Meditation Notes Week Ending 29 August 2015 – Steady now

Sunday, 23 August 2015

03:18

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

04:08

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

06:45

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

06:23

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

07:07

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

05:17

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

07:11

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

05:37

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

05:17

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

05:38

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

05:29

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

06:02

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

06:03

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

05:44

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 Notes Week Ending 15 Aug 2015 – Starting Again (Again)

Back to the mat after a long period (a few months?) of yoga nidra instead of vipassana body scan meditation. Here’s some of something like what happened:

 

Sunday, 9 August 2015

05:23

One at a time:

Head shaking immediately on sitting.

Hands flexed, tingly tightness all over.

Shoulders hunched.

Head wanting to look right.

Mind reeling through yesterday’s party, a lower upper class, upper middle class BBQ at the cricket pitch; neighbour’s birthday.

Lasted for 42 minutes of the 45 set. The sitting that is; the party two hours, which was too long into the awkward arrival stage and too short before people really started to enjoy. Also very hot. Feel a bit of a satellite circling around society but not central to anything. And now I’ve even moved from the community at BP. Where actually I was also a satellite. I guess a lot of people like me have a more outgoing partner and that kind of balances out, but C is also a satellite which can make us even more aloof detached socially outcast happy in our own space. Actually did have another offer yesterday, a sea paddle in Dorset with an old friend. That would have been far preferable but I thought I should do the proper thing and c wouldn’t have liked to have gone alone. Ah, the unsatisfactory compromises!

It’s now gone 0530 having woken at 0430. Maybe sleep till 0800…

 

Monday, 10 August 2015

04:56

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea of progress and lack of it, assessing how one is doing in mind and body. Why does that still ache, why am I still thinking about this, I thought I was over that by now, I’m more peaceful than I was, stronger, wiser. And so it goes, the game of comparison. And not just in oneself, but with those around.

It’s not a competition, there’s nothing to win. There is a movement away and towards but it doesn’t need to be assessed.

Sivananda yoga session every other evening and now I’m back to the mat in the mornings, 45 mins is the set time. The last two mornings it’s been very early, pre dawn and then going back to bed with earplugs and face mask, which I’m about to do as c will be getting up at six.

In touch with a good old friend first time since the 90s, who was there when I was making the big changes from married with a flat to hedonism to a more spiritual life. Woke up to a whole string of messages from him. Seems he’s taking the opportunity to reflect, as I shall do. Without the assessment, or too much of it.

Palms still tight, stretching out. Lips super pouting in yoga yesterday. Shoulders undoing. Neck too. I hear the first call of a bird, at 5:05.

 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

05:39

The body knows what to do once I get out of the way or put it in a position or place where it has space. Within minutes the lips in a mega pout. Then the neck arching forward. The right hand shaking. Then below the jaws, and back along the right lower jaw to the wisdom teeth, deep aches. Touching upon them and staying with it until the body moves on, and when no apparent sensations, scanning through from head to feet and feet to head. Then the palms and fingers, extended fully and opening out to their max. Then the abdomen pulling in tight. Then the shoulders. Lower back. Legs passive but feet tight too. Ended in an arm stretch, up up; didn’t choose it, just happened. I can readily see why they say the yoga postures came from those sitting in meditation. The body really does know what to do. At some point in the sitting the edginess of the mind could undo too.

 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

04:57

It’s getting quite specific where the body wants to tense up then release, today including the webbing between each finger, one at a time. Right hand of course. Another time the entire hand spasticated. Points in the neck. Shaking. Once again, first to go were the lips, immediately on sitting, like the body just knows. All of which means this week there has been very little inquiry into mind thought emotion and the psychology of meditation and of self. But my organism at 44 is well as it has ever been. I can feel it in my day, in my walk, in my presence. And in going about the day, the mind is less troubled, caught, frightened.

 

Thursday, 13 August 2015

05:22

Five days of this now, the tensing up and sheer awkwardness in much of the body. The result of not sitting for a month or months?

Woke from twisted dreams of very sick people on chat shows, a couple even eating on camera, as their problems were thrashed out, pale fatty skin dripping off them, hardly able to storm off stage as their bodies didn’t do ‘storm’. Again, four-something when I awoke. It feels like I need some days off for complete rest. Perhaps alone.

 

Friday, 14 August 2015

06:34

The further I went from the head, down towards the feet, the less my mind fretted and demanded and fantasised. Woke with frustrations, envies, stickiness, desires. As I moved consciously from part to part – no vague scanning today – all on its own the brain calmed down, desires dropping away. There may be nothing to do but sense. The doing of the mind or thought seems to be of the very same nature as what it is trying to fix.

Such agonies and awkwardness riddled in the muscles, skin, nerves, even the very bones. But I sit and I sense and there it is, how I am right now, the reality of the situation. The modifications of the mind seem to be an attempt at a response to this body and its sensations. An inadequate response. By sitting quietly and sensing, an adequate response is emerging.

 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

06:34

Best to stick to every day. I’ve gotten confused with notions of a day off before. One day off and then it’s very easy to say ‘how about another?’ So I think that’s a week completed now. It’s getting less arduous in terms of the body. Right hand is still flexing, extending, then becoming a fist. Neck is still tight, along with shoulders. Head shaking for a while every session. Also, stick with the sitting instead of lying down. Which is easier, but is just not the same. And a day or two of lying down instead can easily turn into weeks, months.

Meditation Notes Week Ending 2 May 2015 – New meditation cushion and the best meditation timer app

27 May 2015

Energy coursing upwards once the thoughts get out of the way. I kind of wake up with the sensation I which was aware of through layers of thought, and now it’s a direct connection. Then the energy is freer and as it moves it meets the actuality of the organism, resulting in awareness of bliss, tingles, tensions, constrictions, and great pleasurable feelings from the pelvic floor spreading upwards.

 

28 May 2015

New cushion much more supportive. Firm yet not hard. This is the one I bought, highly recommended.

It takes me the best part of an hour to move steadily from head to feet. Then at the end there’s a much quicker, looser, smoother journey back to the top of the head, then time to spend a minute or two in the areas of most obvious sensation before the bell rings. I use Zen Friend to clock the hour. Again, recommended as perhaps the best meditation timer app out there.
Today’s major sensation was behind the eyes and deep in the back of the thighs towards the buttocks. That ancient nervy feeling there, somewhat sciatic. I could easily notice the increasing strength of the body to sit well, from four straight days of yoga, an hour each evening before eating.
Woke naturally with the light just before six and it seems natural to go to the cushion. The fear of doing so seems temporarily or permanently to have dissipated. I relish the connection and validity of this practice.

Meditation Notes Week Ending 25 April 2015 – Using energy in a different way. A deep reset.

21 April

To be able to use the manic ‘browse internet for hours’ energy that’s scattered into one hundred things, to be able to use that energy to observe the body, and feel the very same energy in the body. Left to its own (conditioned) devices it is shooting up into the head and creating so very many thoughts. With the moving of attention from part to part with a neutral attitude towards sensation and thought, somehow the energy transforms, each part felt as near to its actuality as is possible. And in each area it is seen that the attention is one or more steps removed and in this seeing this removedness can naturally undo. And then there is connection, immediacy, actuality, without modification by the mind, and the sensation felt in the area undergoes a change, no longer what I thought it was but more like what it is. So within the hour spent attending to the body, the manic energy transforms to a more total, directed energy, without any control as such and certainly without any force. Really interesting and valid ‘work’, this.

 

22 April

Goenka Vipassana Meditation is a reset, perhaps even more than a night’s sleep in terms of letting the brain rest. Quite clever really, there’s no mention of thought in this technique of awareness of sensation. Naturally thought realises its place, that it isn’t really needed at the moment. Naturally thought goes through it’s loops, even small dreams. Come out the other side of these and thought is naturally spent. No effort to control thought needed. No criticism of thought (by thought) needed. Just a small effort to actually do it, to sit or lie down and move attention over the body. I like minimal.

 

150209 Meditation Journal – Meditation + yoga + yoga nidra = ?

Parts of the body tensing and contorting, either alone or within awareness of that area. Hand – the right hand, go figure – neck sides and front, up under the lower jaw, jowls even involved in this morning’s sit. Sciatic nervy pain down behind the hips. Right foot at the bottom of it all, flexed at times. Despite the strong sensations and eye scrunching, an appreciation of the realness of it all, the genuine feeling of the body exactly as it is, and that the body is being allowed true expression and release, the mind only minimally involved for once in the day. This sit deep in the night, three something to four something, and time for some deep rest now.

Slept until naturally woke around eight. Always such a restful sleep after meditation, because meditation is actual work (without doing anything – yes!) Yoga this evening, lots of leg stretched and hip openers. I’ve been listening to a new yoga nidra recording, one hour twenty minutes long, working on deep restoration of all the sheaths of the organism (physical body, subtle body, psycho-emotional body, wisdom body and the soul body.) I don’t know anything about Maalika Shay Devi Dasi but she has a great voice for this, and the work is at deeper levels than any other yoga nidra or relaxation recording I’ve found. Highly recommended!

150129 Meditation Journal

Looking into right discipline, right effort, right concentration. It’s easy to fritter away an hour in loose thinking, rather like the dreamy night beforehand. Meditation needs to be something different, with focus but not with any forcing. This is a fine balance.

Today was all about the neck and its holding, tightness, pains and tensions. The poor thing gets the brunt of this life and is holding the heavy head all the live long day.

150128 Meditation Journal

Alone in silent darkness.

Alone: sat still,

alone without authority,

alone all one.

Silence: but for the night sounds of the building,

the storage heater buzzing as it charges,

the creak groan grind of the freezer,

wind buffeting the window,

an occasional turning of a human in a bed in a nearby room.

Ahh, bed.

Darkness: it being deep in the night

when the early hours become the early morning,

still winter despite our hopes.

I like the winter,

it’s moods and its inwardness.

Darkness: but the lights of the internet,

a glow of a charger.

Only somewhat alone,

only somewhat silent,

only somewhat dark.

I can easily fix two with a mask and earplugs.

The alone part is where it gets really interesting.

Who is watching?

Who is doing?

Who is meditating?

Who is sensing?

Does he think he is different from the thing sensed?

Is he under any influence and so not truly alone?

Is he a he?

Is who a who?

Alone in silent darkness.

150127 Meditation Journal

It’s clear that the brain can’t do ‘future’ very well. It can do past; it’s riddled with it; but the future is guess work, projections fuelled by pleasure and fear, attraction and aversion. An upcoming event in the mind seems made of a remembrance of a venue or setting, plus old feelings from last time, or many times, stored in the same ‘me in that kind of situation’ box. This is how it does future, and sat still in the quiet morning, its level of validity and potency fades.

Otherwise, during the sitting: strong tensions in various parts of the body, especially the neck. Some contorting, some shaking. A deep feeling of sensation from a position as neutral as possible, of reactions and distractions.

150126 Meditation Journal

am 1 hr

Still supercharged from the film – Whiplash – last night. During the final twenty minutes I was totally gripped, timelessly into every moment, and then a stimulating discussion following. I was awake until the early hours then woke before six. It seems okay; I feel well and rested, albeit with a charge in my chest. These days I don’t crave more sleep like I once did, okay to be awake if I’m awake.
More and more the meditations are involving the heart as well as the brain, and also it’s less about thought and more about energy and release. I often feel highly connected to something other than what I think of as ‘me’, and the me I do feel is of a more authentic nature.
So, a full on meditation session, head shaking rapidly from time to time, but not lasting long. With the charge not feeling wound up, but very alive within a certain relaxation.
pm 20 mins
The film still with me when I stop and sit. I can’t remember a more raw and real and intense film. Thoughts trundling on but I’m not fighting them. There’s no need to bring violence and control into meditation. Has no place. A tingling over the top of the head developed as the thinking lost its power somewhat. A good way to wind down near the end of the day, having driven back from yoga class in Winchester. I’m happy that I am sitting regularly again.

150125 Meditation Journal

Morning:

Excruciating. And yet when directly in contact with the sensation it is different, a pain is no longer a pain but a strange communication, a beacon: ‘over here, something is up’. Mind scattered through the first half, gradually coming together.

Going back to bed a while; it’s now 06:20 at supposedly the most depressing time if the year. I feel like I want to rest for a week, doing next to nothing.

Evening:

After a resetting relaxation after yoga, a smoother meditation session, a definite unfolding inward, without choosing to go that way, an unfolding through an inner tension of the brain itself, as if awareness is getting closer and closer to the heart of the matter, and almost, seemingly, the centre of consciousness. There, if it is a place, it is black and thought has a great rest. More than black and more than a rest. Deeper, yet not comparable. And it’s a rest yet it is intense. Probably the slight duality remaining, a slight friction. But homely in its unrecognisable cosy intensity.

150124 Meditation Journal

Every day, sitting up not lying down. Every morning, and a bit in the eve. Otherwise something builds up that needs to undo. Of course, ideally there wouldn’t be any doing up to undo and rules such as ‘every day’ wouldn’t be needed. But there’s London, there’s badminton, there’s Portsmouth, there’s work and there’s obligations, and they all create a winding up and that can and needs to be released.

It’s 04:16 and I just sat for an hour. Layers releasing from holds in the body and at the same time layers of stuff wrapped around the me as the watcher, the doer of scanning, the wanter, sliding away seen and releasing. Release. That’s a good word and even better when it’s actual. Back to bed but wide awake. I need more rest which will come in an hour or so.

150120 Meditation Journal

Every session different. After yesterday’s gentle lingering on the most prominent sensations, I expected much the same today. But the mind skipped, twisted, danced, skirted, flew and didn’t want to linger anywhere. Awareness of sections of the body, the head, the neck and shoulders, the arms, the chest and upper back, the lower torso, the pelvis, the upper legs and knees, the lower legs and feet. Which all sounds organised and orderly. It wasn’t. Once those general areas were felt, down the body and back up, it was impossible to feel a particular part without skipping about all over it, flitting this way and that. There was no sense of struggle to control this but a strong sense of ‘this is me, this is how the mind is today’. So the emphasis shifted from the body parts to the ‘me’ who was doing the awareness. A strong notion of not stepping over anything to reach something else, some peace, some stillness, but to stay with the fleeting-ness, the skipping, as that’s the actuality, not the beyond. Appreciation of this connectedness, the listening to all sensation AND the bouncing self; appreciation of inclusiveness and inclusion. It can’t be a stepping toward the pleasure over that which is not wanted, but a gentle unflinching embrace of what’s there. This isn’t a doing from the outside; there no longer being a doer, but the me, the sensation, unfolding from itself. In awareness things naturally reveal themselves, including the one being aware, and therein lies the magic.

150119 Meditation Journal

It’s important to keep starting over, knowing nothing. Initial scanning quite quick, surrounding the body, a few inches out. Noticed it could glide easily everywhere except the lower back and back pelvis where it would get incredibly sticky and would not move. Honed in on various pains: a knot in the neck, one to the left of the spine, the right calf, and sciatic-like nerves below the left buttock towards the end of the hour. All the while noticing my approach to these strong sensations and seeing if it is possible to feel without any cockiness, without any knowing, without optimism or pessimism, to feel so closely that understanding and therefore change is not only possible but perhaps inevitable. This seemed to happen in a few instances, completely focused on one thing, yet somehow feels total at the same time.

Dreams earlier of being slightly mocked by my mother in a kind of lovingly teasing way, leading to a mild shame of myself, while trying to help out with something in the kitchen when very young.

There’s no need to have a conclusion about anything, especially not what’s going to happen to us, to the world. No philosophy, no story.

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.