Meditation Notes Week Ending 19 September 2015

Sunday, 13 September 2015


Slept through to six-something again. Sleep pattern stabilising after a few weeks of waking very early?


Went to the monastery last night. They have a traditional (English) barn for meditation, chanting. It has a certain atmosphere, something in the air, and my brain quickly attuned to that quality of non thought, the difference between there and at home just now tangible. But in both places a feeling of not fighting, not fighting thought or sensation. I’ve learnt it’s not worth it; struggle leads nowhere and is simply a waste. Of corse struggle takes place, but I am not consciously adding to it and it more easily dissolves.


But there’s still a lot going on physically. It is worth making the little effort to move through the body. I’ve spent a lot of time moving as far as say the eyes (from the top of the head) and getting lost in thought for twenty minutes. Easily done. That’s okay too, but perhaps not as ‘worthwhile’ as moving through the body. But maybe thought needs that space sometimes. Like how often do I just stop and think? Yet I’m not on the cushion to stop and think, as such, so a little effort to sense areas of the body does seem more… real, genuine, actual.


Monday, 14 September 2015


The rest after mediation is where the integration takes place for me. Like sivasana at the end of a yoga session, in the relaxation any understanding can be incorporated.


Despite thoughts of yesterday and of general work matters, there was a steady movement through the body, good connection. Some head shaking, and neck tension, also legs and feet aching.


Tuesday, 15 September 2015


For those first fifteen minutes it’s not really worth trying to do anything. Just sit. The mind is going to be flirting about, and playing catchup on yesterday’s day. I guess this is why it is said best to sit twice a day, to unwind from, and go through, the day just gone, in the evening time. ‘Evening’ – how about that for a word! Evening out. But I’m evening in the morning, which is better than no evening at all I guess.


Then after those first minutes, it is possible for awareness to go deeper. And to see it is obvious why the mind is scattered and fizzes about, given that the body feels like *that*. So, to touch all of the body, maybe not in one go, certainly not at first, but to touch it part by part or gliding over it, and in that touching, that connection, both the sensory part and the mind feeling it, undergo a change. A change towards softening, quietening, the mind less reactive, more at peace and the sensations soothed. If not this natural stilling, then at least an authentic connection and a togetherness lost in busyness and overreaction.


Wednesday, 16 September 2015


Even if not meditation as such, it is worth sitting quietly. The mind gets space and time to go through things, whether I like it or not, and the key situations from the day come to light – from my own and others behaviour. And without really meaning to I see things as they are. This is not easy as we are not necessarily nice people. The social cloak comes off when sitting, exposing the realities of who we really are. There’s all the talk of the ‘true self’ and ‘light’ and love, but the reality isn’t going to be like that, at least not at first. Yet through the eye-opening realisations of who we are in relationship, there is a watchful quietude maybe not apparent in the business of daily life. So, stop, sit, feel what is. It may not be pretty but it does feel it’s worth it. And what’s the alternative?


Saturday, 19 September 2015


Finger marks in my palm where the fingertips pressed so strong. I can feel they want to do it some more now but are typing this because my brain is overriding what they really want to do. To move into the tension and release it.


When at the top of my head, intense energy through the spine, particularly felt at the base, where it spreads in tingly blisses throughout the central and bottom pelvis.


Generally a bit scattered the last few days, even forgot to write, but did sit. Seem to be coming back together again, having learnt and unraveled some ravelling whilst out in the fragments.


No matter how much fun, connection, heart energy there is to explore outwardly, to keep coming back to oneself and integrating, that’s the ticket.


A general tiredness pervades.

Meditation Notes Week Ending 12 September 2015

Sunday, 6 September 2015


Went into a frenzy of body freaking out in its own awkwardness. Before long I thought, ‘This won’t do.’ And so brought my attention gently to the breath. Fairly quickly the breath became long and smooth rather than the panicky shallow it had been. (I’m never sure how much I’m controlling the breath.) Then the prime areas of sensation were apparent and I stayed with each until it dissipated: belly, pulled in and a bit stabby inside; lips pouting and needly; middle of the spine. Then I moved fairly steadily from part to part. Seeing if it’s possible not to compare with any previous times, better or worse. This includes moods and reluctance on waking up.


Tuesday, 8 September 2015


Forgot to write anything yesterday, on a day off, but did sit.

During the day yesterday, a closeness to myself. Realisations by thought that it doesn’t have to be busy, and so it drops away, leaving a refreshing directness in what I see and experience, a connection to what I’m doing. At some stage thought fires back up and in its moment of reboot, awareness is absent. Has to be.

Today, breath deep and smooth, some involuntary sounds of letting go, as happens in yoga, kind of groan moans. Able to move quite steadily throughout the organism. Noticing the areas I tend to skip over as ‘done’, like the fingers and toes. Go to the very ends, include all. This is possible but for some reason I prefer things to be incomplete, meaning there’s still places to hide, or where awareness doesn’t reach. Not necessarily in fingers and toes but in micro areas of the lower back, hips, legs and chest. Some minute twitching near right upper lip is ongoing.


Wednesday, 9 September 2015


Days sliding by, a third of September gone. Where we are headed so quickly I don’t know.

Woke at two-something. Sat forty minutes in the dead of night. Emotions and concerns pale to nothing in the context of sensations of the body. Breath deep and full again. Lips tingling, pouting. Not much other movement. Deep aches in the shoulders and lower back. Body more flexible than ever as evidenced in last night’s Iyengar class. Stronger too from cycling three or four hours a week and press ups every couple of days. This complemented by yin yoga, with its long holds, every second day. Push ups one day, yoga the next works well.


Thursday, 10 September 2015


My heart is more open. I can actually feel it. Being more open I am more receptive and more freely giving. It is also more open to the old hurts from long ago, perhaps sparked by more recent events that remind me of then, such as miniature rejections prompting memories and feelings of old major rejections. From long long ago. More than twenty years. Abandoned by my father due to alcohol and his death. Abandoned by my then wife due to… disinterest? So when something happens now those patterns and grooves of thought and emotion are well established and are affirmed.

In sitting, the sensations and memories are right there. There’s little I can do to escape and I’m running out of tricks to avoid feeling. Vulnerable. But learning that vulnerability doesn’t have to equal weakness and fragility. Also aware of bitter conclusions and in the quietude it seems possible for the conclusion not to get locked in as fact, but to remain uncertain as to how it is and open to a new possibility of the conclusion dissolving.

This week and recently and at other times over the years, the experience of thoughts sometimes suddenly becoming more archetypal and dreamlike in meditation and relaxation, like one moment there’s thinking normally and then a sudden shift to a deeper level, which feels like the basis of thought, which then, because of space and awareness, realises its own uncessesaryness and ceases, retires, undoes, of its own accord.


Friday, 11 September 2015


Sleeping all through the nights these days.

Mid back physical focus today. It eased as I stayed with it.

Regrets. Concerns. Worries that I’ve wasted much of my life. But no clear idea how not to do so in future.

Second half more of a sense that everything is in fact okay. If there is any waste, it’s bowing to fear. Not to become mighty, but acknowledging fear and allowing it its rightful place and no more.

Less inclined to need sleep after sitting, more ready for the day. Probably because it’s seven a.m. not five. But also, a deep old tiredness may be lifting. Somewhere though, I feel I could sleep for a week. Is it possible to stay near the tiredness, giving and allowing it rest? Will see in yoga nidra now.

…yes, kept returning to the tiredness and there were many fallings away and a quick half snore with each.


Saturday, 12 September 2015


Refusing to fight and refusing to control has an interesting effect on thought. Suddenly there’s a whole bunch of space. It’s like giving thought permission to think and do exactly what it wants to, instead of leading to chaos and everlasting thinking leads to order and understanding and acceptance.

A daydreamy session five hours after going to sleep. That’s okay too. Why not take the attitude that it’s all okay? Of course, attitude, stance, a way, only can go so far. Within the arena an attitude creates, the attitude itself can be understood, itself understanding itself, and then something new can talk place; the attitude being a little old fashioned. So it only has its place a little while, but we have to include our stance.

Also with the body, I’m refusing to fight it. That really intense tension in the webbing of the fingers? Let it be. It then expresses itself to the max and drops away easily.

Meditation Notes Week Ending 5 September 2015 – Boys don’t cry

Sunday, 30 August 2015


Week four after the reboot. I do feel like this is new territory, although I’ve done it before in terms of consistence and regularity. I think after the first ten day retreat I sat morning and evening for sone months. But the uncovering and the sheer realness feels new. It feels like I am going to cry soon, for deep, unknown reasons. Maybe it’s the very exhaustion from this forty years of running moving shifting trying. Learning how to cease unecessary movement toward and away. What am I running from? Is it really so bad? Where do I want to go? Is it really so good?

So, yes, it feels like I’m going to cry soon. Really cry. It comes often watching TV or films. Pretty sure it will come alone, whilst I sit early one morning. Is that what I  run from? Only that? What can be so bad? Why this moving moving moving away from something, or towards something nicer? It’s a lot of work. So I guess the start is stopping physically, sitting myself down regularly and consistently. And let it come. And learn that constant movement is not necessary. I can’t put on the brakes, other than stopping still. I can’t stop thought. It can be out in a position though, where it itself seed that it can gracefully retire.

At age 44 I’m feeling healthier in mind and body than ever before. My days are less fearful and I’m so much stronger.

Doesn’t stop this being the hardest thing I have ever done…

Monday, 31 August 2015


Paranoia seems to be based on shame. Shame seems to be based on… I don’t know, it seems pretty fundamental. Insecurity? Ack, the things I’ve done wrong in my life! And worse, I’d probably do them wrong next time around too. The paranoia is also that I don’t really know which are the wrong things, all twisted as they are. It has to do with discovery too, or rather exposure. The fear of being exposed as I am. And when I don’t know exactly what I am, this is very frightening. So is this part of what meditation is about, in the totally safe space of the mat, to uncover what I am, in awareness and equanimity, to face fears, shame even, and allow forgiveness and resolution? Maybe. It’s all *right there* as I sit; there’s no escaping oneself in all its facets. Again deep in the early morning, waking around four.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


Into September and at four a.m. there’s not much sign of dawn. It’s owls not morning birds I hear.

Awoke dreaming of chaos in the office and in the middle of it an ex boss returned but I couldn’t quite recognise her.

On sitting I felt tiny within an expanded padded body. A sensation I’ve felt a few times when listening to music and once or twice in sitting. It’s like I am very close, to what I don’t know – myself – and the body is further away, a big cushion surrounding me.

Back to basics, following the breath as my thoughts run wild about trust, friendship, not really knowing or understanding anyone, us all being trapped in our inner worlds and not really able or wanting to share the realities of this with anyone.

Keep sitting. Be honest with yourself if not possible with anyone else. It must be possible all round. What am I trying to protect or don’t wish to show? Needs and vulnerabilities.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


Into meteorological autumn we go!

Again, four something in the morning.

Very sore shoulders.

Neck tight. Found myself looking all the way to the right. I say looking; the eyes were closed.

Right hand contracted.

Mind inventing futures.

Through it all some kind of aware watchfulness and a knowing it’s all okay.

Thursday, 3 September 2015


A little later; slept till nearly five. It seems to be true that with meditation one needs less sleep. But I do feel I need a good rest, so will be taking time off work soon.

Mind wandering through work matters, now that personal issues aren’t a problem, at least for now. Neck less tense. Mouth stretching downwards, less about the lips, more the sides and towards the chin. Tummy drawn in like it’s massaging itself deep inside.

Some steadiness and togetherness but for the most part quite scattered. A little disappointing that I’m ready to stop at a little over half an hour, but I don’t want to push things. It has to be sustainable and I know when I push a little, practice soon ceases.

Friday, 4 September 2015


I’ve got to keep reminding myself of the last instruction I heard in my head that time: ‘Where are you trying to get to?’ it said. I.e. there’s nowhere to go. Easier to spot the subtle and not so subtle pushes and pulls towards and away in the mind. In savasana yesterday I honed in on the actual sensations of the brain rather than going along with them and bouncing off them, which is relentless and unsettling. What is settling is to stay right there with the grit, without force, and if there is force, to allow it to cease. I then fall several steps nearer to… ME. Or existence. Or life. Or the true self. Whatever. It isn’t really a thing but an energetic state. In sitting rather than lying, it’s harder as there’s the squirming body in the more energetic upright pose.

Going to experiment further now with some nidra.

Slept till 530 or so

Saturday, 5 September 2015


Those first twenty minutes can be very hard. Emotionally. Doubt. Uncertainty rife. Dependency, not actually on others but on them feeling a certain way towards me. ‘Must be well liked’. Not popular, that I’ve never known and don’t seek, but a certain level of buoyancy given by others liking me. And if that buoyancy is threatened or rocked, I get… upset. This seems never ending and relying on others this way is going to, does, distort friendships and twists honesty.

This all settled down in the second half as I came back to myself, so to speak. Soreness in neck and shoulders. Right hand was the main player, deep aches below the thumb and then in the pad just near the wrist.

Feeling fragile and feel like I need a good cry.

Meditation Notes Week Ending 29 August 2015 – Steady now

Sunday, 23 August 2015


Week 3 of the reboot.

Small reunion of old friends yesterday from a time when I wasn’t that well. Lots of bad hash all week and alcohol each weekend. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence but I woke up sweating a lot, and much earlier than usual. Two-something. Sitting was very awkward, squirming on my cushion. I wasn’t consciously reliving any of those times but my body seemed to be. Was able to stick it out for 35 mins.

Monday, 24 August 2015


The now familiar routine but always subtly different. In order:

Lips pouting, then mouth stretched open, then intense piercings in the very edge of the lips, sort of like pins and needles but much sharper.

Right hand clawed, then flexed, culminating in white hot piercings in the finger tips and around the nails.

Stomach drawn in, up, tight, some digestive pains, mild.

Head shaking fast side to side.

Thoughts and emotions based on rejection, isolation, dependence on others to feel fully okay and validated. Then going through events of the previous day and recent days.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015


Actually slept until 05:45! Not that long in total as I didn’t sleep until almost midnight. But longest for the last couple of weeks. Also sat for 43 minutes, about ten minutes more than the recent average.

Not easy. Pin point sharpness across tops of shoulders. Stiff aches in sides of neck. Grotty stabs in the lower digestive tubes. Tummy tightly pulled in. Some head shaking. Some arching forward while the belly was contracted for long periods.

Are these underlying sensations and tensions in the body what makes the mind so flighty? It is clear that I don’t want to go near them, to feel them more fully. Well, the curious meditative aspect does want to, but habitually I don’t want to. The trails lead in the other direction, well trodden and smoothed. It’s seemingly easier to flee. And maybe that is what I’m doing most of the time. Using lots of energy in: away away away! Staying gently in the vicinity is less energy consuming and leads to other possible destinations than the well trodden paths.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


Signs that the body is settling down, two and a half weeks in. No great movements; the head was shaking rapidly side to side at times, but short lived; some arching forward. But mainly, and for a full 45 minutes, sitting still, erect, relatively at peace.

With the body more stable, attention turns to the mind. And it’s clear there’s not a lot of stillness there. That’s okay. I would touch upon an area of the body and thoughts zoom away. Subject to subject, idea to idea, fear to fear. But not obsessing, just doing what it’s been able to do these 44 years. It knows little else. Underneath or over the top, not sure which, and probably neither, there’s a sense of growing stability beyond the flighty thoughts. I am refusing to control thought and get into that game. Anyway, the me who wants to control would be a part of the same flighty thought pattern. No, meditation seems to be nothing to do with me as such. Or at least nothing for me to do.

During the day, glimpses returning of a core self, kind of saying ‘hello once again, I’m still here waiting, all is well.’

Thursday, 27 August 2015


Yes, definitely calming down. Body wise, it was token gestures today: a minor lip pout towards the end, a little head shaking and some initial belly tucking.

Mind wise, very active, which is totally fine. To push for a quiet mind is not meditation. Moments come when there really is nothing to think about, and the space and stillness that present themselves are unrelated to what’s gone before. Whereas the train of thought and feeling seems to be always related to that which was previous.

In stillness or relative stillness, an energy then can do what it needs to do, wants to do, or naturally does. This is most apparent in the spine. I can feel the energy meet resistances in the body and mind, and the impact of energy meeting stuckness causes the jumping shaking body movements of the last weeks. If there’s no resistances it rushes and embraces in entirely its own way, resulting in blisses and tingles and who knows what.

My nights are steadier too, sleeping through to around six today. Quite different to earlier week’s three or four. And less tired on finishing a session. More than ‘less tired’ – energised. Although it is nice to have a good lie down a while. Further integration.

Friday, 28 August 2015


More awkward again today. The wheat from yesterday’s lunch? The old mushrooms of yesterday’s supper? But was able to stay with the body, after some initial daydreaming at 4-something in the morning. First light of dawn now as I write.

Lips pressing forward, upper jaw a bit tight. Right palm tense. A general instability throughout.

Saturday, 29 August 2015


Three weeks into the reboot and today I touched upon mediation. Or rather, mediation occurred. It’s at once foreign and familiar. Not something that can be remembered in the unusual way, and when it’s going on it’s both brand new and very ancient.

Breath was naturally deep and fluid, with some slight purposeful lengthening for the first minutes. I then began to move over the body, at first swiftly and haphazardly as was the state of my mind; despite just resting in sleep it was scattered and diverted.

After a few trips downs and ups from head to feet and back again and back again, more connection was felt to sensation and, again naturally, attention lingered and moved more slowly. As this happened the scatteredness of thought started to decline, the web of thought tightening like a net being gathered in. I don’t know if there was a gatherer; it just happened as the disparity became obvious.

More connection with body more attention of mind. I lingered on obvious sensation in shoulders, right hand. Head shaking came out of the blue and was intense and sudden and freer, and stopped as suddenly as it started.

Some tingles and bliss and, at last, rest.

Meditation Notes Week Ending 22 August 2015 – All weather meditation

Sunday, 16 August 2015


So, I’ve been a fair weather meditator. Or a fair month meditator. Doing it for a while until things got too much in my life or inwardly, then taking the option of meditating lying down, or doing yoga nidra instead. Both are better than nothing and allowed some continuity. But it’s not the same. And now here I am feeling frustrated outwardly and the temptation is to skip it, to stay in bed. But one week in, I am continuing come what may, even if for only half an hour like this morning.

Remembering the guidance of awareness AND equanimity. I’ve been under the other guidance of doing nothing to what is and so exploring some kind of pure awareness. Trouble is my ‘pure awareness’ isn’t pure but riddled with pushes and wants and dislikes subtle and not so subtle. So I’m learning there is something to bring, and this really calmed things down when feeling the neck for example, and I was able to go deeper quicker and more steadily and with much less flitting about of the mind.

Monday, 17 August 2015


Mind racing and stimulated after conversations last night until midnight. This racing of the mind didn’t stop the body continuing whatever it is it’s doing. Head shaking rapidly. Right arm stiffened. Right hand flexed seemingly more than I can flex it myself. Tummy in and up tight back towards the spine. Not all these things at once and this is probably the order they occurred. Again the early morning waking, even when sleeping late. I certainly need less sleep these days.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015


All the sensations of the last week turned up to 11. But each for a shorter duration. And the addition of a new one, in the chest. Much of the 45 minutes I was bent forward, tummy pulled in, chest compressed, tight. Then coughing. As I’ve said many times, it’s not me doing these things in the usual volitional way but the body itself. All I’m doing is bringing attention to that place, somewhat systematically, as evenly as possible. And even if not bringing attention to that place, it’s happening. Ended the session in the right lower jaw where teeth meet bone and gum. This arose as I travelled back up across the face.

05:44 now, so a little later today, and also sleeping at 10-something not like the previous night’s gone midnight. Now I have some time for rest until needing to get up around 08:30.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


I hurt a friend by not telling them something as I didn’t want to face the consequences of possible anger and violence if I told them. Of course they now know anyway and so now there’s the anger along with the disappointment and mistrust stemming from my keeping it quiet.

The difference is that when something major was going on I would quit the sitting and the yoga until it had calmed down . This time I am continuing whatever.  This is really new territory for me.

Thursday, 20 August 2015


It’s hard to know I’ve disappointed someone; someone who already seems to have a mistrust in most of mankind. I’ve probably confirmed this and now join the 95% of people he hates. And because of a cowardly non-action. This was my mind as I sat quietly with the lightening sky. The first bird song was around 05:45. Neck quite tenses, and shoulders. Right leg unhooked itself from cross legged. So, I’m learning to forgive myself and learning that not everybody has to like me. I have led a pretty quiet life this last decade and so it hasn’t been hard not to upset anyone. I guess issues like this is why mediation is so unappealing to many. The notion of sitting quietly with one’s own self in all its forms can be horrifying. It might be possible to neutralise this horror, or feel it fully.

Friday, 21 August 2015


There really is no stopping it. My body is alive and has movement and action independent of me. But of course! After all I don’t know how to covert glucose to whatever the body converts glucose into. But I mean the parts I normally have the say over, like when to move my arm and how. But no, the right arm hangs free with its partner, the less kinetic left, and within moments it is off on its shaking gripping twisting adventure. The lips too and all around the mouth, grinning grimacing pouting, generally contorting left right and centre. Tummy too, pulling right back at the naval and up under the ribs. I don’t try to stop it. I know I could if I HAD to, like in an emergency, but whilst sitting quietly there is no need to get involved. And today playing with how little I can be involved and the less I am, i.e. the more the mind was still, the freer the body was to do its thing. I do wonder when it will stop; this is nearly two weeks into my sitting reboot, so that’s at least 8 hours worth. I suspect, hope, it’s not just undoing stuff from the previous 24 hours but is releasing older and older holdings and knots. That’s what it feels like.

The relationship issues of the last couple of days have faded.

Awoke with the last call of the owl as the dawn came; somewhere around six I heard the first bird song.

Saturday, 22 August 2015


The end of week two. My sense of progress would like things to be changing, to be able to sit without all the body stuff going on. It will change and for sure it is changing, just in ways the impatient sensor of progress can’t feel, and it’s changing in its own tune, not mine.

Systematically I went from head to feet and each part had its own tale to tell, and even while that part told it, other parts clamoured for attention: neck, lips, belly.

Awoke around five, slept around eleven. Yesterday I practised some yin yoga for the first time. It really suited me. It was mainly about the hips and hamstrings this sequence, so not as total as the Sivananda but certainly less next next next. I don’t have to do the practice the way it’s done in the recording, I could do it at a slower pace. But good to mix it up and the yin yoga seems great for when I’m caught up in a kind of post-work hyper mode.

As we move into late August sunrise is now after six.

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.

Meditation Journal 2 June 2014

Intense once again, on the edge of crying, screaming. Extreme tension in neck, jaw, back of shoulders, right hand. But it’s all okay somehow and I never think of getting up, stopping. Once I’m sat I’m sat. It’s the actual getting to sit down where there’s resistance. Especially in the evenings where it’s not really going to happen, the momentum of the day so strong. And yet it’s clear this is more valuable than absorbing more media, than having a ‘nice evening’. Let’s see if it comes. Now for some yoga.

Meditation Journal 27 May 2014 – Raw dreams

More about the neck, but less painful, however dominating it is of the hour’s sitting. There’s no controlling the mind, off with its adventures and concerns. Some vague scanning of the body but kept returning to the back of the neck, into the shoulders. Head shaking started within minutes of sitting down and continued for the most part. Nothing else to report, while sitting; at night deep dreaming, related to the druggy days of the early 90s, as if those areas of memory are now being exposed. I’ve always felt that raw, scary dreams are actually good, if in the context of healing.