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Archive for November, 2011

Duration of today’s sit: 60 minutes

Before sitting this morning, I reviewed my notes from the retreat and realized that I can frame the judgment issue I’ve been describing the past couple of days as attachment and aversion. When I judge myself as “meditating well” my ego is creating attachment to certain kinds of experiences. When I judge myself as “meditating poorly” my ego is creating aversion to certain kinds of experiences.

So that was my focus today. Whenever I noticed that my mind was wandering I would remind myself, “Nothing bad happened, it’s just a wandering mind.” And when my mind was concentrated on my breath I would remind myself, “Don’t get attached, just stay concentrated.” So my sit became a dance between the concentrated moments and the wandering moments.

I can tell this had an effect because I felt a general sense of peace. There was no inertial resistance to sitting. In other words, it was not difficult to sit still for the full hour.

My mind was quite agitated and my staying was probably 20% continuous. Most of my focus was on the judgment, not the breath. I feel like this is a necessary step on my path.

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Duration of today’s sit: 60 minutes

It still strikes me as amazing just how difficult it is to simply sit still for an hour. I was right yesterday when I identified the two biggest obstacles as judgment and inertial resistance.

The judgment is by far the biggest obstacle. So that’s what my sit became about today, being with the judgment, coming right up against it. Sometimes I got so frustrated I wanted to yell.

The benchmark for concentration practice is how continually the focus stays on the breath. A benchmark for progress with this judgment issue will be how long I can sit still without my head exploding. 🙂

The good news is that my awareness is high. I can see the judgment as mind activity, not reality. It’s there and it’s oppressive at times, but it doesn’t gain control.

Also, this morning I used the Holosync recording, but I’m not convinced it’s going to help. I was unable to hear the interval bells, which made concentration more challenging. I think I can fix that for tomorrow. And I broke posture at about 40 minutes to switch the cross of my legs.

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Duration of today’s sit: 60 minutes

Wow, a full hour of sitting was challenging. Why is it so hard to sit and do nothing but concentrate on my breath? That became part of the focus of my meditation this morning. That and observing judgment in my thoughts.

Part of the reason why I think it’s so challenging for me to sit, especially for “long” periods of time, is because it goes against the grain of how I normally approach life. I’m very “doing” oriented, and even when my body is not so active, my mind is chattering away. Anytime we change our patterns, we come up against a certain degree of resistance.

In addition, I think the judgment makes it difficult in that the experience becomes unpleasant. Who really wants to spend time doing something they judge themselves to be bad at?

So these two factors must be faced. First, accept that sitting in concentration is a different way of living, and therefore it will be challenging. Second, acknowledge that the more I do it, the less foreign it will seem to me, and the more comfortable I will get doing it. And third, continue to notice and not indulge the judgment. It will evaporate in the light of consciousness.

One other observation: the posture did not get uncomfortable until about 5 minutes before the end.

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Duration of today’s sit: 10 minutes

Today is the 4th anniversary of this blog. I’ve been doing various 100 Days of Peace for 4 years, off and on. Blows my mind. 🙂

My sit tonight was good, mainly in that I did it. My mind raced anxiously about a couple of issues, but it felt good to sit and be present with it rather than entirely consumed by it.

I have a lot of fear in my mental storytelling. Mostly fear of it being “too late” for [fill in the blank].

There are 24 days left in these 100 days. I have the idea to do 24 consecutive daily 1-hour sits. That would be the equivalent of a full 24-hour day of sitting. I will make that choice in the morning.

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Duration of today’s sit: 10 minutes

I sat tonight in my niece’s room as she was reading before her bedtime. It was my first time sitting with someone in the same room who was not also sitting for meditation. Some minor self-consciousness for the first minute or so, then I settled in.

My mind was agitated but quieted significantly by the end of the sit.

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Duration of today’s sit: 0 minutes

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Duration of today’s sit: 0 minutes

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