I wasn’t sure anyone would be interested, but Momma Wintermoon asked in a comment how my meditation practice was progressing. It helps me to write it out as well, record while I can still remember what I felt and how it went.

My first session was last Wednesday. I then didn’t have time on Thursday and forgot on Friday and Saturday. I made sure to do the guided body scan meditation on Sunday, and I’ve done it yesterday and today as well.

As expected, it has been quite different each time. On Sunday I felt like I really struggled. Not with staying physically still – the consistent part has been that I feel unable to move during these sessions, as if my entire body was made of cement or weighted by cement – but with paying attention at all.

Instead my mind sent me off into scenes from fantasy books I haven’t read and which likely don’t exist. Sword play dominated. I found that disturbing.

Yesterday was disturbing in a different way. I was feeling down about some stuff, and without being consciously aware of it (as odd as that sounds) I was playing out scenes in my mind of how I negatively project the future, and that was before I even started the meditation. I had tears running down my face during the intro, and where they mingled with my hair tickled during the entire session.

Instead of scenes from fantasy novels, I had scenes from my pseudo real life, and none of it was good. I was less able to pay attention to the body scan than even on Sunday.

Yet I think I felt the benefit today. I was very frustrated at work today, at one point almost to the point of tears. And…I took a deep breath. I let it go. I made progress, and got stuck on something else, but I made progress, and I reached out to a friend and through her got the name of someone who can help me with what I’m stuck on. I’ll talk to him tomorrow. The intarweb can get me only so far, it seems, when I am stuck on something.

Today there was none of the sadness. There was slightly more ability to focus on the body scan, though I missed entire sections of my body, so involved in other thoughts was my mind. I heard some music again, which I hadn’t heard since the first session, last Wednesday. My left hand felt like it was curled into a little bud, but when I looked at it afterwards, it was exactly the same as my right hand. I don’t know what is up with that left hand!

I definitely feel a calming benefit from the meditation. I am only just started on this particular journey, but I do have hope that it will help me at least recognize the ruts my mind falls into. “Being present”, as zen practitioners will tell you is the goal, makes it impossible to travel down those old paths of recrimination, guilt, blame and the projections of nothing-good. The more present I am, the less hold the old brain patterns will have on me.

One of the first things that he says in the intro to the body scan guided meditation is that we should give ourselves permission to feel. Whatever we feel is okay, physically as well as mentally. Letting ourselves feel lets us recognize it and then release it.

Easier said than done, granted, but it is a beautiful thought. I’m not finding meditation easy, but I am finding it helpful.

is it a weed or a flower?

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