Saturday, January 07, 2006



Every day is a new opportunity to test how I react to experiences. Can I be true to myself no matter what the situation?

Take having a cold, as an example.

I used to hate having phlegm as in "the thick substance that forms in the nose and throat, especially when you have a cold." (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary) I couldn't bear throat phlegm, I always wanted to get rid of it. Because I found spitting on the streets vulgar, I would carry wads of tissue paper with me to get rid of accumulated phlegm. There came a point when I stopped thinking of phlegm as bad. I didn't think of it as good either; I just treated it as something that arises now and again. I found my body stopped producing so much phlegm. Even when it did, I swallowed it without a single thought.

Another thing. When I stopped thinking about phlegm, I stopped worrying about catching a cold or being in contact with people who have the sniffles. It was no big deal. I have found that the sniffles come and go. If I need to blow my nose, I do so but without giving it much thought. If phlegm arises, I either swallow it or release it without thought. I don't need to take anything to unblock my nose, I just let it arise and go away of its own accord without thought.

The interesting thing is there is another definition for phlegm which is

"the ability to remain calm in a situation that is difficult or upsetting." Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary
In other words, not having an emotional reaction to a situation.

It would seem that I've gone from reacting to phlegm to being phlegm regardless of phlegm. Cool!