Days 23 and 24: On flying and walking

Posted by on Jul 22, 2007 in Fiction, Journalism, Meditation | No Comments

Saturday: Yesterday was mostly a day of tiredness and lack of focus. Rather too late I pulled together enough sense to try to turn it around, and took a nap that lasted somewhere between half an hour and an hour (using an interesting little program called pzizz.) After that I was a bit groggy for a while, but did manage to perk up and get a few things done. Next time I’m having a tired-out day, and I have the opportunity, I’ll try to get napping earlier.

I didn’t get around to meditating until the end of the day, so I figured I’d try and meditate in the same time and place I used to do at univeristy, i.e. lying down and in bed. You’d think this would just involve me going to sleep, but oddly it seemed to work back then. And last night, it was pretty fascinating. There were two key things:

One was a discovery of just how much tension was built up in my body, and was staying there even while I was lying down “relaxed”. My upper back, a usual source of discomfort for me, felt like a clenched fist that I could barely control. And I think this is actually the normal state. It’s only the meditation and paying attention that let me notice it.

The second was an experience that I used to get reasonably regularly when I used to meditate at university, but haven’t experience since. A sensation of flying. Who knows, maybe I am falling asleep, and it’s a dream, or some form of hypnagogic hallucination. And it’s hard to describe. But basically, it’s like a lucid dream where I don’t get to see much, but I feel like I’m flying. It’s closest to, in Arthur Dent’s words, the act of throwing myself at the ground and missing. A feeling of buoyancy, of floating in the air which I can actually direct and control, to fly forwards across an unseen countryside. It’s very cool. And last night it came back to me. Not for long, and I was a bit wobbly, but I definitely experienced it, and I believe I was conscious rather than asleep, just in a state of otherness.

So, that was a very good end to a fairly crap day, and it’s possibly a sign of progress.

Sunday: Today was a better day, and I did my meditation nice and early, standard sitting-looking-at-candle stuff, and it worked pretty well. I still got distracted here and there, but I found that, as with yesterday, trying to be more aware of my own body as a whole seemed to help. Simple awareness rather than thoughts, I reckon, has got to be an improvement.

And also, walking to a café today, I felt the sudden desire to stop the podcast I was listening to, take my iPod earbuds out, and just walk. So I did. And I dropped into a fairly good walking meditation pretty quickly. There were still thoughts, but I left them behind me quite well, and I felt very at ease with the world.

So, despite most of yesterday being a bit of a write-off, the weekend has, on the whole, been pretty good.

Tomorrow I should be able to have a decent un-rushed session in the morning, as I’ve taken the day off work. That’s because I have a course in the afternoon at the Folk House, a beginner’s guide to freelance journalism! This might well be exactly the right course at the right time for me…

Anyway. Bit of a marathon entry. I’ll try to keep it shorter tomorrow!

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