121119 Meditation Journal


First day after the ten-day course and time to begin my home practice. I felt the usual resistances beforehand, same when about to do yoga and the shorter sittings I used to do. But the genuine wanting to do this allowed it to happen and so the excuses didn’t win out. So on waking and after a quick wash, wrapped in a blanket, I sat down in the corner of the room by the window and radiator. At first I just sat there, not really knowing what to do and then the subtle feeling of the technique of breath sensation came back to me and I was somewhat agitatedly and distractedly aware of this for a few minutes. As I settled in I was able to proceed with the vipassana sensing of the body from head to foot and from foot to head, but only moving part by part, not really scanning or flowing over the body. But this was good enough: here I was, at home, dedicating myself to an hour’s sitting. Unprecedented.  It felt right. As per the instructions, I have been working with the gross sensations and blind spots rather than the subtle. Most recently this has been in the arches of the foot, and so after half an hour or so of scanning, my feet started to twitch and move. There’s only so much pain the body allows for and so the extreme tightening I felt through the legs neck and jaw doesn’t happen with the feet, where the sharp cramping sensation threatens to be overwhelming, so instead the feet flex and extend somewhat rhythmically. I’m not doing this consciously; the body or the unconscious mind is doing it. The toes, however, can fully tense for minutes at a time without the searing agony of the arches. This takes place in the context of equanimity and awareness, with the notion that everything changes.

At around 45 min, I really wanted to stop. Experience shows that if I don’t stop, something interesting will happen. This time, suddenly my right upper jaw lifted and the right cheek went into tension, the right side of the face ever so slowly moving, spreading tension sensation through the entire right cheek and upper jaw. This didn’t last so long. Looking at my watch, I had 5 minutess remaining and so returned to simple breath awareness and repeated those parts of the lovingkindness meditation I could remember, centring at the heart.


Five minutes anapana after yoga class.


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