160924

Woke feeling grumpy. Daily photo of pink morning light. Did ten minutes of qigong from video, first  since reading barefoot doctor years ago. Listening to various music and none of it quite right. Realised it wasn’t the music’s doing but mine. So I honed right in on the Japanese flute playing, and in following it closely for some moments, suddenly the grump was gone and I felt refreshed and ready for the day. 

Breakfast of riveta with almond butter and St Dalfour orange marmalade, my usual first breakfast. To Halfords to check out size of the boardman mtb I’ve ordered. Definitely need medium for ball saving and it needs to be more manouverable than my large hybrid. Collecting it in a couple of days. Can’t wait to bomb along the local bridleways and try the singletrack at QE Country Park and beyond. Need to move move, on top of the exercise from the ebike commute, work the lungs and heart a little more. Bike looks great. Good time to buy, the 2016 models all being deeply discounted, with the 2017s just out.

Then into the IKEA purchases from yesterday. New kitchen lights to replace singed old ones someone else caused. Billy bookcase for lounge cupboard. Then, much longer, Hemnes cabinet for shoes, so no more shoes around the hall floor. Making that took much of the afternoon.

Jools Holland with Madness with supper. Remembering dancing to One Step Beyond at youth club in 1979. Liked The Divine Comedy’s new stuff. However, favourite song currently:

Daily Photos 2016-17: 121 to 150

Here is the next batch of photos taken each day, taking us deep into the serotinal Late Summer season. It includes a visit to London for the Krishnamurti Concert at Cadogan Hall, the coast at Meon Shore and West Wittering. Otherwise most photos are at Brockwood Park and mid Hampshire.

Sun in blue sky
Sun in blue sky
Yellow moth
Yellow moth
Brockwood Park School and Krishnamurti Centre
Brockwood Park School and Krishnamurti Centre
Festival clear-up, Boomtown
Festival clear-up, Boomtown
The Bell Alresford
The Bell Alresford
Brockwood Park School organic vegetable garden
Brockwood Park School organic vegetable garden
Parklife
Parklife
The pigeon is dead
The pigeon is dead
Pond in Queen Mary's Gardens, The Regent's Park
Pond in Queen Mary’s Gardens, The Regent’s Park
West Wittering and cargo ship
West Wittering and cargo ship
Swan turning white
Swan turning white
Yellow rose
Yellow rose
Fuchsia
Fuchsia
Alton High Street
Alton High Street
Misty morning early September
Misty morning early September
Maria Pires, Krishnamurti Concert warmup, Cadogan Hall
Maria Pires, Krishnamurti Concert warmup, Cadogan Hall
Hops in vase
Hops in vase
MacBook Pro, Yamaha headphones, in bed
MacBook Pro, Yamaha headphones, in bed
Light on ceiling
Light on ceiling
Under the beech tree
Under the beech tree
Old Alresford
Old Alresford
Gosh! mushroom burger
Gosh! mushroom burger
Sheep and cedar
Sheep and cedar
White roses
White roses
Crocus
Crocus

 

Daily Photos 2016-17: 91 to 120

The height of summer. Two trips to Devon – Paignton and then South Hams. Also visits to Buckingham and London. Otherwise, mainly photographs around Brockwood Park, including the installation of a new fountain at the Krishnamurti Centre, the old one having cracked in the cold during the 90s.

Paignton Beach, Devon
Paignton Beach, Devon
Jacob's Ladder, Sidmouth
Jacob’s Ladder, Sidmouth
River Itchen at Chilland
River Itchen at Chilland
Duncan Toms Selfie with Lumix TZ70
Duncan Toms Selfie with Lumix TZ70
Black sails on Solent
Black sails on Solent
Butterfly on flower
Butterfly on flower
Wheat ready to harvest
Wheat ready to harvest
Hydrangea with two flower types
Hydrangea with two flower types
Brockwood Rose Garden
Brockwood Rose Garden
Brockwood Park School with scaffold
Brockwood Park School with scaffold
Krishnamurti Centre pond renewal
Krishnamurti Centre pond renewal
Abbey Road Zebra Crossing London
Abbey Road Zebra Crossing London

Grandparents enjoying the garden

Krishnamurti Centre new fountain
Krishnamurti Centre new fountain

Brown and white cows with horns, and bull

Shady sheep siesta
Shady sheep siesta
Mouthwell, Hope, Devon
Mouthwell, Hope, Devon
Kingsbridge Estuary from Salcombe
Kingsbridge Estuary from Salcombe
Woodleigh railway bridge, Devon
Woodleigh railway bridge, Devon
Three friendly cows
Three friendly cows
Lavender flower
Lavender flower
Summer blues and greens
Summer blues and greens
Horse & Groom Alresford
Horse & Groom Alresford
Pink flowers
Pink flowers
Chichester Cathedral
Chichester Cathedral
The Swan Hotel Alresford
The Swan Hotel Alresford
Purple flowers
Purple flowers
Red flowers
Red flowers
Raspberries on fingers
Raspberries on fingers
The Hinton Arms
The Hinton Arms

Daily Photos 2016-17: 71 to 90

This batch is mainly focussed on our summer holidays in the Swedish archipelago south of Stockholm

 

Fern
Fern

 

Dive mid air
Dive mid air

 

Leaving Trosa
Leaving Trosa

 

Stripy cloud
Stripy cloud

 

Light behind clouds
Light behind clouds

 

Wakeboarding at sunset
Wakeboarding at sunset

 

Harp playing at Brockwood
Harp playing at Brockwood

 

 

 

Lilyflowers
Lilyflowers
Purple flowers, brick wall
Purple flowers, brick wall

 

Gunwharf lines
Gunwharf lines

 

Sweden Sauna on Island
Sweden Sauna on Island

 

Kids and dingy
Kids and dingy

 

Watsky tube riding
Watsky tube riding

 

Swedish Isle
Swedish Isle

 

Nowegian flight leaving Stockholm
Norwegian flight leaving Stockholm

 

Bumblebee on clover
Bumblebee on clover

 

Wispy cloud
Wispy cloud

 

Glass and stainless steel balcony rail
Glass and stainless steel balcony rail

 

Early morning light through window
Early morning light through window

 

Rare orchid
Rare orchid

He leant back against the hives, and with upturned face made observations on the stars, whose cold pulses were beating amid the black hollows above, in serene dissociation from these two wisps of human life. He asked how far away those twinklers were, and whether God was on the other side of them.

“Did you say the stars were worlds, Tess?”

“Yes.”

“All like ours?”

“I don’t know; but I think so. They sometimes seem to be like the apples on our stubbard-tree. Most of them splendid and sound — a few blighted.”

“Which do we live on — a splendid one or a blighted one?”

“A blighted one.”

 

~ Thomas Hardy

Daily Photos 2016-17: 51 to 70

Here is the next batch of photos taken each day. A trip to the Lake District, a rare orchid, summer in full glory. (Random order.)

Great Langdale Low Clouds
Great Langdale Low Clouds

 

Handkerchief Tree
Handkerchief Tree

 

Lavender and Arch
Lavender and Arch

 

 

Lake Winderemere
Lake Windermere and River Leven

 

Coniston Fells from Grizedale
Coniston Fells from Grizedale

 

Alien flowers
Alien flowers in rain

 

M6 Knutsford
M6 Knutsford

 

Lake Windermere South
Lake Windermere at Fell Foot

 

Langstrath, Lake District
Langstrath, Lake District

 

Merry-go-round Horses
Merry-go-round Horses

 

Underneath rhododendron
Underneath rhododendron

 

Brockwood Park Grove
Brockwood Park Grove

 

Wisely Gardens Glasshouse
Wisely Gardens Glasshouse

 

Rare Orchid
Rare Orchid

 

Southsea Castle and Lighthouse
Southsea Castle and Lighthouse

 

Crinkle Crags Summit
Alex, Crinkle Crags Summit

 

Gary Primrose
Gary Primrose at Yewfield

 

Alresford Broad Street Garden
Alresford Broad Street Garden

 

Langdale Pikes
Langdale Pikes

 

Lilyflower
Lilyflower

Daily Photos 2016-17: 21 to 40

Here is the next batch of photos I’ve taken each day. Spring deepens, blossoms and bluebells continue, fresh leaves arrive. This set includes trips to the Isle of Purbeck and Puy L’Eveque in Lot, France.

 

English folk dancing at Winchester Cathedral
English folk dancing at Winchester Cathedral

 

Lane to Brockwood
Lane to Brockwood

 

Brockwood Park Grove
Brockwood Park Grove

 

Wisteria around Georgian Window
Wisteria around Georgian Window

 

Puy L'Eveque medieval passageway
Puy L’Eveque medieval passageway

 

Cat behind shutters
Cat behind shutters

 

Cahors arched alley
Cahors arched alley

 

Puy L'Eveque, Lot
Puy L’Eveque, Lot

 

Portsmouth from the air
Portsmouth from the air

 

Apple blossom at Krishnamurti Centre
Apple blossom at Krishnamurti Centre

 

Bluebells in Brockwood Park Grove
Bluebells in Brockwood Park Grove

 

Ewe and lambs
Ewe and lambs

 

P1040495

Gundleton Rail Bridge, Watercress Line

 

P1040487

God’s Acre Cemetery and Corfe Castle

 

P1040482

Kimmeridge Bay and the Jurassic Coast, Dorset

 

Anvil Point and Lighthouse, Dorset
Anvil Point and Lighthouse, Dorset

 

Fresh beech leaves
Fresh beech leaves

 

Single bluebell, with insect
Single bluebell, with insect

 

Spring copper beeches
Spring copper beeches

 

Apple blossom
Apple blossom

 

Daily Photos 2016-17: 11 to 20

Here is the next batch of photos taken each day. Spring is in full bloom, with the focus here on bluebells and blossoms. I consider myself very fortunate to be surrounded by such beauty in my daily life.

Bank of primroses
Bank of primroses

 

Last frost morning of the season
Last frost morning of the season

 

Cytronex Cannondale ebike at The Bush Inn
Cytronex Cannondale eBike at The Bush Inn

 

Bluebells at Joan's Acre, Hinton Ampner
Bluebells at Joan’s Acre Wood, Hinton Ampner

 

Cherry tree in blossom
Cherry tree in blossom

 

Footpath through bluebells
Footpath through bluebells

 

Sky flowers
Sky flowers

 

Bluebells, whitebells, violetbells
Bluebells, whitebells, violetbells

 

Pear tree in blossom espaliered against old brick wall
Pear tree in blossom espaliered against old brick wall

 

Chichester Cathedral
Chichester Cathedral

 

Weekend Walk – Bishops Sutton and Gundleton

Scenes during a walk in late autumn, from Bishops Sutton near Alresford, to Gundleton and back.

 

An old granary at the northern edge of Bishops Sutton, perched on staddlestones to keep it drier and relatively rodent-proof:

 

Granary

 

 

A new house (Southview) built next to the Watercress Line. This is looking west:Watercress Line, Bishops Sutton

 

Watercress line from Bighton Lane, looking east:Watercress Line, Bishops Sutton

A dovecote in a scruffy garden near the railway: Dovecote, Bishops Sutton

View from Bighton Lane to Northside Farm and Sutton Wood:Bighton Lane

Geese and cows at Cliveden Farm, Gundleton:Geese at Cliveden, Gundleton

Cliveden. And I thought all of this part of Hampshire was super-expensive:Cliveden, Gundleton

Feeding the horses near Gundleton. They were very hungry. C fetched them fresh grass and I pushed the fallen hay to their side of the fence: Feeding the horses

Into an autumnal Sutton Wood:

Sutton Beech Wood, Gundleton

Out of the wood, looking west. The familiar landmark of Great Clump, Cheesfoot Head in the distance:Northside Farm, Gundleton

Looking south from Northside Lane to Park Dale and the woods of Bramdean Common:

Towards Park Dale and Bramdean Common

Back under the Watercress Line (ex Mid Hants Railway). Railway Bridge, Bishops Sutton, Watercress Line

The bridge arch. Always interesting patterns of decay on these bridges. This bridge would have been made around 1865. Just visible top right is one of two small trees we saw somehow growing from between the bricks:Railway Bridge, Bishops Sutton, Watercress Line

The site of the source of the short River Alre, which springs from east of Bishops Sutton and flows a few miles before joining the Itchen near Alresford. Source of the River Alre

Lots of crows! They were all on the field before we came.A Murder, Horde, Parcel, or Storytelling of Crows

Not quite *the* Alresford but a another Alres-ford (dry) at Water Lane, Bishops Sutton:Ford near Bishops Sutton

Milestone at Bishops Sutton. Apparently Winton is an abbreviation of Wintoniensis, the meaning of Winchester. Tasker is a 19th Century ironworks company.Milestone Bishops Sutton Winton 8

A typical row of Hampshire flint cottages, at Bishops Sutton.Flint cottages, Bishops Sutton

And the rather more fancy Sutton ManorSutton Manor

A glimpse of Bishops Sutton Church, with its high weathervane:Bishops Sutton Church

And right at the end of the walk we saw a bird of prey swoop across the road into the hedge. We stood and watched for a while before it went deeper in to eat its prey. Later we identified it as a kestrel:Kestrel with rat

Six years ago, I took a similar walk. Here is the video.

Weekend Walk No. 65 – Camden to Little Venice – Regent’s Canal

From Camden in London, west along Regent’s Canal path to Little Venice at Maida Vale. The path soon leads to Regent’s Park, where the canal cuts trough the zoo, and the back gardens of some stately homes side by side along its banks. Then there’s a tunnel, so one has to re enter London streets a while, before the busy but tranquil Lisson Grove moorings and Little Venice itself. After an unusual request, I walked a little way along the Grand Union Canal, to Paddington Station.

Meditation Notes Week Ending 19 September 2015

Sunday, 13 September 2015

07:25

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 course 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

07:24

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

07:01

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

05:05

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

08:38

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

06:19

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

06:43

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

03:20

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

07:02

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

06:50

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

06:49

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

04:23

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

04:45

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

04:36

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

04:56

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

05:38

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

06:10

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

05:54

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

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.