Friday-Monday, February 5-8, 2016
Useful ideas that I’ve learned from blog posts include taking 3 deep breaths before starting my meditation and thanking myself for catching that I was no longer with my breath. Mentally noting where a particular thought was taking me has been a little harder to put to practice, but I think it might prove worthwhile.
Thus far, the teachings from Day 6 have been most valuable for me: that we are trying to be alert and relax at the same time, and that we are balancing these opposing forces and adjusting accordingly. The reason for sitting, rather than lying down, and the idea that I have been keeping a death grip on the breath were new to me. I think it will take some time for me to figure out how to watch my breath appropriately, but I think it will eventually allow me to observe my thoughts more easily.
Another technique I’m finding useful is labeling (mental notation?) “breath” and “not breath” using the noun and not the verb. (Verbs seem to take me places!) Another notation that seems to keep me focused is “just one breath.” Many notations don’t settle well with me, but those certainly do!
Of course, the best part of learning a new skill is seeing the fruits of your labors. And when these “fruits” come on their own, so much the better! I noticed two things yesterday that I am attributing to my meditation practice.
- I had lost my ability to do simple math in my head. Yesterday, I was asked how many times did one number go into another. My first thought was, “that’s what my phone is for, where’s my phone?” and then I thought, “I bet I can do that one” and a few seconds later I had the answer, and I knew it was right. Now that I think on it, I do seem to be doing more simple math, with confidence, in my head!
- The second instance came in the evening. I was very tired and sore (a bad combination that can lend itself to anger) and got mad. I labeled the feelings (out loud) as anger, and that while they were still present, they were inappropriate. It was an interesting sensation to KNOW that those feelings weren’t me and that I didn’t have to act on them, all the while feeling them acutely.
Many thanks to you, Sharon, and to your Team for making the world a better place through meditation.