Days 30 and 31: Sleep Deprivation and Content

Posted by on Jul 29, 2007 in Meditation | No Comments

I’ve been at a stag weekend all weekend. I meditated yesterday morning, and it wasn’t brilliant, but I was in a hotel room, out of my usual environment, and under time pressure. Today I’ve not meditated yet, but I may try, simply to see how well I do considering how little sleep I’ve had and how many unprocessed things are still whirling around in my mind. I’m not expecting miracles, but it may be an interesting experience. And I suppose I feel a bit obliged to make some effort on day 31, which I could call the end of the month.

Good news, though, in terms of my mental state in general. I had a great time, and I remember one moment in particular, coming back from the toilets in the pub we went to after the Turkish restaurant (insight often strikes at the most banal times), where I suddenly realised that I was surrounded by amazing people, tons of my friends, having a completely wonderful time, with everyone seeming happy and that I felt utterly contented and at peace. And that it wasn’t the artificial congeniality of alcohol making me see the world through a rose-tinted view — because I haven’t had a drink since February. It really was that I just felt relaxed and present in the world and surrounded by… Well, love, I suppose. To have a moment like that, feeling confident and at peace and fundamentally happy and knowing that there was nothing artificial propping it up was really special.

I can’t help but feel that the meditation may have helped me get more in touch with my feelings, and possibly made me more socially confident as a by-product. I certainly seem to have been more relaxed around the people I didn’t know than I would otherwise have been — especially when sober.

Anyway. On a lighter note, it’s also possible that my meditation helped my concentration and awareness for the archery we were doing — the big event of the stag weekend was spending Saturday at an archery activity place and learning how to shoot bows & arrows! I felt really engaged with it, and concentrated on what I was doing when I was actually shooting (is that the right word?) and I did pretty well. I definitely improved a lot during the course of the day, anyway. Good fun all round, really…

Hopefully I’ll get enough sleep tonight and be able to do a monthly roundup of my meditation experiences so far tomorrow. I was listening to one of the Introduction To Meditation lessons from the Zencast on the way back in the car, and Gil Fronsdal said that he recommended that meditation students take a week off meditation to see what kind of a difference it makes — after their first six months’ practice, that is! That inspired me to think of this experiment in the rather longer-term, and what changes I might need to make to keep that up (like shorter daily postings and less rambling, for example!) More on that later in the week, I think. Right now I’m running on about 10 hours sleep out of the last 48, which is not a happy place to be.

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