Meditating on the Oscars.

I wasn’t at the Oscars last night as you probably noticed.

Well, it is just not my thing really.

All that glitz and glamour, the showing off, the vanity, to say nothing about the blatant display of emotion.

It is just too much and, anyway, I wasn’t in with a chance of getting an award, let alone walking down that famous red carpet.

So rejecting thoughts of Hollywood from my mind, I went out into my back yard this morning to practise my Kung Fu.

I always begin, now that my fractured spine is not hurting so much, with the Da Mo moving meditation exercises. There are 14 of them and they involve doing various stretches and moves which use the whole body, in horse stance, knees bent, whilst regulating the breath and letting the mind focus on abstraction.

Penelope Cruz deserved to win, I thought,she should win every year in my unbiased opinion. Sean Penn too – I always love the bad boy breaking through. You have to admire Kate Winslet too…for perseverance if for nothing else. And, we all wanted Heath Ledger to get his posthumous award. The Batman movies are great.

No, Wolfgang, that is not clearing your mind.

I am now standing silently, my breathing under strict control hands just in front of what the call the dan tien. The position just by your navel where, the Chinese believe, your chi, or energy comes from.

Am I the only person in the world who hasn’t seen Slumdog Millionaire? I just can’t go to the cinema yet because I am still at risk from brain seizures. It does sound great but, I am not an enormous fan of the director. Danny Boyle, I thought in his previous movies,that he just lets the joins show too much but he must be better now for Hollywood to go for him like this. They never get it wrong. Nine awards….just like Gone With the Wind. Some people in Mumbai have said it is “poverty porn” but what do I know, I haven’t seen it yet.

Back to Da Mo.

These exercises stretch my spine, straight upwards, then down, to the left and then the right. My left arm still hurts but it is worth it, the rest of my body, brain apart, is getting its flexibility back and, when it comes to the low horse stance, crouching right down, back straight, I can almost feel some level of my old fitness returning.

I cant really believe that Kate Winslet really fantasised about winning the Oscars in her bathroom. That stuff about pretending her shampoo bottle was an award….come on! Just too cheesy. Well not too cheesy for the Oscars, I guess.

Better to make something up than to get into an emotional turmoil like she did at the Golden Globes.

Wolfgang, this is just not good enough. Your mind is all over the place today.

Da Mo, he didn’t have these problems.

He was a Buddhist priest from Southern India who went all the way to China to establish his form of Buddhism, Chan Buddhism, or Zen Buddhism.

He had no problems concentrating. He is supposed to have sat in a cave for nine years staring at the wall without saying anything. I have some way to go before that I fear.

So where am I? Oh yes, I am aching like hell, trying to hold this low horse stance whilst I breath deeply and slowly, nine inhalations that fill your diaphragm and chest, nine exhalations which empty your lungs.

It hurts, I can tell you that.

Da Mo, also founded Kung Fu – it was because the Chinese government had banned weapons, so they say, and he invented a form of self defence using just the power of the body.

“To find Buddha,” someone claimed that he said, “you have to see your own nature.”

Now that is tough. Who am I? I am just beginning to get an inkling there.

But then, meditating is tough too – especially when your legs are killing you.

Seven, nearly there, eight, God I have to stop, nine, yes!

Oh no, now there are another nine deep breaths from the same position whilst you massage your head…only I can’t do the head massage as it would be too dangerous with my brain still full of blood.

Da Mo would have ordered more discipline. Maybe I wouldn’t have ever become one of those kung fu fighting monks from the Shaolin Temple that he founded sometime in the 6th. Century.

I know I would never have sat looking at a wall in a cave for nine years even though being stuck at home recovering from this illness sometimes feels like it.

Meditation is an impressive discipline. I am usually better than this, I promise. I have, I admit, a struggle leaving the mind’s trivial chatter behind but I can do it even when my body is crying out to stop.

Those Da MO exercises actually do take you away from here, suffering in positions you never thought you could hold. A glow of heat really does come from the dan tien area and it spreads through your body, invigorating you and preparing you for the rest of your day.

Da Mo included these devilish moves because he didn’t want his monks just to drift away on their own personal wave of meditation. He wanted to give them something to keep them rooted to the earth.

Somebody told me once why those awards were called Oscars. For the moment I just can’t remember though. Dammit. I hate forgetting things. Is it the brain damage?

Seven, nearly there, eight, nine…….oh yes! This really is it, if I can ever stand up again.

I am told I can massage my ear lobes until my head recovers. It actually does feel good. I “earth” my energy, a hand movement coordinated with the final breaths, and then I am done.

Thank you Da Mo – you were right all along. This really does work.

Oh yes, I remember. The Oscar organization’s secretary said that it looked just like her Uncle Oscar and the name stuck as a kind of homely in-joke.

Well done to all those glitzy folk who now have them on their mantelpieces.

I am off to do my Tai Chi now. I wonder if Sean Penn does martial arts, Penelope Cruz too. I bet she does.

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