April 23rd, 2006


sitting. sleeping.

when I have the time I will do 70 minutes of zen meditation in the morning, consisting of 40 minutes of zazen--sitting--then 10 minutes of kinhin--walking--followed by 20 more minutes of zazen.

now that I have a cushion that does not put my legs to sleep I can pay more attention to the phenomenon of sitting itself, and it is beginning to be a puzzle as to how to sit without falling asleep. they teach beginners to count your breath and not to block any thought that occurs to you, but to let it go as quickly as it comes, without dwelling on it or losing yourself in it. at all times you should try to remember to come back to counting your breath.

counting breath is a way of focusing on it as a physical action in which you bring the exterior to meet the interior, which is the way of biology, and although focusing on my breath does not put me to sleep, counting it does. I might as well be counting sheep: I tend to focus on the procession of numbers rather than the procession of breath, letting all my other thoughts become fragmented and momentary as I automatically count off the numbers from one to ten and then start over, and before you know it I'm slipping off into alpha stage. in fact letting my thoughts become fragmented and momentary is a technique I've used for years to put myself to sleep at night.

well it works really well at putting me to sleep while sitting, too. so I'm trying something a little different now with the breath: instead of counting it I'm just Paying Attention to it, feeling it come in, feeling it go out, and this tends to spread my conscious thought across my body until I am more or less composed of an outline in space exposed on all sides and this doesn't put me to sleep--unless, at the same time, I am consciously cuttting my thoughts off from narratively completing themselves. I think in words more than pictures when I am wide awake, so cutting thoughts short puts me right back into alpha stage sleep even though I am not counting my breath anymore. so my question now is should I allow my thoughts to complete themselves when they arise, and then dismiss them without dwelling on them?

I tend to spend about half my time in this state not really thinking but just feeling my body in space, but the other half of the time the inner monologue is going, and if I try to break it up, I fall asleep. that's really the crux of the problem. I don't know how to 'not think' without losing consciousness, or rather I don't know how best to deal with the inner monologue once it starts up, since cutting thoughts short results in sleep.

anyway. I suppose I should find a zen forum to ask about this.
  • Current Mood
    sleepy sleepy

then where's that smell coming from

I hate it when cleaning just uncovers smells. I fear that cleaning out my shelf in the refrigerator was not such a good idea as there was gunk under everything that I don't feel like going after now but I think I have to. most of it is gunk that drips from up above on sandy's shelf where she keeps god knows what for god knows how long. my long term food is completely wrapped and does not drip.

I think maybe I should ask to trade shelves. bottom shelf of the fridge is a raw deal.

the rest of the house though looks pretty good. not brilliant, but good. my room is still a pit, but it's a pit of objects rather than dirt. I can stand a buildup of objects but not dirt so much.

I wonder if it will take more than ten minutes to get rid of the gunk in the fridge. I'm not even sure what will get it off except maybe a metal spatula.
  • Current Mood
    disappointed disappointed

time going up in smoke

well I can't do a damned thing. I can't start work coding a blog until I know what PEAR modules are installed and/or whether I can install my own on my web hosting server and I can't do that until I have ssh access to my account and I can't get that until the admins come back to work tomorrow to see that my paperwork is in order.

I can't print up the inserts for my commencement announcements because I cannot afford good paper and I'm out of red and green ink which I also cannot afford until tuesday when I get paid.

I suppose I could work on advertising copy for my aspiring tutoring business. I'm thinking though, this late in the day, that a walk would be good. only problem there is the sweating and freezing thing which I thought I had gotten worked out by wearing my rain shell but it only works so well as a windbreaker. I think I need to wrap myself up in plastic and they sell basically cheap nonporous plastic windbreakers at old navy but I can't afford one of those till tuesday either.

in fact what I should probably be doing is washing socks in the sink as the pickings are getting slim and I cannot afford to do laundry or buy new socks until tuesday.

am thinking this last is probably where I should go with my nervous energy before dissipating it with the afternoon klonopin.
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated

in minutiae

haha. I'm going to do my laundry three garments at a time and tell you all about it!

yeah ok so you'll take me off default view.

three pairs of socks and three silk tshirts are now cleaner than they were. washing clothes by hand sucks in the sense that it makes your back hurt and is really time-consuming but it is gratifying in the way the dirt comes right out with just your hands working through the cloth and detergent. the magic of the washing machine is not necessary, just convenient.

of course the other drawback is no automatic dryer so now we are in a race against time to see how quickly merino wool hiking socks will dry. they have approximately 14 hours. only one pair has to make it, though. I washed an extra thick pair that probably won't be dry until next week.

I guess today was a success, domestically speaking. I think I will read more about what I'd like to be doing with my website and then sit and then sleep and then get up and work. no more laundry till tuesday I guess. it wasn't that much fun.
  • Current Mood
    cheerful clean