This was the main session at a local Buddhist meditation evening. Today was mindfulness of breath. This session followed immediately after the walking meditation. I felt relaxed as I set up my chair. On sitting we did a body scan, noting points of contact and drifting through the body. I settled in and had a good focus. Thinking had died right down and I was able to make awareness of the body parts my focus as instructed.
When we moved on to breathing, first noting the out-breath this good attention continued. In fact, the attention soon gave rise to a pleasant tingling feeling in the mind and head. I was aware of this but remained focused on the breath and specifically counting the out breath as instructed. This continued through the next two sections until I had a small insight. This sensation seems to have been driven by my balancing of the pleasant relaxing dullness and the more energetic or impatient/anxious energies which can arise during meditation. It felt to me like getting/having this balance right gave rise to this pleasant place.
This insight, which I will be mindful of in the future was a double-edged sword. It showed how balance in the present moment can be very enjoyable, but by its very nature drove me to thinking and the future. I realised this too quickly, but thinking had set in. This continued for a few minutes, and I found myself mildly frustrated by my inability to return to the pleasant state.
This actually led to second, equally valuable insight. It showed me how joy and tranquility in the present moment can collapse as we look to the future. I resolved to practice and while I had a good focus, I didn’t reach the same peaceful state again. Towards the end, I also had some issues with my mouth filling up with saliva and needing to gulp. As the session ended I felt a pleasant calm. It was a session of two sections, one of a pleasant and well focused attention, and a second insightful but less attentive section.