December is meditation month! Once per day, err day.
I decided to write about each session as well, to give me extra incentive to do it for the full month. The following are my journal entries based around meditation, loose thoughts which appear to come together sometimes. Edited after the fact, a little bit, for the sake of clarity and context.
A burning desire within. The Fountainhead plays a huge part in who I am—I think “Oh, I am this way, I am that, and who knows the reason why.” But that’s not true. Through a different perspective, after stepping back, I can see the things which have shaped me, like traveller who, after traversing bleak canyons full of thorns and gullies, comes to a high plain and looks back on where he has been, tracing his path. The same thing with piano. Austin has helped push me towards classical, where before I thought it was an arbitrary choice. And I have to admit it’s because of a stubbornness, because I have a desire to prove myself as superior, to expose his and other people’s supposed loves and hobbies as mere facades. I am better—here, watch me do it and I will prove it to you.
Are you ready to die for your passion? Are you ready to grind yourself down to the bone, facing hunger and exhaustion and weakness and cold in its pursuit? Howard Roark is. His will is harder than diamonds; it is the least bendable material in the world. I have seen this in myself in the past; I called it self-destructiveness. It can be. I thought this impulse was foolishness, the opposite of Zen—yet now I find myself, while ignoring that impulse, continually compromised. Drinking—coffee, constantly. Alcohol, more often. Sheerly out of convenience, acquiescence. I would not go far out of my way to bring these things into my life, and yet here they are, brought to me by outside forces or Freudian wishes.
On one end of the spectrum is sloth, on the other madness. The end result of both is death. The end result—of everything—is death. Why worry about which route you take to get there?
Must keep this brief. I’ll probably want to go to bed very soon. Not understanding what people want, because I’m conditioned to give them the most generous thing of mine.
When that homeless guy asked for the refill, and I didn’t know what to do—you can hold your ground! Same thing happened with Paul. People don’t always expect you to bend over backward as the only way to get what they want. They’re prepared to pay for it!! I’ll find better words for this later.
(Still haven’t found them.)
Another interesting thing struck me today, which was that I was reading The Fountainhead and playing the same exact piano pieces—simultaneously—both in 9th grade as I am now.
Have things changed? I like to think that things are more stable now, my understanding more complete. The realizations which come to me are more because of my own doing; my skills are my own instead of the consequence of set and setting. But is this really true? Who knows!
(I definitely have a tendency to do things twice. To revisit what I once have done, complete it, master it. Re-reading books, playing through old videogames until they’re 100%. The book I’m reading and the piece I’m working on [Fantasie Impromptu] are both revisitations—what’s more, doing them both at the same time is a revisiting of a specific period of my life!)
Clarity. Awareness of all parts.
In unity lies peace. (part of a poem finally fell into place)
Very tingly meditation session. All sorts of pins and needles as I recalled coming to my breath in my dreams. Tibetan dream yoga!! Whaaaaaaattt!!!!!!
Focusing on circulation to the feet. Broader thoughts: scanning the body with awareness. (Thich Nhat Hanh)
Time to read. Pleasantry, then sleep.
Difficult time gaining my focus. What helped again—contain, contain. My little visualization.
There’s only so much time in the day. Don’t skimp yourself by being careless, engaging in careless practice. Focus on what’s in front of you. Focus is man’s natural state.
(Looking back, this is especially pertinent in playing piano. We want to get the satisfaction of performing things we already know. Learning new parts is frustrating and slow, but it’s essential. Don’t worry about it. Just take it one note at a time.)
I am recognizing more and more instances of when I want to hide in things. Don’t do it. It’s never worth it.
Feeling a little frustrated right now, but I’m not sure why. Possibly expectations about the future—that’s a big one for me. I hate this pen, too. My wrist is sore. Oh well. I know it will pass. All moods are transitory, clouds passing in front of the sun, and they will blow away if you bring your understanding back to the present moment.
Release yourself from expectations. Dwell in the tranquility of the present moment.
The goal is love. Everything else is egotistical—it’s empty of true meaning. “I can do this.” Well congratu-fucking-lations. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!
Starting with yourself. First priority when I got home today. Water. Eating. STRETCHING! Take care of yourself. How you treat yourself = how you treat your reality. This includes other people. Thoughts, phrases, words, the image of others when they are far away, and their physicality when they get close to you.
I arrived at this conclusion logically (as opposed to empirically). But I know I’ve been there before. Why not again? What else is there?? Only love.
It just turned into a stretching session. God, I love stretching. I keep coming back to it. Yoga.
I had an interesting thought—I thought of sex, and recalled that I seemed to know what it felt like before I had even had sex personally! Mindblowing!
There are memories coded into us; an eternity of them. The collective unconscious, reaching back through eons of evolution. We have the experience of being a fish crawling out of the water, of being dry in a desert, of hunger, of wanting to hunt for food in the forest. Of being sharp and ready to kill. I fully believe in this idea. The memories are just locked away, and we repress the impulses that would unlock them, replacing them with societal conventions. Altered States shit. (If you haven’t watched it already, then watch it. Phenomenal.)
I am the living embodiment of a divine lineage spanning all creation. This thought gave me the tinglies like nobody’s business!
Speaking of thought… it was very hard (as usual) to attain focus. I may try meditating twice per day.
Bringing love to your pain, especially while STRETCHING. Alleviating. Is love merely the absence of pain? ….Nah, but that’s part of it. And now, I am tired. “It is tired.” . . . .
Before: Tired, but I must press on. There’s a choice to be made, right now.
If I had stayed in bed—dehydration, no writing or meditation; I would have broken my streak. Not today. Those are my practices, this the will which leads me towards health, vibrancy and fulfillment. I will not waver, because I already am this person, and I can’t not be.
There are healthy and unhealthy paths splitting off in front of me. It’s a pretty clear distinction. My job is the one thing holding me back. It’s time to “break these cuffs.” Coffee or no coffee. The life of struggle and overworking—because we make an arbitrary choice to—vs. the natural life.
THESE are my passions. This is what I do, what I am. Writing blurbs for Trader Joe’s? Whole foods? I can do that! They can’t write like me! They aren’t as devoted or fiery as I am. Their words aren’t as stunning. (Looking back this seems a little ridiculous. But for real, the writing that gets passed off as “professional” these days is inane.)
Jesus, my body hurts. Headache, dehydration, immune system compromised. But I will not fall. Here I am.
After: Oblivion edging in. Very tired. Meditation in the morning tomorrow.
Yes. I will become that person—the best possible version of myself.
Less thinking of writing while meditating.
(It’s also worth noting that, for whatever reason, I fell really sick after writing that night. Insane body aches! Headache for days, a fever which lasted probably 3 hours or so before it broke in the middle of the night. Surprisingly clear dreams, though. I woke up at 5:30am to eat pie and drink as much milk as possible. That helped. But work the next day felt like shit. My back still aches and my eyes squeeze every time I look upward.)
Nice pen. . . .
Thinking of images of people who gave me gratitude and helped me out through an otherwise thoroughly mediocre day. That nurse. . . . ! She’s got to be one of the most genuine people I’ve laid eyes on. My nurse.
Truly horrendous body aches from whatever it is I reacted to. I hate getting sick; can’t help but blame myself. The circumstances are always the same, too: always after exercise, after masturbating, very public places like the pool or yoga studio, exposure to the elements. Except I think caffeine played a part in it this time as well.
Oh well. Even though it’s easy to get mad at myself, you have to move on. Back to sleep. Me-time. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.
(People have a weird idea of what it is to get sick. They place blame on bugs or viruses. Every time I’ve gotten sick in the last two years the process has been exactly the same. I don’t think it’s viruses seizing hold of me—there are germs everywhere. We are constantly bombarded by them. It’s your immune system, your body which is the deciding factor. And I know exactly what suppresses my immune system. Exhaustion, spending all my energy, not eating enough, and very public places. This time the cold weather and too much caffeine added. It’s not any one thing you can pinpoint—“a head cold,” “the flu,” “sinus cold”—it’s a cocktail of symptoms, a reaction your body has based off of a bunch of different stressors impacting your health. *shrug* And yet if I know what these triggers are for me, can I really not hold myself accountable? It’s hard….)
Missed a day… I tried to do a little bit when I got home, but didn’t commit to it. Then I was like “I’ll focus on my breath as I fall asleep.” Nope…
Even though I skipped a day the benefits still carried. Despite feeling awful I worked through a super busy closing shift. “What can you do? You do the best you can.”
Made a point to wake up early and get my ass to a free CrossFit class with my friend Ben. Soooo glad I went through with it. My malaise is gone. Worked it out, I guess.
I’ve started to build again. From the bottom of the stomach, I can feel myself filling back up. I got flashes of the feeling of limitless, scary potential I hadn’t really seen since summer. If I’m mad at myself, it’s for denying the verity of that potential, and discounting the effect of doing the things which you thought yourself incapable of doing.
Living from your center.
I have been meditating, but not writing. Not meditating as I should. Not with as much focus as I’d like. Hard to please myself. . . but that’s the struggle, after all. Let it go.
I feel like there’s been a key element of my life missing, and if I could recapture it, just a hint—just to catch the scent like a bloodhound—I would be back at it. The question is: am I willing to make sacrifices in order to catch that element again? The answer has got to be yes.
Right now: restlessness. I have a lot of energy, just based on cycles, which I have been replenishing ever since falling ill over the weekend.
Melanie comes back tonight, and she’ll be here for the whole course of winter break. Yay 🙂