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

05:23

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

04:56

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

05:39

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

04:57

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

05:22

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

06:34

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

06:34

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.

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Meditation Notes Week Ending 2 May 2015 – New meditation cushion and the best meditation timer app

27 May 2015

Energy coursing upwards once the thoughts get out of the way. I kind of wake up with the sensation I which was aware of through layers of thought, and now it’s a direct connection. Then the energy is freer and as it moves it meets the actuality of the organism, resulting in awareness of bliss, tingles, tensions, constrictions, and great pleasurable feelings from the pelvic floor spreading upwards.

 

28 May 2015

New cushion much more supportive. Firm yet not hard. This is the one I bought, highly recommended.

It takes me the best part of an hour to move steadily from head to feet. Then at the end there’s a much quicker, looser, smoother journey back to the top of the head, then time to spend a minute or two in the areas of most obvious sensation before the bell rings. I use Zen Friend to clock the hour. Again, recommended as perhaps the best meditation timer app out there.
Today’s major sensation was behind the eyes and deep in the back of the thighs towards the buttocks. That ancient nervy feeling there, somewhat sciatic. I could easily notice the increasing strength of the body to sit well, from four straight days of yoga, an hour each evening before eating.
Woke naturally with the light just before six and it seems natural to go to the cushion. The fear of doing so seems temporarily or permanently to have dissipated. I relish the connection and validity of this practice.

Meditation Notes Week Ending 25 April 2015 – Using energy in a different way. A deep reset.

21 April

To be able to use the manic ‘browse internet for hours’ energy that’s scattered into one hundred things, to be able to use that energy to observe the body, and feel the very same energy in the body. Left to its own (conditioned) devices it is shooting up into the head and creating so very many thoughts. With the moving of attention from part to part with a neutral attitude towards sensation and thought, somehow the energy transforms, each part felt as near to its actuality as is possible. And in each area it is seen that the attention is one or more steps removed and in this seeing this removedness can naturally undo. And then there is connection, immediacy, actuality, without modification by the mind, and the sensation felt in the area undergoes a change, no longer what I thought it was but more like what it is. So within the hour spent attending to the body, the manic energy transforms to a more total, directed energy, without any control as such and certainly without any force. Really interesting and valid ‘work’, this.

 

22 April

Goenka Vipassana Meditation is a reset, perhaps even more than a night’s sleep in terms of letting the brain rest. Quite clever really, there’s no mention of thought in this technique of awareness of sensation. Naturally thought realises its place, that it isn’t really needed at the moment. Naturally thought goes through it’s loops, even small dreams. Come out the other side of these and thought is naturally spent. No effort to control thought needed. No criticism of thought (by thought) needed. Just a small effort to actually do it, to sit or lie down and move attention over the body. I like minimal.