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Archive for the ‘Self-Help’ Category

Reawakening to reality

It is a good thing I set that 10 minute timer…sometimes it is the mediator between meditative state and rounding the corner to sleep.  🙂 

Today I meditated in my car before returning home from school.

The last several times I’ve used my 30 sec prep time to say a little prayer or give some gratitude.   I find it does indeed prep my mind/body a little more for the sitting.

Today even though my brain was all over the place, I managed to start counting breaths towards the end of the sit and got up to 13 before the bell rang.   Not sure if I could have maintained focus until 21.  Lol.  Today was just one of those days where paying attention to my breaths did not cause my chest to feel tight – part of why I have trouble focusing on the breath.

It was also one of those sessions where when the sit was done, I opened my eyes but really did not want to move my body.  It was definitely relaxed, kind of heavy.  I really didnt want to move.    ♡

Permission to be at peace

I am most successful at making time to meditate on workdays, perhaps given they are more structured days.  By the time lunch comes around for me I am ready to run into the treatment room, turn off the light, and sit for 10 minutes on a short exam stool.

Initially the techno-squealing was annoying.  Now it gives me something external to focus on if I need help quieting the mind.  Besides, even if that wasnt there my ears would still probably ring.

Somehow I’ve lost track of watching the breath.  I only watch a few breaths at a time.  🙂 

What I have gotten good at is giving myself “permission to be at peace” for these 10 minutes, permission to not have to follow thoughts or work out problems.  I center myself by remembering that I am not on the noisy side of the psych ward at the moment, that I can let go of the reverb in my head of those noises.   Then, I try to watch my breath for a few and listen for the quiet in the room.

Meditation day 43 – 1/13/14

In the midst of a chaotic day at work, after having missed half my lunch hour already, I called mercy and took a break.

I set the timer for a 10 minute meditation (I now do a 30 second prep timer).  My body doesn’t usually melt into the same level of relaxation as it did in the honeymoon days, but I was grateful I had this practice to make some space to provide a mindful opportunity to relax, rather than just a break on my phone or with my eyes closed stressing or just eating.   It is a different space.

Even though I wasn’t fully comfortable or connected to the moment, I tried to stay focused on my breath.  In breath, out breath.  Try and enjoy the breath, I hear the sangha leader echo in my head.  It is a challenge to enjoy the breath when Im stuck feeling like breathing is a conscious effort some breaths.
Then there is catching the breath when the stream of thoughts try to carry the awareness away.

I had accidentally programmed a bell to go off at 5 minutes too, which actually deepened my sensation of sitting.  Towards the end though I had to latch onto repeating “om mani padme hum” in my mind.  Glad I have that flexibility because it made a difference.

I suspect meditating may have prevented me from fraying my last nerve(s) on the psych ward tonight, which has been rather acute lately.  

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If I build it…

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.

 

Meditation Day 17 – 12/18/13: Chronic lateness, Original fear/desire, Present moment.

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.”

Present moment,
this is it.

In breath
Out breath

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.

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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.   ❤