10 November 2014

Woke after a restful night, with dreams that even had some pleasant elements to them, gently waking up for the daylight alarm at 07:00. Showered and shaved and on November Day 10 I’m looking like this:

Photo on 10-11-2014 at 08.34 #2

Sat for one hour. I sat for one hour! First time in ages. Had a yearning. Yoga Nidra, however restful just wasn’t quite hitting the spot. Hitting the spot meaning connecting with what’s actually going on in the body and brain. Early on it seemed like touching an area or muscle linked to a recent image on TV or online, like the mid back brought zapping back images of an American Football clip I saw yesterday, the one where he throws the ball down just before the touchdown line. This continued for around half an hour, images rising and dissipating. One time a few years ago I seemed to find the source of all images in the mind, a dense repository of media and when I ‘went there’ out the tumbled, shot, volcanoed, a bombarding torrent of seemingly everything I’d seen on TV or film flying at me, through me.

Work this morning, continuing highlighting question and answer extracts in transcripts so that a volunteer can edit the audio to match. I enjoy it, and it gives me a lot of tweets for the K-quotes account I set up a few years back. Used a scheduler for the first time so all the tweets aren’t piled together. Also means I can spread some over my day off tomorrow.

Lunch and I felt like staying in the dining hall for once. Not too busy. Sat with R from the bookshop and we mostly talked shop, if wide-perspective shop. After lunch picked up my surfboard that came back from the trip in a different car, to avoid the use of soft racks. Checked out the wood stores to see if there’s enough for me to take or buy some. Also got the contact details for a local supplier. Then at home, a bit of planning for tomorrow’s London trip – checking with the banks I need to visit, then the route to Elstree studios. Yes, tomorrow I’m going inside the TV!

PM work assisting the volunteer scanning photos. We’ve been at it for 5 years or more – photos, manuscripts and articles. Also verifying a school discussion, Krishnamurti trying to get the high school kids engaged.

Home and Desikachar yoga then sat in meditation for half an hour or so, seemingly getting closer and closer to myself and then finding it difficult to distinguish between myself and how the body felt. Perhaps there is no difference and this is the relationship between mind a body – a knot in the shoulder could be a knot in the mind, and vice versa, or just a single knot.

Supper and Pointless Celebrities.

8 November 2014

Finally got up about 09:00, straight to breakfast and then painting. The skirting boards in kitchen and lounge, and the lounge cupboard doors. Soup for lunch then a snooze. Afterwards, fitted the double glazing film to the bedroom and bathroom windows, leaving the small window in each so that we can open at least a bit. Completely killed the draught and no condensation. We finally had everything tidied away again by about 19:00.

In between installed Yosemite. Hopefully it will fix the sleep/wake issues I’m still getting despite replacing the MacBook Pro.

Really liking having a log stove, at least while on weekends here. Reminds me of our old lounge when I grew up – the smell, the little fire maintenance tasks, the unique heat they give. Put some chimney clearing powder stuff on which we found behind the stove. Woo, blue flames! Bought some glass cleaner online.

Watched a little Gardners’ World – I like Monty’s dog, Nigel, best – and then some online videos, and then a little more of the Lego Movie.

Tired all day, catching up from the surf trip.

7 November 2014

Movember Day 7. Entering new length territory, albeit with some patchiness.

Movember Day 7

 

Vaguely aware of C’s sunlight alarm at 06:00, but was pretty much asleep until 07:30. Yoga nidra, and was falling asleep by the end and wanting to snooze into the morning. But I had an appointment in Winchester for 10:00. After a wash and breakfast we drove from Old Alresford, surprised how quickly one can get to the city. After the appointment, looked for hiking socks but only Rohan survives – Blacks and Millets gone. Found a really nice coat  that I’ll maybe get for xmas or maybe buy before then.

Came back via the Worthys to buy log bags ahead of getting a big order or collecting some from Brockwood. Really good garden centre/farm shop called The Good Life. Had a fire with some of the ash wood tonight – what a treat a log burner is! So adjustable yet all the fire building fun of an open fire.

Lunch of a mushroom pie I’d bought from a pie shop in a trailer in Winchester, then a snooze (of course). Painting time! C did the back door and I did the end window of the lounge, or the walls around it. Supper and Pointless on iPlayer through the Wii. Hard to believe I’ll be in that same studio come Tuesday! In the audience, not competing – at least not yet…

Looking at Devon hotels for the Birthday trip gift we didn’t take this year. Decided on Jan/Feb rather than this year.

Due to grooves in the memory foam mattress and it being too sinky now, we decided to turn it over and use the reflex foam side. Far preferable so far! Reading the quaint Alresford Forum magazine before writing this. It looks as if they still don’t use a desktop publisher, but make prints for each add and arrange them on the page. All manner of little clubs, societies and groups.

5 November 2014

Back from Croyde after a very smooth drive home, fireworks going off in towns along the A361, M5, A303 and A34. Good to drive my car proper distances, 350 miles in all. R was marking history papers on and off and we had good music playing. The miles fell away and nearly three hours before we first stopped, near Andover. The 2003 Bora tdi got 55 mpg at national speed limits.

Found my joy of surfing once again when I bought a bodyboard. Before that, when playing on the inside, shooting along the waves without standing, things are quicker there, more vital, the water inches from the face. So after a couple of years deliberating (am I giving up?) I bought a new board, a grey topped yellow Science Mini Rig, not so mini at 42.5 cm. from Tiki in Braunton. Viper fins were the ones that fitted me best. Tiki leash (free) and socks for now. Strange to see a screwdriver piercing the soft flesh of a brand new ride. Also got a Tiki travel bag which they gave a big discount on. Sorted.

Back at the break soon after and it was a world of difference. No longer caught inside Croyde’s relentless white walls, a few rudimentary duck dives, some strong kicking and there I was out back on a five foot day, surprising R with my presence.

I had to wait around a bit for some fin cramp to release, helped by slipping them off and back on, and then I was in action. The steep faces of the waves no longer daunting, a few quick kicks and I was scooting diagonally down at great speed, surprised again to be skimming over the surface rather than part immersed in a boiling cauldron of white. Instinctively I leaned into the face instead of flying too far in front. Then, having too much fun, I forgot to let go to get back behind the wave, and pushed into the shallows, carried so fast, almost sideways.

On that one wave the surf trip was transformed. I flopped about in the small waves a silly grin on my face and belly giggling. More! It was toward sunset at the end of our Tuesday/Wednesday weekend though, so only time for a few more fast ones, but content to leave it there, the spark reignited, the bug recaught. It felt good on that Mike Stewart board, submerged in the mighty ocean, the end of the day glow between Lundy and Hartland.

I’ve heard of skiing to your door but this was surfing to our door, the high tide only meters from the steps to the Atlantic apartment. When not surfing we’d enjoyed the direct views across the beach, the famous Croyde Bay. We also had a front row seat to the annual removal of the lifeguard hut:

Croyde Lifeguard hut dismantled

And of course after each session the hot tub and sauna! Such a treat to be able to warm the body through to the bones and relax in that post surf glow, soon to be joined by friends. We can’t afford the flats high season but in the off-season there’s no place better. Ridiculous views from that jacuzzi, world class.

So the Science is rinsed, the wetsuit washed and dripping dripping into the bath, and my body feels good after the all over workout that is surfing. I’ll be keeping my magic carpet board for the smaller days but I now feel like a bodyboarder.

Sunday 2 November 2014

Was awake in the night quite a bit. These days when this happens, I usually listen to music while scanning the body over and over for sensation. It means I’m relaxed and doing good work, even if not asleep. By the time to get up, though, I’m usually in a deep sleep cycle and it takes until 0930 or so to be fully awake.
At 8-something I commuted to work from Old Alresford; a nice drive over Bramdean Common then over towards Woodlands before cutting across the A272 and up the hill to Brockwood, for a shower then to the office.
Preparing more texts of questions within talks so that audio extracts can be created by a volunteer. Wondering how to get a valuation on our archives collection.
Lunch: pasta with mushrooms. Kale side, with parsnips.
Snooze.
Verifying a direct recording in the afternoon.
Worked on the UK bank accounts, a second job, after work. Got my first payment through, which helped with the new fridge freezer I bought for C.
Pointless: start of new series. Always a fun and interesting watch, and I like to play along, and wonder how I’d do in the studio. I’ve applied to be in the audience, which will happen w/c 10 November, if it does.
Supper: Potatoes, beans, cheese – the usual.
Briefly planning leaving arrangements for the surf trip tomorrow. Going in two cars instead of the usual one, as F is staying longer than the rest of us. This time tomorrow – before – I’ll be in Croyde, Devon. And the temperature will have dropped from 20C a few days ago, to 11C…
Film night with J and S. Watched Blue Ruin, an above average indie revenge movie. Unpredictable, especially not knowing how capable the ‘hero’ is. Captivating while it lasted. At one point it was like a Home Alone for adults. Then the usual post movie discussion. I just read that it was funded by Kickstarter.

Movember Day 2. Nothing much to report. I suppose for the proper experience I should shave my chin to highlight the moustache already. For sure when I get back from surfing.

1 November 2014

Movember Day 1. Slight scratchy spikes. Business as usual.

Duncan Toms Movember Day 1

Woke at 0630 with the sunrise alarm clock. Lie in for half an hour while C did something feminine, and probably painful, to her legs in the bathroom. Yoga nidra 45 mins. Which is always like have a couple of hours more sleep.

Washed, breakfasted then we both drove to Old Alresford to be in for the fridge freezer delivery. Highly recommend buying electrical goods from Coop’s online electrical shop – the delivery company gave a one hour slot, so no waiting around all day. They were a bit early and after last week’s struggle up the stairs and damaging the compressor, it was a delight to leave the work to the two delivery men.
The Liebherr looks great! SmartSteel finish that doesn’t leave finger prints visible all over it, and a white LED light that doesn’t look all warm and… wrong, like in most fridges. Going to have to change my bulb now too. Big fridge, small freezer, just right.
Sorted out the walk-in cupboard, putting the second shelf in place and putting things where they now belong. Homes for things.
Tried to replace my car battery but the securing bolt was corroded and I didn’t have quite the right tool. Luckily the guys at Pheonix Auto Services were still there and immediately offered to do it for me as they were leaving. No charge. Another highly recommended company. They had to use something like a crowbar to wedge it out.
Took the old battery to the recycling centre. Car starts on the instant now. They thought the old one could be the original with the car – so 12 years old!
Coop in another form, for groceries and zero beer for upcoming movie night.
We both bought chips for lunch and ate them with fried eggs on the back stairs which go to the garden. Autumn sun.
Snooze.
Washed my car. Chatted with the neighbour, the niece of the landlord – who is a proper landlord, as in he lives in a stately home and C rents from him. The niece’s dog, Ouch, hasn’t got used to me yet, being a new man in the courtyard, and the jack russell having been ‘rescued’ from a grumpy uncle and so is somewhat man-weary and a bit snarly. She’d been hunting today and then readying for a party at the house. It’s another world. One I can’t help but be fascinated by.
Changed the shower hose for a longer one. Changed the fridge freezer plug for a UK one, so it can be situated much nearer the back wall. The only complaint.
Yoga in the lounge, with tratak candle meditation afterwards. Supper

A bit of Gardners World then wrote this.
Probably to bed about 20:30. Am reading Russell Brand’s Revolution. But of course, the real revolution needs to be inward.

31 October 2014

Woke with the dawn, around 0700.
No meditation or yoga nidra, but an hour in bed with my love.
Breakfast: sugar-free cornflakes, pink grapefruit juice, granola and grapes.
Shaved in preparation for Movember. Here’s my profile: http://uk.movember.com/mospace/2918297
To Portsmouth, Gunwharf for shopping. Looking for jeans and a winter coat but found neither I liked enough. Next year I’ll see if I can buy no clothes whatsoever. We always go our separate ways when shopping. It’s easier and more enjoyable that way. No lingering in women’s clothes shops.
Home for lunch: stew of butternut squash from the garden, green beans and onion, with lemon juice.
Online meeting (gotomeeting) about the new Krishnamurti website we’re developing across the four foundations. Only lasted an hour.
Snoozed.

Discovered it was the warmest recorded Halloween day in the UK, at 24C

Walk around a local loop at dusk, along the lanes and down to where the farm shop used to be, then up the ‘hobbit lane’ a sunken lane, roots visible along the banks. Atmospheric in the sunset hour. Then back through the west wood after the horse paddocks.
Yoga from the Hittleman series, but not following the timing to the dot, learning that to count detracts from feeling for micro-adjustments.
Pointless on iPlayer, hanging due to sharing internet with too many others.
Supper: Baked potatoes, sugar-free baked beans, cheddar.
Last Autumnwatch of the series. Always an enjoyable watch.
Browsed Reddit, saw this Halloween dog:

Halloween Spider Dog

Meditation Journal 26 August 2014

To lose control, such relief from doing doing, minding, watching, concerning. In the safe space of sitting alone, to lose control is easier. Not that it’s something to do: now I’m going to lose control. Nor is it an aim. It comes surreptitiously, in the midst of intensity, with a strange mix of bliss and pain, mixed up together so I don’t know what is what. Controlling has ceased. Even coming back to the breath smells of control, like it’s a good thing to do. But there’s a pain in control, a conflict, a should. It also smells of suppression, like it’s too painful there, so come back. Okay, I’m back, so now what? Stay here. Still control, subtle direction-making. No, to let all this go, without wanting to let it all go. Allow cessation.

Meditation Journal 3 August 2014

am 1hr
An inner argument over how fast to move the attention was soon over, and a natural pace was easily established. It felt like more of a direct connection, relationship, link, between attention and sensation. As I continued downwards a strong anger and a deep sadness, the sadness seemingly coming from below and the anger raging upper right, I would say within the brain but it’s not quite clear if that’s where these emotions really were. On recognition of its actuality rather than thinking anything about it or applying anything to it, the anger was gone and so was the sadness. Any jumps of energy into a reaction of head shaking were in the split second of starting ended in some kind of relaxation response. A deep warmth then started to spread through the left shoulder and upper back. Really very warm, a welcome warmth. Staying closely in touch all the way down the body, the strange nervy numbness of a heavy left leg, a tight holding in the groins. A sharp pain and stabbing in the upper abdomen, on being listened to, addressed, met, unfolded images of being pursued, fleeing for one’s life. But not images from real life but from films, even if the feeling was that it was real. Overall a much more steady approach, without choice.

Meditation Journal 2 August 2014

am 1 hr

An inner sound like a warm wind in the centre of the head and when it comes there is nothing else.
An absence of a decision maker, a body and mind together.
An awareness of the whole body, to split into individual parts is meaningless and unnecessary.
Minimal or no reaction to various sensations manifesting.
I am not different to the sensations.
A going behind the watcher, the system unfolding within a context unusual.
Not an I behind the I, that’s another trick, nor a ‘true self’.
Very existence itself, centred in this organism.

Meditation Journal 1 August 2014

am 1 hr

I wondered why there is this sense of pressure, almost a mild panic, as all I’m doing is sitting here, there’s nothing to do, nothing expected of me. I felt the pressure deep within the mind and came upon a lid of some sort, with a great force the other side, seemingly the source of the pressure. There didn’t seem to be any way to take the lid off, but I left it with the notion that it was undone slightly.

Previously, an agitation and knowing that if not addressed right now, it will continue the whole day through and all I can do is hope that it’s eased tomorrow. Ah, the great tomorrow, master of delaying tactics. Feel now. When I feel as fully as I can, things to do change, shift.

Previous to this, more physiological goings on, head shaking rapidly again, neck bones scrunching lightly like there’s little bits of plastic in there. Strong sensation around the left kidney but towards the spine. Lips like they are coated with chilly paste, no more like injected with the stuff, sharp fire throughout, then they scrunched into ridiculous pouts and grimaces before releasing slowly for blessed relief.

Meditation Journal 31 July 2014

am 1 hr

Head shaking rapidly, intensity at sides of the neck where it meets the shoulders. A spot just to the left of the spine at the base of the neck, sharp. Feet flexed to their maximum at times. Arms waving then frozen in a certain position out to the sides, each different, for quite some time. Let them be. A relishing of being in the body, not just thinking of being in the body or cursory attention, as it can be in yoga nidra which I have been doing for the last couple of weeks while on holiday and afterwards. It has its value but it’s not the same as the purity of sitting.

Now that we are deep into summer, autumn looms and that probably means my third 10-day course, in November. Time to get serious. Not because of the course itself but that’s a prompt, a reminder that this is the real work. Have been reading the rather daft Isobela Losada who went on the 10-day, and through the complaining shone some value, another reminder of the depth of this ‘practice’.

pm 50 mins

It’s a bumpier ride after work, thoughts more active and fragmented, unfinished thinking about emails, conversations, happenings of the day. They fairly soon slid into a gentler pattern though. Some sharp pains in the neck. Some ache in lower back. Some jumping of sudden energy making the head shake, but in shorter bursts than this morning. Feel a little sick and slightly disorientated afterwards.

Meditation Journal 7 July 2014

Again, letting dissatisfaction be my guide, without looking for satisfaction. There’s a nagging beacon within one can sense and draw near, or go near to. Not that time and distance have much meaning once you really go into it, get in there. A disgruntledness, a piece of grit, a concern or worry, doubts and fears, layered and intermingled with each other, seemingly wrapped around the beacon which is still sending its signal, should one not get distracted by all the layers. The beacon, full of energy is perhaps generating the seemingly incessant thought and concerns, images and imaginings. Or these layers are just doing their job of thinking they have to protect something. Nearer still and the boundaries of me and it, of watching and thing watched start to get ambiguous and then in blinding, intense moments without time, there is no difference. I am not and the thing is not. And I am the thing and the thing is me. It’s rather magical and a bit bizarre and at the same time the most genuine, natural happening. This all occurring within a strong yet relaxed physicality, steady breath without control, and a gentle mentality.

Meditation Journal 6 July 2014

Where do thoughts come from? What gives them power, charge? Why are they enticing? When sliding into thought, is it a little bit like falling asleep? Is awareness wakefulness? Does wakefulness need any effort? What is the dizzy, ill area? Can it be dissolved, or allowed to dissipate? Need I do anything about anything? What do I have other than awareness? Is awareness even ‘mine’? Is it a default state? Where is peace to be found? Within that which is not peaceful? Love and awareness seem to go together, with care and gentleness. To be suspicious of any other action, doings. The hardness isn’t something I need to bring, it’s not necessary. Not to deny it but to feel it and hold it in loving awareness. Things start to evolve, shift, change, unfold, in light and delight. Where can light be found? In darkness itself.

Meditation Journal 3 July 2014 – Gently does it

am 30 mins
Gently gently headed to the gritty area, the area where things are seemingly not ‘OK’ and around which spin a million thoughts and trivialities. Gently gently approaching, through waves of nausea and a spinning sensation. Dizziness countered by the soft strength of the sitting posture, like the very stillness and soliditiy of that gives the ability to face all that moves, all that is slippery and false. Yet to dismiss anything as false is not to allow it to tell it’s own story. Like the high alert calling out for so long, which only wants to be held or touched or listened to or held. Make contact, always gently and easily.
pm 25 mins
After working out seemed a good time to sit, and I went outside into the warm July sun. Somewhere through the thoughts and breathing the notion: will I be satisfied with this meditation session by the end? The answer being no, it was easy to hone in on the gritty area, which is always calling out, and gently nourish it as this morning. Then thought and reaction ceased and it is easy to see any direction and choice within the relative stillness.

Meditation Journal 29 June 2014 – Something like aware restfulness, akin to peace

Back sitting after a gap while traveling, and then had a strong cold last week. During this time there were vague sessions of meditation whilst lying down. It’s not quite the same. While sitting there is more energy, alertness, and also it’s that bit less cosy, slightly more edgy. And still a feeling of great rest, or cessation, a time for nothing. Nothing to respond to, nothing to answer or to do something about. Something like aware restfulness, akin to peace. And yet the body is not at peace, waves of head shaking, mouth expressions, shoulder scrunching, and then a nausea rising, which I can still feel now. For the brain’s peace to be total, the body has to be at peace too, it seems, and this involves much undoing. I suspect a lot of life’s tensions get dumped into the body rather than going through it fully at the time. Poor shoulders and neck!

Meditation Journal 10 June 2014

Thoughts off on the theme of independence. Body still going through shakes and tightening and scrunching. Whatever I do – just sit, eyes open or closed, follow the breath or not, scan the body or not, within 5 minutes energy starts moving and it manifests physically as head shaking rapidly side to side. Invariably that’s how it starts, for the best part of a year and a half. Mouth contorting into extreme expressions, way beyond the day to day, faces I have never made before. Lower jaw as tight as it seems it can go before rapidly releasing. Felt like it could snap but I suspect there’s a wisdom in this that knows how far it can go, or the body itself knows. Some nausea again.

Meditation Journal 8 June 2014 – A humble servant

Woke around 5. Pains in the head, which have been around for a few weeks, quite strong. After some settling in and cursory scanning down the body, it was clear that pain was the strongest sensation, so stayed with it for some time. The sharp pain soon dissipated, followed by nausea, which became the strongest sensation. So I stayed with that some time, never getting to the point where I really would puke. It faded somewhat and the strongest sensation became tightness in the lower jaw, so I stayed with it for some time and it intensified before dissipating. Then I went back to the scanning back through the body. The one doing the scanning was but a humble servant, doing as was asked. It was rather weak and downtrodden, and I could see that my action is often weak and ineffective in the world. I could see a possibility for this to change, for fear to go to its proper place and for action to be purer.

Meditation Journal 6 June 2014

Woke at dawn, which these days is around 4 am. Vipassana retreat would be easier in that respect at this time of year! Even for half an hour, some resistance to sitting. No strain, and I also want to, so it doesn’t take much will to sit myself down around an hour after waking. The reason I didn’t want to sit is fear of pain. So there it was. It’s really only sensation, feeling. I let it be and held it close, going into it without picking it apart. After mere moments I couldn’t feel pain anymore, looking around for it. Then felt lighter but thoughts continuing, along the lines of breaking free, doing something a bit different than usual, and all the planning of such excitement.

Meditation Journal 5 June 2014 – Assurance from deep within that it is all okay

am 30 min
Better to sit for less time than not at all and stay in bed half awake, half aware. This way I’m more likely to sit in the evening too. Half an hour was nothing. So surprised when it was over, seemingly in five minutes. Looking at where I’m making an effort. Even to follow the breath there can be a load, a weight put upon the area of observation. The weight of doing something about something. The same with scanning over the body, the struggle to maintain the movement, the slight pushing. Looked at all the direction-making, seeking, grasping and wanting, and in looking, not condemning, as that is again effort, but the seeing somehow ends that action and awareness is cleaner, the looking clearer, but without comparison to the less-clear. Tremors of fear and a vulnerability and a new response of assurance from deep within that it is okay. Not “don’t be afraid” but that it’s all right. A feeling throughout of being very very close to myself, and any movement away short-lived and trivial. Less of the feeling of trying to get somewhere, instead staying nearer.
pm 20 min
Outside in the sun and breeze, the deeds of the day undoing and thoughts resolving.