"Don't just do something, sit there."   (view our quote database)


All public journal entries by Lullabyehaze

Did it again!

Managed to meditate on the weekend again, which means I'm on a streak of 15 days! And...15 days in, I am finally starting to get some longer stretches of mindfulness rather than simply thinking all the time. Ahhhh, it feels good.


Posted: 3 years ago

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Meditated through the weekend!

I finally did it-- I meditated for one whole week. I am still trying to make it to 25 days of at least 10 minutes a day. Turns out, the key is just to do it. On Friday I let myself sleep in, so I missed my morning routine and did not meditate in the morning. I ended up doing it 10 minutes right before bed. It was not ideal because I was VERY sleepy, but it happened. On Saturday, I meditated 10 minutes right after I got up. Sunday was a busy day and I only had about an hour to myself. I took the final 20 minutes of the hour to sit, and if I had not done that, I don't think another opportunity would have presented itself.

Now we're in Monday, and usually Monday through Thursday is pretty easy because of the morning routine. Here's to making it through 25. I just realized that because this chain started on Dec. 1, Christmas will make 25 days. :)


Posted: 3 years ago

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The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching

I have been meditating regularly for three weeks now, seeing my mindfulness counselor a couple of times, and reading a lovely book, "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching" by Thich Nhat Hanh. Something has shifted slowly, but also kind of suddenly-- it's like a marinade: I have been trying to marinate myself in mindfulness and wisdom and I am becoming more able to be mindful and wise.

Yesterday I came home from a day at work that was at turns annoying, frustrating, boring, depressing, and scary. My husband and I crossed paths for a few minutes at home and managed to piss each other off. I had a little time to rest before going to a dinner with friends, and I laid on the couch to read stuff online. Normally, that is just what I would do. But this time, I all of a sudden realized that I was suffering and that I needed to take care of my suffering. I put my hands on my heart and I meditated there on the couch for about 10 minutes. I took in my feelings of guilt, fear, anger, sadness, and I recognized them. I embraced them, not as I usually think of "embracing" something, not really desiring it or welcoming it, but actually thinking of embracing it like comforting a hurting friend. I'm glad that I was able to do that, and it did me a lot of good.

It is one thing for me to make goals to meditate and to meditate each morning, but it is a new step for me to realize in the moment when I actually NEED to stop and take care of my suffering.


Posted: 3 years ago

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Weekends

I have been trying for three weeks to meditate every day for 25 days. Every time I get a string of 5 or 6, the weekend comes and somehow I miss one or both of the days on Saturday or Sunday. I know why it happens-- because my weekday before-work routine is not in place. I get up later, I have a lazy breakfast with my husband...and somehow the day goes by. I am trying not to stress too much about this. Just because I have a goal doesn't mean that I MUST meet it right away. Goals should be worked towards, right? The first week, I missed both Saturday and Sunday, but the next two weeks I just missed one of the days. Progress!

This weekend is different because there is a half-day zen sitting that I hope to attend on Saturday. Then Sunday to Tuesday I am taking a personal retreat, so I will be meditating a bunch. Here's to building up a longer string of days this time!


Posted: 3 years ago

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These days

My meditation practice had gone downhill and become almost non-existent for a while, months, as things got busy. With the recent death of my father, I got a chance to do a hard re-set on my habits, as I was gone from home for almost three weeks. When I returned, I knew that the work of healing was going to require most mental, physical, and emotional capacity than I had, so I vowed to eat well, move mindfully, and meditate regularly.

Things have been interesting. From 5 minute-intervals, I moved to 20, and have taken advantage of any chance to meditate in a group, as I seem to benefit from this. There is a group at work that meets each week for 20 minutes, there are alumni sessions offered about monthly be the mindfulness course that I attended a few years ago, and there are multiple opportunities each week with the zen community. 

All the different scenarios have a different feel to them, and I seem to meditate "best" my myself in nature or with the zen group, though the formality of the group can sometimes cause a little anxiety. Though I know that the point is not to think about a bunch of things, I find myself working through some of my thoughts and feelings about my dad's death. This can be very good to puzzle out what is bothering me and what I am feeling. However, sometimes it give me the time to over-analyze, to feel that I have to identify and label all of my feelings, analyze whether they are healthy or right, what I should perhaps be feeling... I am trying to simply feel my feelings and let them be there, let them out. This also leads to the problem of going to a meditation group-- crying. I would rather not do this in a group because I don't want to call attention to myself. But I am trying to know that if it happens, it happens. And it has happened. I don't want that to stop my from attending the groups or make me anxious about it.

I feel that I am getting better at having a middle way between the mind and the watcher. In the past, I have found myself drifting off into thinking about the past/future/hypothetical for long periods of time without being conscious of it. Then short flashes of "oh yeah, I'm supposed to be meditating" and then back to thinking. These days I think I am much better able to keep a sense of being in the room at the same time as witnessing thoughts that come. 

I am excited because I have arranged another personal retreat in a couple of weeks. I will be gone two nights, so one full day and two sort of half days at beginning and end. I am excited to see what new growth this will bring.


Posted: 3 years ago

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Back to the beginning

I have been pretty dissatisfied with my sitting lately. In the new year I have found it harder to be consistent with actually remembering to sit, especially on the weekends. And when I do sit, I find that I am actually doing a lot of thinking and even drifting off or sleeping instead of being mindful and aware.

This morning I had less time than usual, so I just sat for 10 minutes. Somehow, with having less time ahead of me, I was able to focus more. It felt like a manageable amount of time to be aware, not like a 30 minute stretch of fidgeting and thinking. 

Whatever strange phase I am going though right now, I think it would be good to focus on 10-minute blocks. They can be back to back, spread throughout the day, or even just one in a day. As long as I actually sit and as long as there is quality to my attention, this is good.

But also...my morning schedule has changed since my husband started working. I used to get up and shower, then meditate and stretch, then breakfast. Now I get up and meditate, have breakfast, then shower and stretch...and this is why I am so sleepy for meditation. Maybe I need to somehow adjust to showering or waking up somehow before sitting. Suggestions are welcome!


Posted: 4 years ago

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30 minute sessions

I think it is so interesting how my mind and body know how long I have been on the cushion, even if "I" don't. My home sessions had been about 20 minutes, but I've trying to push to 30 minutes. Partly, just to increase my stamina, concentration, etc, but also because in certain retreat or group sessions, 30 minutes is what everyone does. I want to be able to do this with the group without being in too much pain and without feeling overwhelmed by it.

So, I've noticed that at about 25-27 minutes, I kind of shut off. My mind rebels and says, no more. My eyes open. I feel restless and just done. The reason I know it's at 25-27 minutes is that I look at the clock because I start to think that maybe it's broken! I was so surprised to find that my subconscious knows that this is too long compared with my usual sessions. I wasn't aware that it was that ingrained.

Well, now that I know that happens, I tried to be aware of it this morning. I felt it start to happen and I was mindful of it. I refocused on my breath and told myself that the reason I felt this way was because I probably only had about 5 minutes left, and I can make it through 5 minutes in a mindful and concentrated state. This was really helpful, and I felt more successful with my session. 

I'm going to continue trying for one thirty minute-session each day, with other shorter sessions later in the day if possible.


Posted: 4 years ago

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After about 30 days...

It's been over 30 days of meditation for at least 15 minutes a day. I think that might be the longest streak I've ever had, at least that includes weekends. This site and log really has been helping me to stay with it. Yesterday was the closest I came to not doing it. When I realized it, I was in bed watching TV and got up to meditate for 20 minutes. I'm proud of this consistency.

I'm feeling better in my body while meditating: less upper back pain and less re-positioning because of it. My right leg is not falling asleep until a bit later in the game (I think it used to happen 10-15 minutes in).

Sometimes (strange as it sounds), my ears itch like crazy inside. I think this is a partly mental thing, or maybe it is related to the fact that I usually meditate after showering? Anyway, that's a little annoying sometimes, but I am more able to move past it after having it happen again and again.

I'm finding that the time seems to pass more quickly now, and I don't have as much resistance to sticking with it. I'm not sure that I am getting noticeably better at focusing on my breath and not drifting into thought. But I am getting better at not really fretting about that-- not feeling negative about it. My practice is very satisfying, and I'm very pleased about it.

It seems interesting that as I get more into this, I am finding more and more support and resources. There is a group at work on Wednesdays, there is a community group on Fridays, and there are a couple of other longer half day or full day things that I have found out about. I am also finding more and more people who are into this. It helps me to know that people have a similar sensibility and value as me, and although I value my personal practice, having others to talk or practice with is so helpful.





Posted: 4 years ago

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