Posts Tagged ‘sitting meditation’

Next week, slow motion Simon Says (which, admittedly, lacks some of the spark of the original)

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

We did walking meditation in my stress reduction course tonight.  Acute awareness of one’s feet and their motions.  Every now and then a bell would sound and we would head for the nearest chair to continue with some sitting meditation, then at another bell would keep walking again.  We were encouraged to take a nearby chair, not any one in particular, and to continue to move very slowly and mindfully as we went there, to keep the flow of the meditation continuous.  I did find it much easier to focus with the alternation between activities.

Thing is, every time that little bell rang, and we all began heading to the circle of chairs at the outside of the room, all I could think of was slow motion musical chairs.  There we all are, heading for the chairs in the circle, each one trying to get to one particular one that we’ve arbitrarily decided on, sometimes having to change our mind and go for another one nearby since somebody else got there first, except in absolute, painful slow motion.  And not just slow motion like a leisurely stroll, but full fledged batteries dying, molasses-filled room Slow Motion.  This amused me greatly for some reason.

In the final sitting meditation, it occurred to me that I’m not sure what would happen if the instructor was ever one of the ones to doze off (I should point out that I do spend SOME of my time in actual meditation, but the mind offers thoughts no matter how successful the focus.  That’s just what minds do).  It seemed for a moment that we were going on longer than usual, all seated in silence with our eyes closed and our focus on our breath.  I wonder how long we would all sit there if she never cued us to stop.  I wonder who would be the first one to disrupt the group by mentioning that time should have been up a while ago.  I bet we’d make it at least an extra twenty minutes like that.  Maybe significantly longer.

I also acknowledged today that perhaps a part of the small distance I’ve been feeling from my husband lately (who I love dearly and am super-duper thrilled with and attached to, don’t get me wrong) might be the result of my taking this all on independently.  I don’t really have that many undertakings that are exclusively my own, and I know that historically I can have a hard time balancing self-sufficiency and pushing-away-others.  My mind mixes them up sometimes, I think, and feels like to manage on my own I need to convince myself that I don’t need anyone else.  At any rate, I am going to try to not let being successfully on my own interfere with cherishing the time I spend with my sweetie.  I don’t want that to cause any distance between us.

Of course, it could have been the fact that he’s been super-grumpy lately from the moving stress too. :)

Who knew that doing nothing was so hard?

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

I’m definitely starting to notice withdrawal symptoms from the loss of the SSRI.  It’s probably a very good thing that I’m weaning off of it if it didn’t seem to be doing anything for me (don’t need more meds in my system than necessary), but it may prove to be an interesting process in itself.  “Vivid dreams,” they call it.  I was alone and outcast for a while last night while sleeping, then became a flying robot angel eliminating all evil in the world while people tried to injure me with boxes.  Vivid would describe it, I suppose.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m not usually one for “normal” dreams.  Flying robot angels are actually pretty cohesive as my dream-scripts go.  Really stuck with me upon waking, though.  Intense, this one.  The negative and unpleasant connotations aren’t a regular for me either.

I sat for a full 45 minute sitting meditation this morning.  Still having difficulties not drifting into dreams during this.  Maybe that has something to do with the previous statements.  Also having difficulties not judging that as a failure on my part, or an invalidating the meditation that I do manage to do.  This morning I managed to pull myself through for the first time, though.  Very satisfying.  I was experimenting with changing my perspective a bit, focusing on being calm and aware rather than “relaxed.”  I think “relaxed” is triggering me to go to sleep.  At any rate, my legs are very, very numb, but the rest of me is quite peaceful today.

I tend to do that thing where I get up after sitting for a long period of time, then make it halfway across the room to wherever I was going before sensation rapidly returns to my legs and I get stranded wherever I was, in a mass of pins and needles.  I’ve ended up standing literally in the centre of a full room of people like this before.  Sitting people.  At the edges of the room.  Staring at me as I get up, walk directly to the centre of the room, then proceed to stand there alone in the middle of the circle for no apparent reason.

Makes me smile, though.

Focus on the sensations, the sounds, the smells…

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

It’s an interesting thing to be sitting in a room full of people who last week shared the labels for their personal suffering.  The meditation class I’m enrolled in is a mixture of everything from cancer survivors to insomniacs, and I can’t help but find myself looking at them differently now that I know their label, curious to find the ways they fit with my completely biased impressions.  The anxiety patients all sit cross legged as we wait in our circle for the course to begin.  Their arms are crossed over their chests, and they aren’t talking to their neighbours.  This amuses me.  My legs and arms are crossed as well.  I curl my legs up into the chair and refuse to be typecast.

The mindfulness meditations are much easier in the group setting, I’ll give them that.  Extra import and natural focus, maybe?  I diligently scan my body as we lie on the floor like an overgrown mat garden.  I am now intimately acquainted with my left big toe.  We’re on good terms.

Sitting meditation is introduced near the end of this week’s session.  I give full and undivided attention to the breathing in my abdominal section.  Feel the sensations.  Experience them completely, just as they are.  Open yourself to the subtle movements in this region.  Kid you not, I have now very mindfully discovered that I have gas.  I mindfully feel things begin to shift and move, very diligently aware that something is…um…heading south.  I am mindful of the visions my mind creates in prediction of what will happen if this makes it to the end of its journey before the period of COMPLETE AND TOTAL SILENCE is up.

I ride the subway back after each class.  Less stressful than having to drive the whole way and deal with the idiosyncrasies of downtown traffic.  Another member of the class ends up walking beside me, rolled yoga mat shining like a beacon of mindfulness.  We do that awkward visual acknowledgement followed by the equally awkward side-by-side walk where we now pretend not to see each other.  She doesn’t seem like the small talk type, and I’m much more of a responder than an initiator.  I ride the subway in peace, and try to put to use our instructor’s suggestions about brining moments of mindful attention to everyday activities.  I quickly realize that subway car at rush hour is perhaps not the brightest time to experiment with this.  Also that I’m not the only one who’s had gas today.