Being a better me: meditation diary weeks 4,5 and 6... I think
On your marks, get set...
Well hello there everyone! It has been quite some time, and I must apologise because I have been ill and as a result unable to summon the energy to do even every day basic tasks like standing and walking, let alone writing and publishing. I at one point thought I might be able to at least finish the audio recording of God's Shoehorn II and III but (of course) I ended up losing my voice before the final cut was done to my satisfaction. I can now officially say, however, that I am better and gnawing at the bit to get more writing done for your delectation.
I wanted to start by publishing this update on my journey to enlightenment because I've had a wee bit of a break through. I seem to have developed my ability to focus my attention enough now through the meditation practice that the speed at which I am improving has increased noticeably I also seem to have more explicit control over my mental/emotional states. I am buzzing with the sheer pleasure of it!
I have also become hooked on itunes U which (as anyone who read my 'knowledge is the best drug on the market' hub will know) is right up my street. I am starting a new job in two weeks, but currently am working as an art-technician in a secondary school which is a sort of 'fill-in' job to give me bread money in between the serious stuff. This job does not require me to do a whole lot of thinking. This new marvel I've discovered has allowed me to listen to some of the most fascinating lecture courses all while my hands are occupied doing things like glazing and preparing paints or clay for classes.
I am listening to Psychology lectures, Philosophy, Astro-biology, Entrepreneurship... the list goes on and so far everything I've heard has been inspirational! My brain is on fire!
Today I woke up at 6:30 in the morning and... du du daaaaah! I wasn't even annoyed about having to get out of bed! I showered, got a coffee for myself and my fiancé and then we both meditated for half an hour. It was a good meditation. Calmness and clarity from the start of my day. I can tell you quite honestly - I was still in a partial trance state through my whole drive to work. The beauty of the reds and golds of the autumn leaves on the trees along my route to work nearly moved me to tears. How ridiculous is that?! I usually barely notice there even are trees!
I listened to lectures as I glazed some clay sculptures in the morning. I was inspired by an entrepreneurship lecture from Stanford about micro-finance companies and the developing movement towards for-profit organisations doing work for positive social change. Great stuff. I left the school at lunch time and drove to the closest park. After talking to my lovely Ashley on the phone briefly, I did another meditation. This time sitting out in the open on a bench with the sound of wind rustled leaves filling my ears. Stunning! In the afternoon I listened to lectures on the geological, biological, and cosmological revolutions which have reinforced some basics I have become rusty on. These lectures are part of the Astro-biology course which I'm thoroughly intrigued by. After this stupendously stimulating afternoon I went out and had an unplanned dinner out at a local country pub with my fiancé after which she showed me the progress on the painting she's been working on...
I feel like I've woken up after being in a doze for half my life. I know this is a peak in the journey and no doubt my current ebullience will not be maintained at a constant... but I know I am heading in the right direction. I am ending the silly habits I have picked up in recent years. I am focused on what I want. I am furthering my personal growth and I'm determined to take people with me as I go.
I found this video clip of Eckhart Tolle answering a question from a fan. Watching this was particularly useful in getting past the point where I was thinking too much. That is - once I got over how big his nose is. I mean... wow. That is a hooter and a half. Once you get past that - what he says to answer the guy's question is fabulous, give it a try.
He talks about a problem that we all have - which is our addiction to thinking. We all have addictions in some shape or form. Addiction to thinking can lead to anxiety or depression because we dwell too much in the future or the past. Eckhart gives a few techniques for practicing perceiving the world and ourselves without the interference of concepts and thoughts i.e. secondary analysis and internal discussion of the perceptions that you are having. Marvelous stuff.
I also found something else which I am experimenting with. So called binaural beats (these need to be listened to using headphones) are supposed to be able to induce deep trance states in listeners. I found this one on youtube. Check it out and tell me in the comments if you have any success. I'll get back to you soon with my own results.
Thanks for reading - I'll be back on schedule again now that my health has been restored. Happy meditating folks :)
Next in this series
- Being a better me: meditation diary weeks 7 &8
in this next episode of my meditation diary I introduce more specific forms of contemplative practice.
Relevant links by other hubbers
- Relaxation Techniques for Less Stress
This is the stress that occurs when we worry about things that might not happen but we think will. Our mind drives our emotions and our bodies and when it does, it causes specific physiological havoc. However sometimes all you need to do is physicall