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 27 May 2014 – Raw dreams

More about the neck, but less painful, however dominating it is of the hour’s sitting. There’s no controlling the mind, off with its adventures and concerns. Some vague scanning of the body but kept returning to the back of the neck, into the shoulders. Head shaking started within minutes of sitting down and continued for the most part. Nothing else to report, while sitting; at night deep dreaming, related to the druggy days of the early 90s, as if those areas of memory are now being exposed. I’ve always felt that raw, scary dreams are actually good, if in the context of healing.

11 Aug 2013

Dreams: Crippled. A snivelling wreck in a damp corner, spine arched, alone, neglected, no one near. But I’ve seen him, me, caught a glimpse at least. First contact. Then… Van not starting. Others I’m with go on, leaving me, again, alone and also taking the girl I like, who just felt caring pity towards me. No one wants caring pity. On my own, trying, trying, trying to make the van start. Even pretending it does to those who ask when passing by.

Meditating after a deep dream allows the meditation to go deeper, as long as you are not too spooked and are willing to explore it in a relaxed, attentive way. The dreaming has already uncovered a lot for you.

An injured day. Neck much worse on waking and I’m unable to sit upright for meditation and breakfast and therefore work. So I spent the day propped up on pillows, finishing the yoga book, answering some work emails, watching a few things and browsing about. Saw some pictures of Marilyn Monroe doing yoga. I hadn’t realised.

Probably thinking of my neck, but it’s not good to turn to smile at the camera with one’s neck in these positions.

After some athletics this evening – Bolt does it again at the World Championships – wacthed Kirsty the property lady’s show about making furniture from free stuff. I remember something similar in the early Channel 4 days, when I first saw car seats being used in the home. The table from scaffold planks was ruggedly appealing. 

Here’s hoping the neck is freed up and painless tomorrow…

Journal 5 June 2013

On the run.

I’ve escaped, having been sentenced to execution.

The dream keeps resetting to the moment I escape and the first few days.

I’m crying hard at all the things I’m leaving behind if I’m caught or if I start a brand new life.

This isn’t a usual kind of dream and its refreshing to touch such deep sense of ending.

Dreams aren’t just dreams, they can allow real psychological resolution.

It’s all the brain after all.

If I’m a fugitive how much of ‘me’ can I bring?

Do I start again with nothing and live, maybe, or do I stay with what I know and be executed soon?

No choice but to end.

Either way.

Woke from all that 0730 in a bright bedroom in Alresford.

C already up and working out.

My neck is a bit cricked, which lasted all day.

Dropped my car at Phoenix Auto Services to be fixed: ABS light on and back brakes overhall and new lock mechanism to fit.

I always feel a bit at a garage’s mercy. I know what needs doing, basically, but when there’s a complication and it’s going to cost X amount, what can you do but say yes? Your car is already in pieces. But these guys I pretty much trust. But when did labour start costing £45 per hour plus VAT? In the end it was £490 for new pads, discs, callipers, ABS sensor, a few bits and bobs, and fitting the lock.

At work checking remastered audios back from the studio.

Hot day again, sunny lunch with some Mature Students, talking about the river swimming spot near Alresford. A bit of a local non-secret secret.

Walked my usual post-lunch walk. Which looks like this in places:

Moon's Spinney Brockwood

For a few days more.

By evening the cricked was neck mostly gone.

Watched some of a documentary about the D-Day landings.

Some old dudes remembering it.

Do we become more and more ourselves as we age? These old chaps looked entirely themselves. Such character in their faces.

Journal 4 June 2013

Woke at 0545 thinking it must be near 8.

I awoke from dreams of work issues, not having enough information or information changing and a decision nethertheless is needed.

How I am reacting on waking will become my day.

Sitting still for some time allows it to be different.

Then the day can proceed from there, rather from the slightly panicky feeling on waking as thought catches hold of the past or the imagined future.

Plenty of time for sitting quietly and for a quick run through of the structural integrity exercises, after a lap bath.

Bright sunshiny morning.

Where it happens:

Meditation corner

Cessation of steering means that which was being avoided, by habit really, comes to the fore.

What is it?

Some nausea, an internal giddiness.

Strong sensation of the front of my face, a barrier between the world and me.

Poor face, that’s not what it’s for.

Then it began undoing in a series of odd expressions and tension release.

Look at people’s faces.

How we are inside is right there for the world to see.

The masking doesn’t quite work.

At work, going through the weekly-published memoirs of Mary Zimbalist, Krishnamurti’s assistant, adding to our database relevant information about Krishnamurti talks. Beyond this it’s a travelogue, basically, with hints as to his extraordinary nature.

Lunch in the sun again, with a Korean student who adores Samsung. “Best company in the world!” We ate rice and tofu burgers. Walk after lunch to Brockwood Bottom.

Which looks like this:

Brockwood Bottom

And is really as far as you can go before Brockwood is no longer Brockwood but Joan’s Acre or Riversdown.

Drowsy in the afternoon.

Baked potatoes for supper.

Then to C’s in Alresford for the night.

Finished The Reluctant Yogi which was more factual and less anecdotal than I’d hoped.

Journal 3 June 2013

The day is winding down, the sun setting soon. It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round.

Dreamt I took out anger by knocking down the outer bricks of a strong wall, blow after blow after blow with the sides of my fists. It didn’t hurt. Not sure anything was different afterwards but it felt good, satisfying. In dreamland.

Got up at 0530 and sat. The mind unsettled, darting here and there. Fizzy. Like it’s over stimulated from yesterday’s event. Very soon, right wrist shaking, then intense shaking of head and the torso twisting left and right, faster faster to some kind of climax, then slowed right down. By the end of 45 mins, the mind was much quieter. Some fatigue by the end of it and I laid down a while, feeling the tired areas where the refreshment of sleep hadn’t touched.

Listened to a bit of music while getting ready for work, including the postman in the sand song, here turned into a surf video:

At work, the reorganisation of the vault continued, with the help of an ex student who was volunteering in the foundation this morning.

Lunch in the sun with a staff member who is leaving this summer, another yogi.

Then a walk. Bluebells fading out, their leaves flopped to the earth, superseded by the ancient and mighty ferns. Then when the view opened out, the yellow on yellow of rape in full flower, behind liquorice beech trees.

Why is ‘liquorice’ liquor and ice?

Surprise visit from C who popped in after dropping a birthday gift off for a friend. Some hugs and smiles before post lunch post walk napping.

Talking of smiles, a friend finished her video project. People of 37 countries, young and old, smiling. That’s it. As she puts it:

Everyone can be a small stepping stone towards a place of compassion and kindness

I’m at 4:21, in a bobble hat, palms together. Many friends are in it, including Doug looking outstandingly hippyish at 1:21. With a goat on his lap why not. I smiled throughout. It’s contagious.

Carrying On A Smile from Carrying On A Smile on Vimeo.

My laptop screen says ‘Godammit’ under the big ‘SMILE’ but don’t tell anyone.

In the evening: Iyangar Yoga class with Sandy Bell in Compton. It’s a really good class with about 10 of us, who have been stretching together for some years for the most part. Lots of arm, shoulder, wrist releases today, along with the usual forward bend emphasis, which is my tightest direction but I appreciate it. I touch places deep inside during Iyengar yoga. I call it yoga with no cheating. With alignment everything stretches in the way it should, safely yet extensively, and maybe you don’t get so far in the pose but it’s done right.

The drive on the way back from yoga is always special, totally there with the car, the road, the music. Today with the sun through the trees as I climbed from the Itchen up onto the open downs, taking the racing line through the bends.

There it is, the sun now set and I’m soon into bed.

Journal 2 June 2013

Woke up at 4, just as the birds began to sing.

Cleaned teeth at the open window, fresh air.

Sat on my little stool.

Watched the breath.

Watched how I controlled the breath.

Let that go.

Stillness soon came.

Travelled around the body, sensation, sensation.

Travelled some more until the organism had its own intelligence.

And it let loose.

No method or technique remained.

Awareness and action.

An hour was soon over.

Then Structural Integrity mobility drills and exercises.

Balancing out the muscle groups.

That took over an hour.

Back to bed for an hour and a half.

The best dreams.

The ones that undo and liberate as they unfold.

I was running, slow mo.

Only very lightly touching the ground.

In doing so, flying higher with each bound, I was no longer able to see.

Bounced into some ropes and rebounded back.

But all was well in my slow motion.

And on landing securely I could see again.

Back up; sun salutations.

Fried rye bread breakfast, with St Dalfour spread.

To work after saying goodbye to my partner and best friend after a long weekend.

The lowdown on the recent trustee meetings.

Excitement in the air for the opening of the school pavilions.

Email catchup. Postcards to family from our camping weekend.

Finding photos for a trustee to gift to a donor:

Krishnamurti smiling in the grass.

Fed the fish on a sunny break, chatting with a friend.

Lunch: risotto rice of two varieties, asparagus, diced roast spuds.

After lunch a short nap.

Then the opening ceremony.

Met on the south lawn, mingling and photographing.

Here’s the project manager looking at stages of the build:

Pavillions Opening 01

The oak beams still very visible in the almost-finished buildings.

Walked over en masse to the site.

Songs, speeches, ribbon cut, naming ceremony, high teas, tree planting, chats.

Took many photos for Friends of Brockwood.

Here’s one:

Pavillions Opening 35

All the pavilions are named after trees at Brockwood.

Afterwards, supper of potatoes and rye bread.

French Open, the last last set of the Federer match against a plucky local.

Cut my own hair with clippers.

Wrote this.

Aim to sleep by 10.

Talking bird

Working at tidying a garden, I disturbed a bird in a bush, a young, scruffy, brown blackbird. Hopping about nearby it started to call my name, repeating over and over. Duncan. Then inside the bush somehow was written a message: ‘see through all illusion for the actual.’

All in a dream

Notes on Dreams

By the end of a dream, still continuing with a game that has long since gone to pieces. Nobody else is playing or interested but you carry on because you don’t know what else to do.

Early in a dream the events are focused and immedite. Later they are disparate and problem solving is weak, left helpless. The beginnings of dreams, as far back as can be remembered, are deep and weird.

During stressful and fearful stages I go blind. I still have to do what I have to do but I can’t see at all, or can’t see faces. This adds greatly to the anxiety, bumbling on.

Enabling Yoga

There was someone I was to meet. I’d arrived at an apartment, up in the
hills, expensive. A family next door had a little house and each of the
bedrooms were another cabin, nestled in the hillside. I never met the
person but it felt great to be there. There were many others and they
all knew what to do. Even though I didn’t know what to do I felt
welcome. I never met who I was to meet.

What changed with my yoga routine?

  • Shower in the evening – means I don’t have to get up so early.
  • Eat breakfast at work while reading the morning emails – means I
    can get up at ten to seven and still have a 50 min stretch and a 40 min
  • Find a book/video that isn’t too progressive, is nurturing and safe – I use Basic Yoga For Dummies.
  • Feel safe, that nothing is going to happen
  • Feel that you fundamentally want to do this, and enjoy it.