May 2009 Intensive Meditation | Day 4
In the evening I sat in the back of the apartment on the floor. I put a candle there so at least I could see the roaches or spiders if I felt one on me. I don’t know how (or why) meditators in caves in Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, etc – tortured themselves by not moving if they felt some creature on them. There are stories of monks with cobras crawling across them that didn’t move or bother to open their eyes. How is that possible? Only in the very advanced states of meditation could I see it possible… most times, out of the question.
I’ve been experimenting with a more strict half-lotus position to see if it helps my back pain. Surprisingly – it really does make me more stable and lessen the pain. Of course, the pain in my foot that’s pulled far up my thigh has increased quite a bit. Still, I’m able to sit for 30-40 minutes, more I guess if there was a want to. There’s no want to.
I felt during some parts of the meditation that an expansion of mind was starting. There was relatively good concentration – I could choose to focus on the breath for 6 or 10 breaths if I chose to – and did sometimes. As I’ve said – focusing on breathing is not really something that feels right at this time since the mind is calm and nearly still. Watching the breathing is a great tool to reach that point – once there – I usually drop it.
Instead, I focused on the pain in my back, in my foot. I focused on totally relaxing. I noticed again tonight a couple times that there was tension in my face and neck when I checked on them. That’s strange – but, it reflects the fact that I’ve not meditated much in so long. I’ve forgotten how important it is to completely relax EVERYTHING about the body – even the face. Maybe especially the face.
Once I relaxed those spots – the mind expansion started. It’s almost a vertigo feeling. As if the mind, head, body are all separating from each other and it gives one a feeling of going over a small hill on the road – you know the one kids say – WHOA!!! when it happens? Yeah, that’s a little bit like what it feels like – but it lasts for seconds, even minutes.
Sometimes it will go forward and start an expansion of the mind – a feeling that the mind is expanding to fill all space… this time, no. This time just a little taste and uncertainty about what it was doing. I was attached slightly to what was going to happen – and that’s always an experience killer.
The reason I was slightly attached to the outcome – and curious whether it would lead to a jhana or other state is because since I’ve had this very quiet mind over the last couple months and I haven’t focused on the breath to gain the concentration usually necessary to enter the states, I haven’t been able to understand what goes on before entering the deeper states.
It is as if I’m skipping the earlier states – bliss, joy, the mild concentrated state. It’s as if no matter how I slow the breath now – on purpose – it doesn’t necessarily lead to the deeper states like it did so many times before. I felt like I had a little control over going deeper before when I was able to focus on the breath. Now, without that – not sure what the process is…
So, I just sit and experience the virtually still mind.
Tonight was a peek at one of the deeper levels – and yet my attachment to have the experience stopped the state from taking over. Attachment on any level kills the deeper states. Funny that it’s there – this is rather new. I’ve not been attached to any state for so long. Now that I’ve made this decision to go forward and meditate regularly I guess there’s some want for the process to go just like before.
Something to think about.
Sorry, no audio or video as I noticed I’m saying the same thing writing and speaking. Better to do one or the other! Today it’s writing. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try to do a MP3.