Monthly Archives: September 2007

Dialogue and classical music

My computer at work now has a little timer where I can set it for 45 minutes and then it’s time to take a break, legs up the wall, walk round the building, stretch, or close my eyes listening to some music. It’s important when sitting all day.

The sitting quietly has continued, but not twice every day and not at all today. That’s okay, anyway.

Acupuncture yesterday. Second session with Tamara in Petersfield in the Centre above the health food shop (the Bran Tub; very good). I was in bliss after the back needles, when she had them in my arms, feeling so good I could cry. I focused and made it out of there and back to work. I feel centred, rested, sharp in mind and my eyes are less sore. Let me see if there are any eye floaters… Yep they are still there… but there’s hope yet. It’s only two sessions. I am laying off the yoga for a time, sort of so I can see what the acupuncture is doing on its own, sort of ’cause I’m being lazy.

I have been listening to Glen Gould playing Bach. Generally I am very impressed and touched, but only if it’s just the piano. I am not so fond of the strings. They remind me of wigs and fancy gardens. Fancy gardens alone are fine. No wigs.

hinton

A fancy garden, without wigs. Hinton Ampner.

For dialogue, we split into small groups; much more my scene. I was with Ann, Maya, Amanda, Ursula, Colin, Dave, Yannick,  Fazilla and Anu. We talked
about expectations at Brockwood, what was expected of us, how we handle that. I was generally intelligently amusing, and questioning what people meant. I still find being in groups awkward and weird, but I am able to relax more these days.

Monday: rota, dialogue, sitting

Started with love making, as we awoke, missing morning sitting today.

The last in the series of four K talks at the foundation, with some discussion afterwards: What s our reaction? Why do we watch? What are we aiming for? Is there a judgement in our stating ‘the world is in conflict’? etc etc.  A French visitor joining us, pushing the ‘back to nature’ solution to our humankind woes.

Lunch with Dave, Maya, Valatin, people I don’t normally mix with. Talking about what classical music means, and stuff, still buzzing from the dialogue before. My first rota of the year; lots of new students learning the ways. It’s learn as you go with rota.

Sleep. Back to work. Typed the interview with Mary Z Jerome wants for the 20th anniversary booklet. Donna found 800 Swiss francs among the stuff to send to Frances who is staying in Ojai. Eyes sore from too much computers, not enough resting them during the day. Will get another countdown clock to remind me to take breaks at work.

Evening sitting in too-cool quiet room. Initial resistance and catch up thoughts change to a sense of nowhere to go, to a sense of where am I, not location, but sense of self, into thoughts, bam! back to ‘me’ again with a release of energy as wandering stops, into noticing subtle thoughts continue even when apparently ‘not thinking’. That half hour is the most interesting of the day.

Sunday, West Meon

James, Deane, Mary and I walked down to West Meon in the overcast light of Sunday afternoon, ostensibly to watch Stanley’s last game of cricket for West Meon Thomas Lord team. None of us were interested in cricket but it was something to aim for in a walk. Stanley is front row, second from right. An Indian in a small Hampshire village. Judging by his bowling the team will miss him next year.

A strong sense of the odd ‘Sunday afternoon feeling’ I’ve often felt, around 1600. It’s a curious sensation of time slowing down, nothing happening in the world, everything as it should be, and slightly eery. Impossible to describe apart from that. Happened watching the cricket.

I kept missing the ‘action’. I found myself watching the villagers and their ways.

Day X

I am going to write more generally, including experiences when sitting, and some photos.

I made a new rule today which was that at weekends I only sit for the morning session. On lying in bed this evening, watching a chain of partial programmes on TV, ending with Jack Osbourne, I was inspired to break that rule, and sit again this evening, listening to a new CD I bought called Guided Meditations by someone called Bodhipaksa.

I was surprised and slightly disappointed that he has a Scottish accent. But a very gentle voice, taking one though vision, to counting breaths, to relaxing and expansion, to sensing the air, to feeling the whole breath. Maybe not in that order.

I felt I was ‘cheating’ somewhat, not doing it by myself in silence, but after most of the day alone, I felt like ‘being with someone’. Hence all the TV watching, (including a jump through of Death Proof, which seemed to be talking, cars, talking, cars. It’s a trick way not to feel alone.

The TV was all types of shit: X Factor auditions, Top Gear, Millionaire, some TV show countdowns and Adreniline Junky, in which Jack and his some teenagers spent time at some kind of Shaolin trining camp. I’d like to do something like that, some strict discipline, learning about myself and stretching my abilities.

This morning: internet, sitting out in the field on my camping chair, in the morning sun, Krishnamurti with the Foundation (2 of a series of four we are watching). At the end Donna announced that she wants to ‘give it all up’ and go bake cookies and spend some time with her Grandchildren. I’m not sure what she wants to give up – some kind of struggling for something. We have our own hells.

This afternoon: Winchester, walking about, M&S salad in the cathedral grounds in the sun, looking at people, feeling like making connections but no idea how, Tesco, home for a sleep, before the TV evening, the end of which I write these words.

Feeling like I need to break through something, need to use my body more, need to shift stuck energy. We’ll see what happens next…

Day 4

The ache has lifted today. This morning I was giggly and well. This evening I said to myself think whatever you would like to think, I am not going to steer. To my surprise I was then very quiet, not thinking about very much at all. I prefer this approach than the rather stern critical approach when thinking has gone too far and one jumps out of it, with a hit of condemnation. Who am I to condemn my thought? And why do I jump out of thought? Usually when it gets too uncomfortable. So it is an interesting game I play, when sitting all alone. And the rest of the time I am not so different. Just busier. This evening, the excuses: oh, it’s Friday night, maybe the rule can be that I don’t have to do it on Fridays. But did it I did, because I want to. It seems relentless, this day after day, twice a day, but already it is entering the rest of my life, with clarity and stability.

Sometimes there is nowhere to go, and the dimension changes from linear thinking to another direction into itself or out of itself or both or neither. Those times seem entirely different to normal thinking times.

Day 3

I am in pain. I feel it strongly. I suspected it was there, felt it often, but after three days and just 3 hours in total, it has come to the surface. When asked, I described it as an existential pain – it is a general pain, not something specific hurting. I am in pain. Sitting is the hardest thing one can do, for sure.

Day 2

Yesterday went so smoothly compared to today. Why is sitting still the hardest thing to do? How long have I been on the run? It seems like forever. Today I was reluctant to sit, easier to just carry on with a normal day. But sit I did, and sit I will continue to do, no matter what. It has to be done whatever the weather. Stormy days are no excuse. I am not being tough about it, just stating what is necessary. Quite why it is necessary I am not sure. I don’t know what will happen, but I feel like it is the most important thing to do in this day and age, just to stop for a while each day and see what I am up to. There seems to be an endless supply of ammunition for thinking – all these memories, all those image and films and TV and whatever else. Of course, it is not to remove all this somehow, but maybe to allow the usual reaction to have a conscious alternative. I don’t know, I’m making this up. My heard hurt in the evening sitting, intensity ant the front so that there was nothing to do but feel it. No choice.

Day 1

I appreciated the space to just be with myself, no pressure to do anything, and no pressure not to think or to watch the breath or any other of those ‘meditation’ type activities. It is easy to feel the pressures I am putting on myself when still, and opportunity for them to release. It’s like there is a continual dream state going on under waking consciousness and it is revealed when I stop doing, and then, suddenly, a mysterious concern hidden a second ago is there before me and is over as quickly as it was realised, leaving a feeling of expansion and ease.

I am blessed to have a dedicated quiet room in the place where I work, so aim to use that as much as possible. Directly before and after work seem to be good times. That’s what I did today. It’s hard to remember all what happens, but I’ll attempt to communicate something of it.

Prelude

Starting from tomorrow, I am going to begin an experiment. I am going to sit still for one hour per day, in two periods of 30 minutes every day, eyes closed. The aim, should there be one, is to find out what meditation is. Having listened to Krishnamurti for around ten years, it is high time to allow what he is talking about to gain some purchase. The tendency is to keep moving no matter what. I feel if I stop, purposefully, something may catch up and take hold, like preparing the soil. Enough said for now. I aim to report here what happens…