Meditation Journal – Day 53

Vipassana Meditation Day 53

am 1 hr

It felt so good to be back in touch with my body, to feel each area as it was, the close contact and a responding ‘thank you!’ for coming back. Some resistance to beginning but I realised that I was still afraid whether I sat down or not, so there really wasn’t anything else to do but stop still for an hour. Distraction doesn’t really cut it as a way to spend the day. So there I was, moving awareness over different parts of the body, feeling any sensations, listening to any responses, letting thoughts do whatever they wanted to do, go where they go, and feeling closer and closer to the actual experience of having a body and a brain, what that’s like and what it means. By the time I was at the legs, they stiffened as awareness passed over them, and into flexing feet, first time round. No particular pain, more of a tensing and release, naturally, without volition. On the way back up the back arched forward, sobbing came, my left hand turned claw-like and the arm went into an armlock behing my back. The arching forward continued some time as my face contorted and stretched, exaggerated expression not found in everyday life, unless I happened to be a mime artist or something, body operating not to my will but to its own needs. It’s a curious situation and entirely without concern, even when the positions are so spasticated or unusual. Sometimes even comical: right arm in the air, pointing stiffly, like I’ve just finished a 70s disco routine, face in some kind of manic grin, left arm still locked behind me, twisted and hard, yet relishing this configuration, the master out of the way, the body at play. Or release, or whatever is going on. Again, I am not willing it, I’m just sat on a cushion for an hour. It seems to need to happen. Glad to be back at it after the Xmas and New Year shortening to 20 minutes. Glad to be back to the full vipassana sensation-based practice.

pm 1 hr

A bumpier ride this evening, even more contortion, tension, spastication, and not much evidence of any kind of release, ending the session exhausted, still tight, body, face and head aching. I am no longer sure what exactly is going on in the depths of a session like this: no thought, intense thought, bliss and agony mixed indecipherably, energy rushes, timeless states and then an incredibly time-conscious, all within the steady minimal occupation of moving attention over the body.

Meditation Journal – Day 44

Vipassana Meditation Day 44

Shortening to 20 minutes has allowed a steadiness to return, and an integration of the wilds of the first 30 days. Now I’m itching for more. At 20 mins, it’s just getting going, settled into position, mind quietening. Stretched beforehand today, some early morning wake up stretches. It’s been a while and I was reminded of the luxury of a good stretch.

pm 20 mins

Thinking about all sorts. Or should I say: all sorts of thinking – as I don’t seem to be doing it. Perhaps it has a nature of its own and can’t help but do it’s thing – bubbling away with concerns and fantasies and familiar grooves. Then something happens. I become aware that I was elsewhere, then I think a little about thought and while doing so another energy comes so that by the time I am done with the few thoughts about thinking, there’s a vast space and energy. Later, as a matter of course, thought in its nature has filled this space. The space wasn’t mine, so no loss.

 

Meditation Journal – Day 41

Vipassana Meditation Day 41

2 x 20 minutes

Nothing to report today. Short, restful sessions. I’m continuing the shorter sits for the time being, then in a few days our staff retreat begins, with two half hour sits per day. After that, I plan to continue the full vipassana two hours. I will however continue to report any observations and insights (if these aren’t too grand words) here.

Meditation Journal – Day 30

Vipassana Meditation Day 30

am 1hr

What Would Buddha Do?

It’s coming up on one month after the 10-day course ended. Recently I’ve been trying to resolve with my mind, meditate with my mind, waiting for the clear head, the lessening of thought, and then I will see clearly what is going on, see the nature of suffering. Sort it out my own way. I know best.

No. There’s a technique given and it involves the body. I’d been trying to do it too perfectly, make sure every part was felt, too fully, too effortful, and in this trying I wasn’t actually doing very much. Lots of zoning out, daydreaming and cursory scans. Rebellion, sat down and in life. Today, after some obsessing about work issues, I just began moving attention, in the state I was in. Down and up, down and up, cursory yes, but in a sustained way, more loops, more consistency. And things really started to shift. Thought naturally quietens in the face of the sheer physical phenomena. Arms shaking all over the place, knocking something nearby – ow! – neck moving this way and that, face contorting, deep ache in the inner eyes, jaw clicking and yawning so very wide. Energy moving from the base of the spine, however it wants to, in an organism and mind as it is, not waiting for the perfect time to practice perfectly. Sobbing at times. This is messy and yet it’s the cleanest, most genuine way.

Thanks, Buddha.

pm 1hr

Oh my fucking gosh. That was something else entirely. Thoughts thinking, criticism criticising and them a steady, real, quietening, naturally, gently yet quite rapidly, before vipassana began, moving through the body, down then up, at first a bit higgledy piggledy and then with more attention and flow and inclusion. I can’t recall the chronology of it all but at some stage an immense ecstasy started to build from the base of the torso. The whole body began to tingle, buzz, a curious numb yet vibrant sensation over the face and head. All the while continuing to move attention throughout. At the bottom and the top of each scan, resting with a sense of the whole body, a direct connection from crown of the head to base of the spine, including all the limbs and extremities and male titties, and not forgetting the ears. Thoughts coming, and when they go – whoosh – some other level. Not a gradation of levels but – suddenly – higher, deeper, beyond, nearer. More bliss than any sex or drug, body and mind calm and in wonderment, overwhelmed. And then the body started releasing: mega shakes in both arms, one at a time, shoulders hunched way up, the big muscles of the upper back and into the neck full of it, all the stuff, head bowed forwards at times, then kind of arching back, then into the sides of the neck, extreme tension and then release, then head shaking this way and that, feet flexing and pointing, arches crying, sobbing as it all goes on, and at the same time as the sobs an incredible all rightness pervading. Nothing wrong here. Up into the jaws, ridiculous expressions, face and head still tingling despite the full expressions made the the face without my involvement. What am I doing in all this? I’m not sure. Watching. Feeling. Not even that at times, just there in it all as it all happens without me. Humbling. Full breath. Slowly, slowly returning to normal, body still, heavy breath, head clear. It’s like being operated upon from within and without, touching even beyond what I think of as my body, like I’m a few inches larger (lightly large) than I thought I was. In the post-ecstasy I glance at my watch – 54 minutes. I come to the heart: may I be free, may I be happy, may I be liberated, may I be well, may I be fortunate. And to those I know, may they be happy, may they be well, may they be fortunate, may they be peaceful. And to the whole world, all the people, may they be well, may they be happy, may they be liberated, may they be free. Not forced wishes, just wishes. Then an om.