Meditation Notes Week Ending 15 Aug 2015 – Starting Again (Again)

Back to the mat after a long period (a few months?) of yoga nidra instead of vipassana body scan meditation. Here’s some of something like what happened:


Sunday, 9 August 2015


One at a time:

Head shaking immediately on sitting.

Hands flexed, tingly tightness all over.

Shoulders hunched.

Head wanting to look right.

Mind reeling through yesterday’s party, a lower upper class, upper middle class BBQ at the cricket pitch; neighbour’s birthday.

Lasted for 42 minutes of the 45 set. The sitting that is; the party two hours, which was too long into the awkward arrival stage and too short before people really started to enjoy. Also very hot. Feel a bit of a satellite circling around society but not central to anything. And now I’ve even moved from the community at BP. Where actually I was also a satellite. I guess a lot of people like me have a more outgoing partner and that kind of balances out, but C is also a satellite which can make us even more aloof detached socially outcast happy in our own space. Actually did have another offer yesterday, a sea paddle in Dorset with an old friend. That would have been far preferable but I thought I should do the proper thing and c wouldn’t have liked to have gone alone. Ah, the unsatisfactory compromises!

It’s now gone 0530 having woken at 0430. Maybe sleep till 0800…


Monday, 10 August 2015


It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea of progress and lack of it, assessing how one is doing in mind and body. Why does that still ache, why am I still thinking about this, I thought I was over that by now, I’m more peaceful than I was, stronger, wiser. And so it goes, the game of comparison. And not just in oneself, but with those around.

It’s not a competition, there’s nothing to win. There is a movement away and towards but it doesn’t need to be assessed.

Sivananda yoga session every other evening and now I’m back to the mat in the mornings, 45 mins is the set time. The last two mornings it’s been very early, pre dawn and then going back to bed with earplugs and face mask, which I’m about to do as c will be getting up at six.

In touch with a good old friend first time since the 90s, who was there when I was making the big changes from married with a flat to hedonism to a more spiritual life. Woke up to a whole string of messages from him. Seems he’s taking the opportunity to reflect, as I shall do. Without the assessment, or too much of it.

Palms still tight, stretching out. Lips super pouting in yoga yesterday. Shoulders undoing. Neck too. I hear the first call of a bird, at 5:05.


Tuesday, 11 August 2015


The body knows what to do once I get out of the way or put it in a position or place where it has space. Within minutes the lips in a mega pout. Then the neck arching forward. The right hand shaking. Then below the jaws, and back along the right lower jaw to the wisdom teeth, deep aches. Touching upon them and staying with it until the body moves on, and when no apparent sensations, scanning through from head to feet and feet to head. Then the palms and fingers, extended fully and opening out to their max. Then the abdomen pulling in tight. Then the shoulders. Lower back. Legs passive but feet tight too. Ended in an arm stretch, up up; didn’t choose it, just happened. I can readily see why they say the yoga postures came from those sitting in meditation. The body really does know what to do. At some point in the sitting the edginess of the mind could undo too.


Wednesday, 12 August 2015


It’s getting quite specific where the body wants to tense up then release, today including the webbing between each finger, one at a time. Right hand of course. Another time the entire hand spasticated. Points in the neck. Shaking. Once again, first to go were the lips, immediately on sitting, like the body just knows. All of which means this week there has been very little inquiry into mind thought emotion and the psychology of meditation and of self. But my organism at 44 is well as it has ever been. I can feel it in my day, in my walk, in my presence. And in going about the day, the mind is less troubled, caught, frightened.


Thursday, 13 August 2015


Five days of this now, the tensing up and sheer awkwardness in much of the body. The result of not sitting for a month or months?

Woke from twisted dreams of very sick people on chat shows, a couple even eating on camera, as their problems were thrashed out, pale fatty skin dripping off them, hardly able to storm off stage as their bodies didn’t do ‘storm’. Again, four-something when I awoke. It feels like I need some days off for complete rest. Perhaps alone.


Friday, 14 August 2015


The further I went from the head, down towards the feet, the less my mind fretted and demanded and fantasised. Woke with frustrations, envies, stickiness, desires. As I moved consciously from part to part – no vague scanning today – all on its own the brain calmed down, desires dropping away. There may be nothing to do but sense. The doing of the mind or thought seems to be of the very same nature as what it is trying to fix.

Such agonies and awkwardness riddled in the muscles, skin, nerves, even the very bones. But I sit and I sense and there it is, how I am right now, the reality of the situation. The modifications of the mind seem to be an attempt at a response to this body and its sensations. An inadequate response. By sitting quietly and sensing, an adequate response is emerging.


Saturday, 15 August 2015


Best to stick to every day. I’ve gotten confused with notions of a day off before. One day off and then it’s very easy to say ‘how about another?’ So I think that’s a week completed now. It’s getting less arduous in terms of the body. Right hand is still flexing, extending, then becoming a fist. Neck is still tight, along with shoulders. Head shaking for a while every session. Also, stick with the sitting instead of lying down. Which is easier, but is just not the same. And a day or two of lying down instead can easily turn into weeks, months.


Breathing consciously makes all the difference

Stretch no more than if waking up and yawning
A natural stretch
A natural breath
No fancy postures needed
Breathe into any tightness
And as the breath leaves, notice any relaxation
Not only in ‘yoga’
But sitting at the desk
Watching the television
Breathing consciously makes all the difference

When there is love, the word duty disappears.

– Krishnamurti, Book Of Life, 13 April

Close by

Stay close by
There’s nowhere to go
Stay close to feel
There’s nothing to do
In attention

Then thoughts think
Stay close by

Do we need a belief of any kind, and if we do, why is it necessary? That’s one of the problems involved. We don’t need a belief that there is sunshine, the mountains, the rivers. We don’t need a belief that we quarrel. We don’t have to have a belief that life is a terrible misery with its anguish, conflict, and constant ambition; it is a fact. But we demand a belief when we want to escape from a fact into an unreality.

– Krishnamurti

End before it begins

You can feel how thought and conclusions and opinions and judgements form your facial expression
You can feel how tension and protection affect your posture
You can feel how the brain gets patterned and grooved
You can feel it happening in yourself
You can see it happening in others

You can feel all this undo
And end before it begins

Book of Life, 4 Feb:

Love admits no division. Either you love, or do not love.

Stress Relief

This morning I followed a video from Yoga Zone. If the New Zealand video was gay yoga this is definitely hot LA woman yoga. It’s led by a German-sounding guy with two leotarded yoga instructors demonstrating. It’s called Stress Relief and Conditioning. Relief. Evaporation. Release. Opening. Unwinding. It’s a little exertive at some points but generally these words are what it’s about. Since yesterday I have also been sitting still for 10-15 mins twice a day. At the end of yoga and after work in the evening sun. Breathing is key to stress relief. It becomes very apparent when breathing fully is forced. To investigate a natural breath as I stretch. Awareness of breathing, awareness of stress and tension, leads to new possibility. Awareness is not tense. Watching is tense. A little snoring during lie down.

We're all in this together

Hello shoulders, stubborn and strong
Hello pelvis, a weeping
Hello jaw, critically tight
Hello forehead, stern and wise
Hello legs, taking me there
Hello arms, paddling out, telling
Hello eyes, watching it all
Hello heart, the centre, the love
Hello brain, whatcha up to?
Can you all take a rest, while doing your thing?
It’s all right.

To Continue

Whatever might be happening, I am carrying on with the ‘practice’. I am not sure what practice means, but it’s not just a fair weather thing, sitting still, relaxing, yoga stretches. Today very stiff and tight after yesterday’s hour and a half surfing then later a kilometer swim. I wanted to wallow in tiredness and lie in but so glad to gently stretch and then spend some time relaxing. I want to keep moving though, because of what’s happening in my life – breaking up is hard to do. It’s not breaking up – there’s nothing to break. So, to continue. We don’t know where.

On Edge

Once I begin to explore relaxation I am so surprised to realise how on edge I operate most of the time. I’m tense, nervous, thinking all the time, worried what might happen next, what might leap out at me, inside or outside my body. I think this is pretty normal. What I can say is it is pretty usual. The evidence is all around. Added to our own tensions we stimulate ourselves to get through the day. So many coffee shops! Where did they all come from? Is it because we don’t smoke so much any more we use coffee instead? And once day is done, have some alcohol. What are we avoiding? I don’t know. I don’t think I can know but I feel the urge to move move move, to stay on edge. You never know what might happen.