This was the second session of my two planned hour long sessions this weekend. This time I was starting in the morning slot I prefer where the focus is better. I’d also had a good nights sleep and although a little tired still, I felt that this would wear off a little as the session went on. I prepared the cushions in my office and some essential oil. It was still fairly dark in here which is what I wanted.
I found a fair amount of early procrastination. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to sitting for an hour so I was aware of my mind keeping me busy. On sitting it wanted a drift away into its own thoughts. I managed to overcome this by going taking the preparations slowly, and starting over when any drifting began. When I had finished these and moved onto the body scan the mind felt like it had been let off its lead. It started to think and plan away as normal.
Recognising this I tried to do a slow deliberate body scan. It was moderately successful, but as I came into the breathing this desire to sit and think untethered led to mind wandering again. As soon as the mind finished each small task, it quickly started thinking before I could give it another instruction.
I finished the scan in a few minutes and moved into the breathing. This didn’t really change things much. The mind wanted to think about unimportant things at every chance. Particularly the out-breaths. I could see that this seemed to related to the subtle dullness which can carry you away quietly making you forget what you are doing.
I changed my approach and started to count the breaths, as well as noting “in” and “out”. For the first section, I decided I would count 100 breaths. In this case, adding the count at the end of the out breath. For example counting “in”, “out”, “1” etc, etc.. Each time I hit a 10, I would start from 0 again, but just remember that “I’m on the thirties now” or whichever group of ten I was working in.
This proved very effective. With this counting focus on the breath was much much stronger and the wandering stopped. This allowed me to focus on what was the goal of the session. Overcoming the subtle dullness with mindfulness or an introspective awareness.
As this counting kept my mind busy I tried to keep a second awareness of myself going to see how much dullness was present. I was still quite sleepy from waking up and this meant that I was taking steps to counteract it. As the book had suggested, I would sometimes take a deep breath and let it out through pursed lips, or tense parts of my body briefly and release.
This worked, and I found myself doing something like this every 15-20 breaths during the long sitting. I also noted that as before I was most successful when balancing the dullness against the impatient or anxious energy that can appear. Keeping these opposing energies in balance gives me a good awareness.
I finished the first 100 counted breaths and moved on to another 100. This time I was counting by “in”, “1”, “out”. Putting the count in the middle to vary the emphasis. This was a technique we had used a class I attend. The practice carried on like the first 100. Towards the end, I heard my girlfriend come downstairs and make lots of noise in the kitchen. This was actually quite handy, dullness had been creeping and I was seeing that it might take over a little. As I was mildly agitated by the noises, they helped overcome the dullness in the last 10 minutes.
As I finished the second 100, I was wondering when the bell would go. I calculated in my head that the breaths must have taken me up to nearly an hour. Almost as if by magic, the gong then chimed to end the session.
|Meditiation Type||Awareness of Breath|
|Meditiation Position||Seated Floor Cushion|
|Meditiation Stages||Stage-3+ Stage-4|
|Tags||Procrastinating Dullness Checking Relaxed energy|