Archive for December, 2013
1 min prep; 15 min sit.
Revisited my friend the exam room at the start of my lunch today. Upped the ante back to 15 minutes, did a few little stretches and breaths to loosen up a smidge in my minute prep time, and settled onto the exam stool.
15 minutes didn’t take “that long.” I had more success with breath watching today, counting after each exhale. Not sure I concentrated long enough to make it up to 21 as they suggested at newbie meditation
@ KTD Monastery when I visited in August. I know I made it to atleast 10. At some point I took the suggestion of someone else and
focused on the sound of the fan blowing when it distracted me for a few moments. The fan drowned out the wifi router squeal, but not quite the whirr of the COW.
The observations on my thoughts escape me at the moment. What stands out the most was feeling how relaxed my body was after a few minutes in spite of the various tensions it has at the moment [sciatic, clavicle] that were still present. Now I find I dislike having to open my eyes and resume activity when the bell rings. This is becoming a constant, even if the session had been a squirmy one –
except last night with the restless legs.
Of course I want this to be profound. So on the topic of Mu (does a dog have buddha nature?), I leave you lucas chasing his tail, obviously very much in the present moment.
Just did my mediation now in the parked car after returning home from work. I tend to not meditate at night because I get restless legs most of the time. Of course, self fulfilling perhaps this happen tonight.
I tried to ignore it first….rather, I tried to observe it. The sensation is in so much pain as it is an action potential that must manifest into movement. Observing it tonight, in my right leg only, I’ve noticed that it feels like I’m trying to hold back from reacting to a tickle. For the record I have a strong dislike of being tickled.
I’m able to just observe for a little while but then it becomes so much more urgent and uncomfortable. I just have to move it, so I stretch my legs out to see if that would alleviate the tension. Nope…. the battle with my restless leg is well established now. I continue to try to watch my breath and observe this action potential that comes in waves starting at my hip.
I become so uncomfortable ….I start getting more and more frustrated my body starts getting more and more tense…. as I try to let my body just relax….. and I tell my leg in my head to relax….to no avail. It brings me to tears and I encourage mindfulness to join me with those tears of frustration.
I find it amazing that its not even a pain but I *have* to move my leg to alleviate that pressure.
Normally in the past restless legs meant “hell no I can’t sit still like this, fuck it!” but now I somehow have more resilience to sit here for those 10 minutes that I had set my meditation app timer to, with some squirming and frustrated tears. Somehow I’m still sitting in the car, writing about this because I just want to get the frustration out and be done with it for tonight.
I don’t know what my body wants or needs or what’s missing that I get these restless legs. But I had not observed that it was similar to that borderline tickle reaction before. For those of you who might suggest exercise, it’s worse when I exercise!
I sit without relief from the waves of tension that increased in frequency the longer i sat. But I kept trying to return to breath, and observe this phenomenon. I tried to let the outside noises be my observation point to little effect.
I thought about TNH saying we have everything we need in this moment to make us happy. I thought about doing some tapping (EFT) to try and reduce it, but decided it would be counterproductive to observation. I wondered whether it related to my sciatic discomfort or something structural in my foot…but it isn’t every night since I left med-surg. I remembered my coworker who did reiki on me one day and said my energy flowed well except from my knees down. I continued to breathe and cringe and squirm.
I was so glad when the bell rang!
Of course, the tension is still there but the intensity of the waves are less since I’m no longer trying to be still. I feel a knot in my throat, a diffuse odd tension in my torso like a bad nervous energy one might get when they are in trouble. 🙂 My body just feels strange.
But I sat for that 10 minutes. I may have even gotten 10 seconds of breath watching in there. *grin*
Now off to my fuzzkids. ♡
And a picture of my festive holdiay outfit.
For the record, I’m really happy to be working on building up my blog finally.
I have a long-term goal of documenting much of my life’s journeys as a record – someone existed like this, whatever this is. Maybe someone can learn something about themselves or another culture from my example. Maybe not.
A friend of mine denies any of this matters. Maybe it doesn’t in the long run. Maybe the information I present here will be data in a file somewhere someday, out of sight, out of mind. He says he creates art because he enjoys it, and I write because I enjoy it. I like having the potential for an audience because I reckon I’m an exhibitionist. 😉 Hopefully this month off of school will see both a lot of writing and a lot of art on my part too. 🙂
At any rate, It is in progress. The seed is growing.
Cest la vie, TBD.
My subtitles are out of control. 🙂
Sat for 15 minz today @ ZCCC
Originally my plan was to go to zccc tonight for zazen, but I might be taking a random drive to Darien, CT to accompany a friend to an xmas choir rehearsal. For me it’ll be as good as watching a performance. 🙂
So, after dropping off my last paper for the semester – yay! – I decided to attend the lunchtime meditation at zccc. I dilly-dallied showering and getting out of the house so I got there 15 minutes late.
On the train I read a few pages of Reconciliation, in which TNH discussed a few things including habit energy. TNH says that when we act out of habit our ancestors are acting with us. One of my habit energies is chronic lateness since grammar school, which is the habit I am trying to change right now. I say I “inherited” it from my mother since she was always late. As a kid I remember struggling to wake her up to help me get ready for school…frustrated, crying. My mother also suffered from depression. Last week in therapy we did some EMDR on this memory and coincidentally I was on time for work this weekend. I will reserve claiming correlation though. 🙂 It is an interesting notion to think of both those habit energies, lateness and even depression, going back further, beyond my mother. Depression not so strange, but lateness, yes.
TNH also discussed original fear (helplessness, needing others) and original desire (survival) and knowing we have everything we need in this moment to be happy, that the child inside needs to recognize it is no longer helpless. We do not need to reach into the past or future.
So, of course, all this was floating in my brain when I sat. There was a lot of grounding monologue involved before I was able to let go of wishing I could see a distant bff tonight, wishing I hadn’t been late to meditation. Grounding involved saying to self that I was sitting for my ancestors, sitting for me, for my friends, for world peace. Ha! Then I had to let go of self-importance for doing such a thing. Oh, the humanity!
I was uncomfortable watching my body since neither my heart or lungs were relaxed. I thought about how by having cats it keeps my body somewhat inflamed since I’m allergic, not to mention my diet isnt exactly anti-inflammatory. I needed a shot of my asthma pump on the train which helped my lungs but got my heart going. I was kneeling on 2 pillows so that wasn’t so bad but my body and breath still had trouble relaxing. There was a part of my being that I sensed was relaxed, that I was sitting, and was grateful. I find discomfort less likely to make me want to stop meditating now.
Finally I found a mantra of sorts to rest with and repeat: “Present moment, this is it.”
Above the meditation hall altar at Blue Cliff, there is calligraphy that says “this is it” which I find so enlightening and amusing. I mean it is true. All we have is any present moment. Maybe we walk into a meditation hall expecting some kind of shazzam-pow satori, or that’s what brought us there. We are like, oh my gosh! I’m here! I’ve arrived at the super spiritual land monastery meditation hall! What now?
Above the altar are the words “this is it” taking center stage. It can be anticlimactic (hence amusing to me, sarcastic) or it can be an invitation to be with yourself in this ‘present moment’ and enjoy it for what it is. I am reminded of the phrase, “wherever you go, there you are.”
this is it.
Really, I swear, I did keep trying to return to the breath. *giggle*
Getting to places on time for me has that duality as well. I have to mindfully appreciate that my psyche and the universe lined up for me to do the right thing, since being on time reflects integrity and respect for others. It also gives me a fair chance to succeed instead of setting myself up for failure. The lack of adrenaline rush of sorts (for survival, for pleasure …even though being late feels bad) is anticlimactic. Some of this was already explored throughout the years, but it was nice to have a comparison to reflect upon.
It’s intriguing, also, to notice how pre-meditation factors can influence the quality of the thoughts that float by in the session. Not surprising, of course, but encourages me to consider reading a brief passage of something prior to sitting. Or not.
I always have the present moment, whatever, whenever that may be.
Pic of Lunch today: ZCCC holiday party leftover ziti dressed up with green beans, chicken fontina spinach sausage, crushed tomatoes with green chilis, mozzarella, parmesan. ❤
(1 minute prep, 10 minute sit.)
I decided to sit away from the beasts.
My bedrooms have barriers to keep the puppy out. I sat on the edge of the bed in the spare room today and for my minute prep I watched the fuzzkids outside the door. The dogs always gather at the door and look confused and anxious as to why mommy is separate from them. Pin walked away and lucas grabbed squeaky snake trying to get pinto to play, which pinto does not do.
In told them I loved them and closed my eyes as the bell rang.
I notice my body does settle into meditation quicker now. It is responding to the conscious training to be still. My back started hurting … I should have at least put a pillow under my butt to tilt my pelvis, but chose not to readjust. My chest didn’t feel tight this time. My back took the stage.
My mind observed the noises in the apartment, and reflected on visiting zccc and other zen communities. It is resonating easy with me perhaps because I am pursuing self growth, spiritual awareness and community all in one. Yet I am not being force-fed dogma. Hearing dharma talks haven’t even felt like dogma, but more info to contemplate or embed into my own journey. It’s nice. Happy.
Oh, breath, meditation, right. 🙂
In breath, out breath.
In the background is a little meditation chant box singing amhitaba that andrew-san gave me. I thought it was ridiculous and cheesy at first but now listen to it for a few moments near-daily as I get ready for work. It is plugged into my computer speakers. 🙂 if I get a plug for it I might leave it on for the animals when I’m not home. It has been playing for … 3 hours now?
In breath, out breath, in breath, back pain, though the rest of my body is relaxed. I had noticed tension in my stomach when I started and let it go. Out breath.
Ten minutes seems like it should go faste, though it isnt heinously slow.
The bell rings, I bow, rise.
Dogs are ecstatic I’m rejoining them. 🙂
Once upon a time, 13 years ago, I became involved with an online community called everything2.com, or e2 for short.
It was a pre-wikipedia user edited collection of posts. It is still alive! e People on this website are called noders, and we get to vote on each others writeups. I noticed the reddit system is rather similar. hmmm..
We wrote things that were factual, humorous, a combo of both, fiction. We commented on posts in a passive-aggressive way making up awesome nodeshell titles. We had crazy parties and meetups and munches. We dated, married, had little noder babies. We clashed cultures and countries.
Amazingly, I still have some of those noders in my life today. I feel like they don’t make online communities like they used to!
My writeups can be found here:
My most popular writeup of all time was a post I did describing the first time I got fisted. Hm, I don’t think I’ve added a sexuality page to this blog yet. 🙂