When I look this way and that way and everything I look at is disturbing, there’s no settledness or peace to be found. An old familiar feeling, much of my life being like this, bouncing around in mild panic. Even the assured undertone so prominent over the last weeks this morning seems to have dissipated.
Anyone who’s got my back seems to be a long way off , even if I know they are down the road, across a lawn or just a text away, and thus Sunday morning I feel isolated in my fear.
An essay to finish, another to write and a personal presentation to prepare and give on the 15th. From a high on Thursday at college – the support, the togetherness, the genuinity – to this troubled morning.
I claim one and resist the other, hoping for escape in sleep or frittering time away online. It’s time to get up and journey a few steps to the bathroom then mat.
AM 1 hour
Dared to sit with it despite the compulsion to KEEP BROWSING. The very word ‘browsing’ suggests shallowness, the movement of fleeting interest. Sitting still is the opposite of browsing, the very physicality of the stationary body rippling into the brain sending messages of ‘this is what we’re doing right now, it’s okay.’
The fears on waking were felt deeply, in and of themselves rather than a me doing something to them. Emotions have their own story to tell, there’s nothing to do about them. Yet I try.
Moving through the body, thoughts intensifying then relaxing as I went. Then last ten minutes I stayed with the most intense physical feeling, a spot mid back, right of spine. Immediately the back arched, the right arm and hand stiffening, flexing.
Final five minutes, loving kindness, meeting myself, saying hi. May I be happy, may I be peaceful, may I be liberated. Then the same for someone I don’t know well, someone I like, someone I dislike, the local community, the country, the continent, then: may all beings be happy, may all beings be peaceful, may all beings be liberated.
PM 20 minutes
It’s about inclusion, acknowledging everything that’s going on, or as much of it as possible. For example, after about 10 minutes a ground of bliss took over from the more usual state of to-ing and fro-ing on realising there is nothing to do. Settling into the bliss I thought: this is it, nothing more to do but settle here in this loveliness. But then I also noticed a feeling that I can’t wait for the session to end. But if it’s so blissful why the urge to stop? So the bliss was partial and the urge to stop was partial, and unrelated. Yet in a peaceful state the other activity of wanting and doing is easily identifiable and in its recognition of itself, it more readily fades or dissolves, or is at least understood.
The last birds awake called out. Two men arrived (back) at the retreat centre, an aeroplane passed over.
Finished my assignment on ethics, so tomorrow it’s on to the personal development writeup. I can combine this with preparing for the presentation.
Began to watch the rather good Paterson, before my 9 o’clock screen curfew (apart from writing this.)