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Posts tagged ‘thich nhat hanh’

Meditation day 18 – 12/19/13 & restless legs

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.  ♡

Daily pics:

Here is the crudite dish I brought to my unit holiday party
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And a picture of my festive holdiay outfit.

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Be well!

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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.   ❤