Vipassana Meditation Day 32 – The Caretaker
The usual ten minutes or so of thinking through things, behind which there’s a settling down. I don’t remember too much about this stage, what the thoughts were and the mini battles that go on with shoulds and shouldn’ts, because what came later kind of wiped the slate clean and was overwhelmingly intense. So after ten minutes, vipassana begun, moving down through the body. Right arm shaking, into the wrist, arm above my head at one stage. Moving steadily down, deep aches and tension in the lower neck and shoulders. The blind spots of the back of the pelvis can now be felt. The tingles and strongly pleasurable feelings around the loins and perineum. Into the legs, sciatica pretty much cleared up, some tightness in the inner thighs up to the groins. The calves are quite blind, and shins and ankles. Feet arches, still a lot going on there, tightening as I pass by. On the way back up I feel like a caretaker, checking in on each part, and it’s clear that I can be a rather grumpy one, cursorily checking in, then slamming the door on the area and moving on begrudgingly. Not slamming the door because I don’t like what I see but because there’s a feeling that there’s so much to do: go to get on. Seeing these things, aspects of the observer, in this setting means they don’t have to stay like that, and after that the observation was much lighter, spiralling around the torso, rising up, and by this stage, there’s movement everywhere, from the pelvis up. Energy rising up through the spine, and shoulders hunching like they’ve never hunched before, reaching deep into the big muscles of the upper back and neck, head forward, head back, to one side, the other, no systemised stretching but a free-form movement unter my gaze, whatever I am. It’s surprisingly, pleasurable to touch so deep, painful, yet I’m not reacting, okay with all to happen in the thick of it. The arm has another go, the legs tense and release, breathing shallow and fast, rushes of energy up from the loins, washing through the brain. All this is exhausting and enlivening at the same time. I feel I need deep rest yet I am due to care for the chickens soon, then in the office. Such is the life of a householder-monk. After lunch I had an hour’s deep sleep.
Again a steady evening sit. No shakes! Strong sensations in legs towards the end, tight aches. Early on, thinking about something and then: ‘oi, you’re not supposed to be thinking’. This ‘oi’ has been there since the 90s since I first read things about meditation. The idea of it stuck and there’s part that manages my mind like that, sitting or not. For years, a bit of a bully. In this, though, anything non-equanimous attitude is very apparent, so although the ‘oi’ stopped the thought, the thinking said, no, actually something was being worked out here. The compromise solution was to think about it later. Maybe thinking sessions are needed too, to go over things purposely, those things that need thought. Thinking about things of the day subsided if not ceased and body awareness began, cycles of thought coming every now and then. Overall, feeling quite content to be sat. I noticed an agitation in observation, an impatience, making attention unable to be complete on an area, flitting about. There’s a lot of flitting. I’ve been trained in it. TV is flitting about, as are people, as is my attention. In the crucible of sitting still, these flits can be understood.