I struggled with the feelings of frustration and anger today when I sat. I still don’t quite know how to process these feelings. I tried to hold my feelings gently, but I found it so hard to do. I realized that I have been so used to categorizing myself intellectually and mentally. I wondered when on earth did I become so obsessed with categorizing myself. I saw that my academic work is betraying my integrity.....My practice teaches me to see things with equanimity, compassion, love and kindness. But my intellectual work - which I still hold close to my heart - doesn’t. How can I resolve this epistemological difference?
Tonight my sister Caroline and I had dinner. She was sharing some of her meditation experiences and offered to write my part tonight.
Hi, Mindfulness Gurus!
One of my courses this semester is entitled “Zen Mediation.” Yes, we mediate, and yes, we get credit. Before taking this class, I always had wanted to meditate regularly. With Sarah as my sister, it would be hard to be empowered by her mindfulness obsession. She has “taught” me to meditate several times, and several times, I have not kept up with it. I never knew why.
At the end of every semester, I always tell myself that next semester, I am going to meditate so hopefully I do not get as stressed out (among several other benefits).
This past Tuesday night, I had my “ah hah” moment and finally realized why I never meditated daily. I had my “ah hah” moment. I was scared. I had always been intimidated by the challenges and practice of meditation. I never thought I could sit through a meditation more than five minutes long, and the first two times I did, all I could think about were my sleepy legs, the time, and my to-do list. After experiencing two longer sittings, I knew I could sit, but I did not know what to expect of Zen practice. I reacted in a way I did not expect: I felt relieved and a sense of pride. I sat through class without thinking about time every second and without thinking about my to-do list (well kind-of). I was able to enjoy myself and appreciate the practice.
After reflecting about the last class mediation session, I learned things:
- My fear of meditation is not going to stop me from being able to experience its potential.
- This will not be my first challenge of meditation, but knowing I could overcome one, I will be able to overcome the next one when it gets here.
- I am going through the experience, not only with Sarah, but with my entire class.
Home: Two days ago I had a very intense meditative experience. I work up in the middle of the night, feeling incredibly agitated, and my stomach was churning and I was feeling nauseous. Imagine of the bloody red beef steak that I had earlier for dinner kept coming up in my mind. I got out of bed, realizing that my body is having a big reaction to the food that I ate for dinner. I had a glass of wine, steak, coffee, cream, chocolate, all in one sitting for dinner and my body is revolting. It was intense to observe the feeling of needing to throw up, and then throwing up, Yew!!! Awful. Then I knew that I could not go back to bed right a way, so I sat and meditated for a while. What curious to me was how calm and non-judgmental my mind was. I was just observing the sensations of what was going on without freaking out. I think in the past if I had similar experiences like this, I would be very upset and scare. My mind was noticing that consequence of the material input that I had earlier and now I am paying for it. I knew in that moment that I would not chose to eat another beef steak again. My body was telling me that it would no longer welcome food was created from so much suffering and that I could feel the suffering of the cow that was in my body.