A couple of days ago someone asked me if I would write a 10 day journal about my meditation experiences for their book. I felt honored and have started to write down my experience from yesterday (day 1). I figured this could also be an interesting journey to follow for the people reading my weblog, so here it is:
Tuesday, 20 February 2007 (11.20 a.m.):
Yesterday I had decided that I should sit down again today. I felt like I was a bouncing ball of energy and I really needed to calm myself down. The best way to do that is to sit still in my opinion. I had made a plan that I would get up around 8.30am and would sit down immediately after breakfast. But as usual I first couldn’t get out of bed and then also had put on the computer before breakfast had reached my stomach. It took me some persuading to get myself to shut down the computer and start the meditation session. Finally I succeeded and put the meditation c.d. in the dvd player. I have a small room next to the living room in which I study and use as a meditation room. I cleaned up the room a bit and burned a candle and some incense on a small cupboard. The room is pretty full of stuff such as two bookcases, a desk, two cupboards and an easel with some paintings surrounding it. The dvd player is in the living room. The c.d. I use was given to me by the meditation group where I follow a course in Zen meditation. It has some flute music on it and three silent parts, which start and end with the chiming of “sounding scales”. For today I chose the 20 minutes session as I haven’t been sitting in a while. The longest a meditation usually takes is 25 minutes. I laid down a pig red pillow that is normally used for pampered dogs to sleep on. I have made my own bench and put this on top of the pillow. I bowed for the cupboard with the incense and candle and bowed for my sitting place to remind myself that I am taking this moment for myself and that the meditation session has begun. I sat down and tried to find a good way to sit before the silence on the cd started. In the beginning of the sitting I still felt really restless. I could actually feel the energy jumping up and down in my veins. At first I wanted to figure out why I was feeling so hyperactive these last days, but I turned my focus back to my breathing. I count the exhalations from 1 till 10. Somewhere in the first half of the session I felt my back beginning to hurt again. Beneath my right shoulder muscles started burning as if they were being stretched or pulled too hard. I try to ignore it, but couldn't. So I decide to bend all the way forward to relief the muscles and then go back into the position. During the meditation my mind wandered off to all kinds of places, memories, things I still need to do, and more. Each time I noticed this I turned back to my breathing. Sometimes it takes long before I notice it. So I keep wandering off and have a hard time sitting in the here and now. At one point the phone starts ringing, bringing me back to “now” instantly. I had to tell myself to let it ring and not get up a few times. I stayed seated and tried to concentrate on my breathing again. I noticed that the restless feeling was gone and I felt calmer. The time went by pretty fast this time and I did not have such a hard time keeping my eyes open as I sometimes have. When the sounding scales chimed I bowed down and streched my back and limps. Normally I pour myself some tea and drink this in a very concentrated manner, but this time I decided to have a glass of water. I put the bench away and sat on the pillow in a more comfortable manner and drank the water calmly. I felt quite good after the meditation although a bit worried about the pain in my back. I hope I will be able to sit without it soon, because that would make it much more enjoyable.
Tomorrow I will publish the journal from today... ;D