceful Warrior to you (with Nick Nolte)?  I think it will resonate with you unbelievably right now, with where you are in your recovery.
That’s it for me for today.  Enjoy your time with your sister.  Enjoy the sun and the food, and the gorgeous men’s tennis (aren’t they the most beautiful things on earth?  Now THERE’S something that I’ll gladly stay in the present for, lol)
Talk soon …. OMMMM!!!
Love and hugs,
 This moment is all we really have.  Be happy in it.