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Meditation
Occasional public entries about my meditation
56 entries
First: Sep 11, 2020
1 contributor
internetvin
@tuna pretty tight! I never dove into 'R...
tarun
Yeah love this
internetvin
@gorum, thank you! just repeating and se...
justin
Hope things get better for your friend a...
internetvin
@ethan yeah thanks for asking that quest...
Love this. That feeling of running out o...

I just finished meditating for 10 minutes. A shorter meditation because it's the weekend. My time band is always narrower on the weekend, a symptom of not waking up earlier. I think that will be tuned in over time. It has to be.

I think the consistent meditation is giving me a higher baseline acceptance of reality. I have come to realize that my thoughts are not something I can control. I have no idea which thought will come up next. Or what someone might say to me 20 minutes from now. Or even what this next sentence might say. Life is entirely spontaneous. The more I try to control thoughts, the more the mind becomes a master and I become a slave (if you will). It seems like the mind is beyond my control. So when I try to control it, it's as if 'I' am running around chasing something that can never be controlled.

When I stop trying to control my mind, 'I' become the master (if you will) and the mind just does what it does and loses its control over me. It seems it is not trying to control me, but it ends up controlling me when I try to control it.

An observational state with no identification with my thoughts, just 'seeing what happens' is the ultimate vibe for me. No expectations. Just simple humble movements and observations. A separateness and harmony between 'I' and 'my mind'.

(lol)

It's Monday morning (7:42AM) in Toronto and I just finished meditating for 30 minutes. There's a lot of different thoughts coming in these days across many different dimensions. Family, Futureland, insights on life. It seems the way I interact with reality has a new base line of awareness. In the past I've written about fading into a 'state of nothingness'. More recently my insight has developed towards an awareness that it is seemingly impossible to control 'much of' anything. Everything is kind of spontaneous, rising and disappearing out of 'nothing'. Even as I'm writing, I don't know what the next sentence might say. So there's a limit to what I can know. I'm starting to realize I have to accept that I have no idea what's going to happen next and the only thing worth cultivating is a very high awareness and acceptance of that fact. I cannot 'make stuff happen'. I can only 'see what happens'.

I don't know why but at first this was 'kind of' worrying. It seems I will never know the meaning of anything or the purpose of anything. So to 'require' that knowledge is useless and ultimately impossible. It's difficult to describe but as I continue 'accepting things', it's like I become synchronized with the reality around me. Worries disappear. I know am moving like I'm supposed to without knowing why.

(lol)

3

I meditated for 30 minutes today, a high quality session. It’s not about duration but I do find 30 minutes or above is ideal for me. Yesterday I meditated for 45mins. I’m noting that because a pattern I have noticed is that these types of sessions seem to compound when done over consecutive days. I noticed this in my experimentations with sensory deprivation tanks as well. It’s like each subsequent daily session (that is at least over 30mins for me) leads to a natural falling into a deeper space of insights. And ultimately deeper into a state of nothingness.

An interesting thing that came up for me today is a kind of dichotomy between ‘making’ and ‘growing’. Often when it feels like I’m ‘making’ things, ‘it’ feels off. As if I’m supposed to have all of the answers. Like I’m supposed to be a ‘designer’ or an ‘architect’ acting on the world. Often the whole thing just feels unnatural to me. I have tried to be this person before and every time I try, I can feel my creativity narrowing and my ego growing. It becomes harder to see and hear ‘what’s actually happening’ in front of me when I think ‘I’ am an architect. Maybe that’s because ‘I’ am not.

Perhaps things ‘grow’ and are not ‘made’. Perhaps I am a ’seed’ and not an ‘architect’. And perhaps (for me) it’s not about ‘making things happen’ but ‘letting things happen’.

I don’t think I have ever ‘made’ anything in my life. Things have just grown out of me and my friends when we’ve been tuned in enough to let it happen.

Ah man feel like crying lol

I meditated for 45 mins today. My mind was very active and at times I was getting lost in the mental movies in my head or falling asleep. Over time though I found there was a heightened disconnection or acceptance of two states within me. This ‘observational environment’ and this other kind of ‘parsing’ state. The latter is a mental tool that seems to continually look for patterns in things at an infinite cadence. Sometime I find myself identifying with it. Directing it towards my own anxieties or worries or something and it loops over these things trying to solve them. Other times this tool seems to be able to help me synthesize and find patterns in my projects or something.

Lately I’ve been wondering if it needs to be directed at all. The more I practice meditation the more I’m aware of these two interdependent elements of myself. I wonder a lot about whether the mind or that parsing state needs to be directed at all beyond guiding it to a ‘see what happens’ state. Beyond gently moving it away from looping over insecurities, does it need to be directed at all? What if I just let my mind do whatever it wants? Lol what happens then?

Kind of a weird thing to describe and this kind of stuff can easily get lost in translation but there’s is ‘something’ I’m tuning into here. Lol

Seeing what happens

Today I meditated for 45 mins. This is the highest or one of the highest durations I have ever meditated. I feel very ‘calm’ and ‘transparent’ right now. It will be interesting to see if I do more of ‘one thing at a time’ today.

I found the session difficult in ways with the extended duration. It’s something I need to practice more. And I will.

I meditated for over 30 minutes today and my mind was very active as usual as it almost always is. My general approach to these sessions (when there is enough time) is meditating for 30 minutes and then taking some time afterwards to write in my notes about the meditation by hand and then typing them into Futureland.

I dislike writing notes by hand after my meditation which is mostly why I do it (lol). After a session, sometimes I’m in a calm and observant state and other times my mind is ready to speed up again. Using software usually ’speeds me up’ and 'writing by hand' forces me to keep my mind in a focused slower state, keeping my attention on a singular activity. It seems like a useful way to practice that skill.

I’ve noticed that my meditation sessions are exponentially better with sufficient sleep.

I’m feeling a natural desire to increase for an hour instead of 30 minutes. It’ll be interesting to see what happens over time.

These days I find a lot of ‘insights’ and ‘ideas’ about things I’m working on come through in my practice. This is something I usually make sure to note down in my notebook after meditating. But in general it’s not my ideal to think about stuff while meditating. It seems when I’m really tuned in, there’s no surface level project insights or anything. It’s just ‘nothing’ and for some reason that seems to be the ideal state for me.

Working on it :)

I meditated for 30 minutes today and as usual my mind was very active, looping over frustrations and stresses but it didn’t last long. I found myself having a natural distance from these things. A quicker ability to observe these little ‘loops of thinking’ and accept them as part of the process.

There’s this expression in ‘Zen’, that really resonates with me and it’s something I talk about a bunch or at least think about a lot. It goes,

“When Buddha makes bread, he doesn’t try to make the most bread or the best bread, he simply tries to understand how flour becomes bread and to do that you must put yourself in the oven”.

(Lol)

I really like this expression for a bunch of different reasons but the most immediate (or perhaps obvious) one is that it tunes me internally, keeping me focused on what’s ultimately most important to me; asking questions and having fun!

In the past, I’ve tried to ‘make the most bread’ and it didn’t work for me. I would have 4 loafs of bread and think I was special or something. To ‘make the most’ bread is fundamentally based on ‘hierarchical thinking’ so I would think as if I was superior to the things around me in some way. Every thing is perceived in relation to ‘how much bread I’m making’ (lol). This is a state where I get further from my ‘curiosity’. I’m not asking interesting questions any more. I’m mostly just asking, “am I making the most bread?”. Then someone will show up with 5 loafs of bread (more than my 4) and of course now I lose all sense of purpose. My life no longer has any meaning. I was the dude making the most bread with my 4 loafs, but not who am I (lol)? Trying to make 6 loafs of bread is a pretty useless exercise since it’s gets you stuck in an infinite cycle of dissatisfaction. There’s always someone making more bread.

Trying to make the ‘best bread’ functions in a similar way except the experience can be even more unpleasant. When I try to make the best bread it puts me back into that ‘hierarchical thinking’. I have to judge everything around me to know if I am making the best bread or not. “Is that bread better than my bread?”. Then of course there’s those moments where we actually think we’re 'making the best bread'. It’s always fun being around people in ’that’ state (lol). I’ve definitely been there and I still fall into this stupid trap. It usually doesn’t last long though because ‘most’ people who are trying to make ’the best bread’ quickly find bread that’s better than theirs. Once we taste this ‘better bread’, we lose all sense of purpose again :( “I thought I was the kind of person who made the best bread, who am I now?”. Perhaps some people block this out. Perhaps if you refrain from eating anyone else’s bread and never let anyone else eat your bread then your bread is always the ‘best’! (lol)

But when all you want to know is 'how flour becomes bread', there’s no hierarchy in your thinking. Just a simple curiousity. “Hm. What if I do this?”, “What happens if I do that?”. When all I want to know is 'how flour becomes bread', there’s a seemingly heightened connection with life and with myself. Everything is play. Everything is natural. It feels like the truth.

I’ve never been a human before (I don’t think lol). So by definition, everything is just an experiment in learning. I don’t want to know how to play 'the best' or 'the most'. All of that seems to be relative to something else. About something that isn’t ‘me’. I just want to know how ‘I’ play. And that’s it :)

I meditated today for 30 minutes and it a very good experience. Meditation is the center of my 'process' or my 'practice'. Everything stems out of meditation for me. In zen, they call whatever I am doing 'zazen'.

I find it's difficult to describe the 'benefits' or 'effects' of this practice. I think that's because of what our minds are and what they can do.

It seems like our mind is some kind of interface between the inner world and the outer world. It processes information from the outer world and seemingly connects it with some kind of hyper complex conceptual web of meaning in our inner world. This ultimately colours how we perceive 'reality' (or the outer world). Someone can say 'something' to two different people and depending on how each person's mind is configured, that 'something' can mean something different to each person (lol). That's also what's cool about being human and also why things like poetry exist.

Computers don't work this way of course (lol). Sentences always mean the same thing to every computer and that's what so great about them! :)

It seems the mind is the most powerful tool for creativity because it can take any data, synthesize it, connect it with any other data and produce schematics or outputs of something entirely new. It's seemingly an infinitely capable creative tool, but it also seems to be a generally unstable one. It takes a lot a lot of practice to tune it, to use it well consistently and ultimately control it.

I find if I push my mind in a specific direction, it doesn't necessarily like that. It becomes 'loopy' like a computer program caught in an 'infinite loop'. It fixates on something and continually loops over it finding any data that further perpetuates its 'loop'. It's definitely 'not the vibe'. lol

Meditation allows 'me' to have a separation from 'my mind' (a creative tool) and in ways allows 'me' to debug 'my mind' if you will. If 'my mind' fixates on something, I can direct it to let that 'loop' go. Through meditation I can observe what might be causing the 'loop' and 'debug' it simply by observing it.

I'm finding that as the duration of my meditation increases, my ability to parse through, gently direct and separate from my mind is increasing.

In other words, I feel calmer and more creative the more I meditate.

:)

I meditated for 30 mins today and my mind was very active. It made the meditation pretty difficult. I was darting between thoughts and pretty hard on myself for it too. I started today’s session by trying to tune my attention to my breath but I found it difficult to do that.

Every few seconds my mind would jump over to something else. What helped was going back to the koan, “medicine and disease are correlated”. When I say this it immediately puts things in perspective. I can see that the things that are bothering me are all part of the experience. If the disease is these thoughts then what is the medicine? Accepting them.

The next part of the koan is “The whole earth is medicine”, this sentence really resonates with me on many levels and each time I say it I fade further into the background and find I can more easily integrate with everything happening around me. In this meditation specifically it was interesting because I was repeating it continuously as almost like a mantra and it had a very calming effect. I’m still kind of doing it now even though I’ve stopped ‘meditating’, “The whole earth is medicine”.

I meditated for 30 mins today. My mind was very active today which means that the meditation was difficult which also means that it was needed.

It’s shocking how subtle the shift is from observing my reality to being consumed by my thoughts (cool expression). States switch extremely quickly and with zero friction. The switch is so fast and smooth that it makes it difficult to decipher when it even happened. If I’m really paying attention then I might notice it. “I’m watching a little movie in my head again” and then I slowly fade back into a state of observation.

A few points of fine tuning.

I can probably focus on my breathing more at the beginning of my practice instead of immediately trying to fade into a state of observation. I can perhaps use this as a way to slow down my mind / tune my attention early on this way (consistently) and see what happens

The other thing is that when I’m watching a little movie in my head, once I realize that’s what I’m doing I immediately shift into a state of observation and take my attention off that little movie. The state shifting is fine but what might be useful is kind of observing the little movie / cluster of thoughts or whatever as it unravels. Where did it go? Lol

I meditated for 30 minutes today. My mind was very active, random thoughts and visuals and frustrations popping into my mind. I continued to fade into the background. Into a state of nothingness. Then I would be pulled back into one of these ‘things’ again and then fade back again. A kind of interesting process is that it’s almost as if my mental abilities are limited by the degree of reality I can accept. It’s as if the mind gets caught in continual looping patterns and then once I accept that thought as part of reality the mind transcends that level of thinking or something into a new higher level. This pattern seems to continually repeat. At each level I’m going further inward and deeper or ‘quieter’ thoughts are revealed and then the practice is fading back further to allow those thoughts into my reality. Continually expanding my inner world to accept a progressively deeper set of realities.

I meditated for 30 mins today. It was nice to get a ‘longer’ session in. I found my mind was very active which is usual in general but more so after consecutive shorter sessions.

I had a bunch of insights.

It seems like all interpersonal issues require some form of ‘conceptual separation’ to exist. This is me and that is you. This is my view and that is yours. When I fade into the background, into an observational state there’s nothing that can be separated. The whole thing just feels like ‘nothing’ so almost immediately the ‘issues’ have no meaning and you can see them from a different perspective.

The more I meditate, the more I find it easier to accept and operate within reality. This isn’t just a surface level acceptance but something that gets deeper over time with practice. I still have a lot to learn, but this deeper acceptance (and awareness) of reality is happening.

When I meditate, I fade into the background and into a state of observation. I’ve noted this here many times. As I’m in the background observing I can observe my thoughts as a kind of web of little movies. A web of little media files floating in space. Sometimes without realizing it I’ll dart over to one of these little movies and I’ll start watching it. It’s incredibly immersive. So immersive that I don’t even realize I’m watching the little movie. Sometimes I remember and then I fade into the background again observing the entire web. The thing that’s interesting though is that when I observe the entire web I can notice the quieter thoughts. Often the more important ones that I wouldn’t notice if I didn’t fade into the background. Staying in this state of observation allows me to move through reality in a more curatorial sense. The more I practice, the more I can choose which thoughts I want to explore and act on. The mind is tamer. Without this practice I’m on autopilot darting from one thought to another. Often without even realizing it.

Meditated for 30 minutes today. My mind was very active but then began to unravel. I started to fade into the background again. 30mins seems like an optimal duration right now because it’s a significant chunk of time in my routine and it’s also difficult for me (but getting easier each day). Today is one of those days where I might have only meditated for 10mins but since I decided that this was the minimum I just started a timer for 30mins and then began my meditation.

A common theme in my meditation these days is just a general awareness of how important my internal state is. Things can change externally. I could live in a new place. Drive a new car or whatever, but ultimately these are just material structures that surround ‘me’. Not matter what box I’m in, I’m always with my internal state. So working that out, improving it and maintaining it is an essential part of my life.

I’m also starting to see some patterns in terms of things that make my mind, ‘jumpy’ in whatever way. Meditation serves as a good way to simulate these moments and then practice disconnecting from them and just observing them. Then when it happens again in day to day life I’ve already practiced what to do so it’s more likely I handle it well. That element has been a pretty cool experience. Sometimes it feels analogous to a basketball player or something or perhaps a samurai. Training for things so when they happen in a game or on the battle field, there’s nothing ‘new’ to learn. I just follow the motions you’ve practiced. I’ve already cultivated a state of ‘readiness’.

Still a lot to learn. Slowly continuing.

Longer meditation today at 30 minutes. This is my new minimum length. It’s kind of crazy actually to think I can sit and meditate for 30 minutes now. It’s teaching me a lot about life and myself. It’s a bit surreal at times to open my eyes and see how much time has passed.

This practice is helping me see things for the way they really are. ‘I’ am the background and there’s layers of different mechanics in the foreground. There’s my mind, my body and everything happening outside of my body. My body serves as a kind of input mechanism. Data comes in through my eyes and ears and then it’s processed by my mind. This processing can get easily out of wack and start colouring things in ways that really distort reality. The ‘I’ in the background observes all of this and just by observing it some how can calibrate all of it. It’s as if ‘I’ always and already know what to do in all situations.

The more I meditate the more all of this stuff is starting to feel like a ‘tool set’ that I can configure and use in different ways depending on how I want to navigate reality. It’s super cool. ‘I’ feel like this things that’s kind of transplanted into this human body suit and ‘I’m’ learning how all of the different controls work and stuff.

Meditated for 20 minutes today. It was good and as always much needed. There was some anger, frustration and emotion coming up in this session, which doesn’t happen that often for me but was interesting in that these thoughts are always kind of within my internal state and I was able to kind of just observe them and see how they were affecting me. And then I could also see them slowly unraveling as well. I was able to realize that it’s my own internal state that is colouring reality and nobody else that’s doing that to me. I can control the quality and stability of my internal state no matter what happens externally. I feel it’s my responsibility to do that.

I still want to increase the duration of my sessions but I know that will happen organically. I try to stay at a minimum of 20 minutes now which is already an improvement. Still need to increase to 30 minutes. Maybe I can decide that right now. The new minimum is 30mins (lol).

It was a good session today. <3

My mind is very active this morning but the more I meditate the ‘baseline activity’ seems to be getting lower each day. I also find that the more I meditate the more I can switch into a state of lower activity (observation) throughout the day. It’s extremely useful and satisfying in day to day life.

In this session there was a heightened focus on my breath to tune my attention and just open up my breathing in general. It’s become more narrow since this chest injury thing I’ve encountered (which seems to be getting better).

This session was 20 minutes and I’m hoping to build up to longer sessions. I should start that today (with another session) or tomorrow by increasing the duration to 25/30mins instead of 20mins.

I meditated today for a longer duration and it was good as always much needed. I find that my mind is very 'active' and 'reactive' in the morning when I first wake up. I've noted this before during my meditation practice in some way or form. I prefer meditating as much as I can before interacting with reality. Without meditation everything feels a lot more impure. My mind is too 'jumpy'. Sometimes my mind 'reacts' to things I don't even care about and in ways I do not want to.

I think it's worth defining some words here. To me, 'I' is becoming this 'state of nothingness'. A layer of experience where the only function is observation. My 'mind' is this other layer that continually generates new thoughts and connections between things.

It's kind of a weird thing to say but it would be helpful to deprogramthis connection with 'I' and 'my mind'. 'I often think' becomes 'my mind often thinks'.

It helps me internalize that 'my mind' is a tool and not 'me'. The more I meditate, the better I get at using this tool in various facets of my life. This 'mind' is not designed well for observing things from a state of nothingness. It's just not something it can do.

The more 'my mind' thinks it is 'I', the faster my internal state moves. Generating one thought and then another. Fixating on something over and over uselessly. Colouring and warping reality.

The less 'my mind' think it is 'I', the more efficient it runs. Useless thoughts are observed and then unravel. Useful ones are captured and explored. Now my internal state feels as if it is not even moving. There's always enough time in the day. 'It is what it is'.

Meditated with a timer today. I set it for 10 minutes. When it went off I could feel myself really fading into the background. Deeper into an observational state. So I set the timer again for 5 minutes. My mind is very active these days but I also seem to have a heightened ability to switch between something that is right smack in the middle of the ‘little movies’ in my head and something that isn’t. I really enjoy being the thing that isn’t.

I often wonder about meditating multiple times a day or increasing the length of each session. My longest sessions are currently 25mins. I wonder if I could take that to an hour. The main insight here is that I just find life much more enjoyable (or something) the more I meditate.

Meditated for an undefined amount of time today. The purpose was to get back into a state of observation. My routine is very off right now mostly due to still figuring out how to transition from the holidays and because of new increased activity and problem sets on Futureland. The latter requires a lot of thinking and emotional processing. Acceptance of new realities and so on. Usually when stuff like this happens it throws me off. I fall off my routine and then have to pick myself back up and expand for the new circumstances. The way I pick myself back up is the same. Nothing ever changes in that sense. The answer is always a deeper commitment to my routine. A deeper commitment to not hesitating. A deeper commitment to distant observation and not becoming entangled with the 'new' little movies in my head.

In other words, when my routine (or practice) is off, it is off because of increased 'lag time'. Lag time is the result of increased thinking. There's a flood of seemingly new data that I need to process and that mostly just means I start watching the 'little movies' in my head more than I should. Reducing lag time requires increased meditation and slowing down to do one thing at a time again. Like, trying to drink a glass of water well (without thinking about anything else). Or eating lunch (and nothing else). Or writing something (and nothing else). Breathing and nothing else. It's easy to start doing multiple things at the same time and then I lose that calmness again.

It's shocking how much is just in our heads. <3

I sat on a hardwood floor against a wall and meditated today. My back started to hurt a bunch through the process but that's fine. The session lasted 15 minutes and my mind was very active through it. A common theme in my recent sessions as there's seemingly not enough time for meditation through the day. My routine has shifted a bit because of the holidays but I can feel it shifting back now. At one point I was getting frustrated so I checked my watch to see how much time was left and noticed that there was only 3 minutes left. My practice can be like this but not often. I started focusing on my breath entirely to 'tune my attention'. Maintaining complete attention on every micro element of the entire inhale and then the same for every exhale. Each breath becomes like a little story with 3 acts. My mind becomes calmer.

Now I start meditating on the koan, 'the whole earth is medicine' and then slowly everything just disappears. "Where is your true self?" I disappear. I'm in a state of nothingness. I kind of like it this way. It's a very difficult state to describe because there is nothing. Like still water, but that's still 'something'. It's more of a vibe than a thing but I like it a lot. There's nothing to worry about any more. Nothing to plan. It feels like a complete acceptance and understanding of reality and then it becomes easier to just move through it and see what happens.

It's always interesting writing immediately after meditation because in order to write I have to think and by thinking I notice how much different my mind is tuned after meditation. There's a heightened degree of stability and focus within it. I have a heightened sense of control in terms of where I can point my mind and how. A heightened ability to fade into the background to just observe everything. I sometimes call it being in the pocket. Sometimes I call it not thinking or not hesitating and just always 'seeing what happens'.

I got a 25min meditation session in today and my mind was jumping around a bunch. It’s interesting when this happens because in a way it reveals what is occupying my mental state. Observing that is useful. Right now it’s a lot of stuff about Futureland. There’s a lot of unknowns and ‘hard’ problems to be figured out. So there’s a desire to have answers about them but of course that’s a useless desire. An unrealistic expectation. The ‘process’ itself is the experience of watching something unravel.

I was able to slow down at points and stay ‘in the pocket’. Fading into the background. Becoming an interconnection or something. It always feels good because it feels like the truth. I find when I’m anxious or stressed about something it’s usually the product of becoming fixated on a thing in my head. Fixated on a little mental movie that is like a dot or a node or a point in time. A singular event. A singular cluster of mental media. And when I’m ‘in the pocket’ I’m kind of in the background. I’m a line not a dot. A general direction and not a point in time. I really like staying in that zone as much as I can.

Meditated for 25 mins today. My mind was pretty active. I found myself continually thinking without knowing I was thinking. ‘Watching the little movies in my head’. But then as meditation continued I was able to enter a calmer state and fade into the background to just observe my thoughts and my internal state. Then I would end up watching a little movie in my head again. Then I would fade into the background. This oscillation continued on for the entire meditation. It was a tough one. One of the immediate things I notice after sessions that last more than 20 minutes is that I have a heightened ability to maintain my focus on things. I notice this almost immediately because once I’m done meditating I pick up my phone to write this entry and everything feels very different. My attention is entirely dialed into writing this entry and it also makes me aware of how untamed my mind was before meditating. Need to keep at it.

3

An interesting thing that came up for me today was kind of noticing that there is a processing that happens when experiences from the world come into my inputs. My ears, my eyes - whatever. I can’t control what happens and when certain things happen but it gets processed by my mind and my mind colours it entirely. It takes whatever the input data is and reconfigures it in a contextual way. That an interesting thing to think about.

That a lot of uncontrollable life data is continually being beamed into my body’s input tools and I essentially use it to very quickly and automatically process that data into a perception of the world. Weird. And if I can become more aware of how that processing is happening then I can ultimately improve and expand how I perceive everything around me. That might not make sense but it’s very helpful for me to be aware that as input comes in to my eyes and ears it is not contextually processed into something that means something to me until my mind makes that happen.

I meditated for a longer duration today. It was needed after a week of shorter sessions. I was able to slow my mind down and I realized how active it had gotten from that week of shorter sessions. A kind of interesting insight was that lately I have been experiencing something I call ‘lag time’ getting into my Dailies and transitioning between each journal as well. Even while working on stuff I find I’m a bit more distracted because I’m ‘thinking’ about a lot of stuff. It kind of occurred to me today perhaps obviously that the only two things that have changed are a more variable sleep time (going to bed a bit later) and shorter meditation sessions over the past week. I think the latter is the cause for this lag time which is a bit absurd to think about. This ability to act and not think and stay in flow is kind of like ‘flexibility’ or something. Like if you don’t do yoga for a week you will start to feel much stiffer. It seems this meditation stuff works the same. In order for me to stay in a state of ‘no thinking’ or ‘just flow’ I need regular meditation sessions of at least 20 minutes. It’s kind of crazy (for me) to realize that with this degree of precision and personal context. It’s an insight that’s coming out trying to repeat the same process daily and how much I’m journaling across different subjects consistently.

Meditation today was good. Of course my mind was very active but the most valuable part of this session was that the duration was long enough to bring my internal state back down into a needed and heightened state of nothingness.

To synthesize

It seems:

If I do not have long meditation sessions daily, I start to think a lot and if I think a lot I cannot continually conjure up flow states.

Brief meditation today. My mind was very active at first and then over a few minutes I was able to calm myself down and enter a state of 'nothingness'. Not much to report back today. I feel level and steady, ready to move through my day leaving no trace.

Meditated for about 20 minutes today. At first my mind was very scattered. Thinking about the things I need to do. In the morning I'm usually pretty keen to get right into my work. In a way this bothers me because I think it comes from a place of anxiety or impatience or something - an untrained mind. I find it's important for me to slow down this zooming mind before I begin my day. Slowly getting into a place of 'no thinking' or into a 'state of nothingness'.

Later into meditation as my internal state had slowed down a bit, I could hear my wife and son talking and at times I could hear all of the words and the rhythm of the conversation but I was able to listen to it as if it was birds chirping, meaning I can hear the rhythm of sounds but not process the meaning of it. At times, my brain would begin processing the meaning of the words again and then I would try to slow my mind down further. Just trying to observe the experience, giving it no meaning.

Language is a very powerful thing. It's kind of crazy to think about. It's like music or something. An ordering and reordering of things that trigger specific feelings and awareness. It seems like it's something that exists on all dimensions, across all disciplines and used by every living thing in some way. Really hard to internalize in a way. It feels like something I take for granted.

2

A much longer meditation session today (for me) - about 35 minutes. It was really good to spend the time to understand and work through my internal state. As I write here a lot, I start by closing my eyes and just kind of take inventory of my internal state. I slow down my breathing and then naturally begin to meditate on this concept, "the whole earth is medicine". I now sometimes conjure it up as, "everything is medicine". As I do this I find that 'I' begin to fade into the background and eventually I am just sitting in a state of nothingness. Then I'll think about something, an idea for a project or something I need to do and it will take me out of the state. When I think of these things, it's like a little movie that plays in my head. A little file that is opened containing visuals, sounds and feelings. I forget that I am meditating and I am entirely consumed by this virtual experience even if only for a moment until I remember that I am meditating and I slowly retreat back into nothingness. It seems the more I meditate the better (and faster) I get at remembering I am just watching one of these little movies when it happens. But of course I'm still an amateur and get caught up in my mind all the time.

A thing that was kind of interesting; as I continually returned back to this state of nothingness I had a heightened awareness of the transition from something to nothing. I write about this in different ways here. 'Fading into the background', 'Self disappears', 'State of nothingness'. It felt the same way, but it lead to a kind of insight. Sometimes when I enter this 'state of nothingness' it feels as though I don't exist any more. And I think it's because 'I', my identity is this thing that I'm kind of just propping up in my mind through repeated thoughts and little movies. Like your perception of yourself is just some kind of web of concepts, thoughts little movies that you continually conjure up. It's like an avatar that you create and continually loop over in your mind to try and make it 'real'. Sometimes you update it based on things that happen or things people tell you and often you do not update it at all. Kind of a weird and crazy thing lol

Meditation was longer today than yesterday, which is a good thing. It means my day is moving at a pace where's there's space for it. This is a good sign that my daily process is moving back into alignment. Today had good attention control. I have a meditation cushion, but I haven't started using it yet. I tend to start my meditation in the same way each time now. I sit down, cross legged, close my eyes, and then get a sense of my internal state. From there I meditate on this concept, 'the whole earth is medicine'. It's something like a cue for me to start working myself into alignment. In a way I enter a state of acceptance with where I am at in the moment and every thought that comes up throughout my meditation. Saying 'the whole earth is medicine' is like saying 'everything is medicine'. I slowly begin to fade into the background and feel connected with everything around me. Until there is 'nothing', which seems to be 'everything'.

Other notes; I am thinking about practicing attention control more in general. I wonder about how I might be able to practice it outside the context of meditation. What happens if I try to stay in a meditative state for hours at a time as I move through the day? For an amateur like me, can I use a timer as a tool to practice something like Zen?

It's 2:48PM. I set a timer today and meditated for 10 minutes. These days I often meditate for longer periods. I usually meditate in the morning and I would define the internal feeling of meditating as one where I am 'putting things in order'. I've written about that feeling a bunch in this journal. So it feels a bit weird to meditate in the afternoon, it feels as though I am just starting my day.

Meditating in the afternoon is interesting because at least for me, I realize how much my mind has just been watching little movies in your head. It's so weird. In the morning my mind is bit quieter, less programmed. It seems my mind is this creativity machine that can generate an infinite number of creative movies, whatever captures my attention it will repeat. Good or bad. It can continue doing this for years. Keeping my attention away from the present moment. This seems so absurd. More of what I care about and more of how I want to design my life and environments is about trying to 'handle' a mind that generates an infinite number of mental movies for the purpose of diverting my attention from the present moment.

Meditation is not good or bad these days but a regular practice. It's a 'putting things in order' kind of experience. Cross my legs, stretch out my spine, overlap my hands, close my eyes and focus on my breathing. From there I focus on my internal state which is usually darting around. Little internal movies consume my entire attention. While these movies playback I often forget I am even meditating. Then slowly I fade further into the background and realize what just happened. "Interesting, so that is consuming my attention". I accept it. Each time I accept things I fade further into the background. The volume of self turns down, my mind becomes quieter. I don't need to think. I don't need an active mind.

I found my breathing was shallow in this session. Adjusting that became a focus point. Putting my breathing in order. I think I understand the premise of those stacked rocks/pebbles often associated with Zen imagery. When you sit in meditation/zazen you slowly start ordering and stabilizing things one element at a time, working your way up. Once everything is ordered/stacked. You try to stay in that state and see what happens.

I meditated this morning and found that my mind was a bit foggy and numb. I slowly worked through it, 'putting my mind in order'. I really like this expression. It seems like the right way to start my day. Once I'm up, I take a moment to sit down and put my internal state in order. I start by sitting with my legs crossed. My hands overlap each other. Then I stretch my spine out and close my eyes. My mind is always wandering when I do this. Little movies in my head that can capture all of my attention to the point. While watching them sometimes I forget I am meditating entirely. I focus on my breath and try to let go of all of these little movies. Each time my attention is taken by one, I bring my attention back to my breath. This seems to be the first stage of putting everything in order. The second stage is fading into the background and just observing this web of thoughts and visuals and accepting all of them. Fading into the background and becoming an observer. I was able to slow my mind down before ending the session. Not as much as yesterday though, but that doesn't necessarily matter.

Meditating has become a way of turning down the volume on 'thinking'. I'm trying to move through my day in a 'non-thinking' way. It's become a little fascination of mine. The type of 'thinking' I'm describing feels like a kind of 'hesitation'. Being 'hesitant' is a way of saying, being 'not ready'. I wonder how do I create without any hesitation? How can I enter a state of permanent readiness?

I'm feeling very refreshed today. I'm not sure how long I meditated but I imagine it must've been around 30 mins. I started with the mechanics of my posture and my breathing and then slowly worked up from there trying to put my mind in order. Often my mind would drift away to immersive thoughts. Little movies in my mind. So immersive that I would forget I was meditating. And then I come back slowly and focus on the mechanics again, slowly building up trying to put my mind in order. Eventually I was able to get back into a state of nothing. And then some other thought would come up and again I would forget I was meditating. Entirely consumed by the thought. Then come back and focus on the mechanics of my posture and my breathing again. Slowly building back up, putting my mind back in order. Accepting everything around me and fading into the background. Back into an interconnected state of nothing-ness.

While in this state, everything is quiet. Thoughts still come up and I just observe them like I observe everything else. It's a state of acceptance. A state of observation. Just looking around. Sitting still among a never ending complex web of multi-dimensional concepts. Now nothing matters and everything is an experiment. How long can I stay in this state? If I keep practicing, could this be my default experience as I move through the world?

My mind is a bit foggy today. I went to bed much later than usual last night and my sleep ultimately determines the types of states I can achieve the next day. I still sat in 'meditation' / 'zazen' today. I came across a video that articulated some of the fundamentals. It had a strong focus on the physical mechanics of meditation. About putting all of the movements in order one step at a time.

I have always given these postural elements less focus, writing them off as superficial. Of course putting your mind in order is the most difficult part of the practice and ultimately the purpose of it. But now am starting to believe that the postural elements are important as well. Just like everything else, it seems it is beneficial to try and understand the 'whole' practice. The 'whole' problem, the 'whole' system, the 'whole' earth. It's important and takes a lot of skill to be comprehensive and anticipatory.

So I am starting to believe that things like your seated posture is worth focusing on as a means of putting your mind in order. Beginning by putting your body in order, crossing your legs, stretching your back out fully and straight, overlapping your hands, closing your eyes and then relaxing all components of breathing. Breathing in an organic and natural way and then working your way up from there.

Putting all of these mechanics in order is part of putting your mind in order. Your life in order.

I continue to meditate on this koan, "the whole earth is medicine". The experience of doing this has a consistency to it. I fade into the background and connect with everything around me. The volume of self turns down and then there is 'nothing'. It seems we (or I) have programming related to 'states of nothing'. To be in a state of nothing is a negative thing. Something sad, a tragedy. But what I am experiencing is a state of not needing anything else.

The more I practice this, the more lasting the feeling becomes. I find myself wanting to be in and create from this state at all times. I look for it in the things around me. In a table or a garment. I see it often in plants, in the sky and in the interplays of light and shadow all around me.

I've been continuing to focus on this Koan "the whole earth is medicine" because I find there's a lot of insight I'm gaining through meditating on it. This morning I found my mind was very scattered. A bit of anxiety coming up as well. These thoughts were useful though because while they came up, I would think "this is part of who I am" and when I Would think that they would kind of just go away some how, kind of just like fade into everything else. I would think things like, "since these thoughts exists they are part of the whole earth". There's this part in the Koan that says, "where is my true self?" or "what is my true self?" and when I ask myself that a consistent answer is "I am part of this harmoniously interconnected whole earth system". When I think this internally I feel as if I am connected to everyone around me as if I am a system and not an individual thing and I can feel the volume on my self turning down and it feels almost as if I am acting automatically. As if I'm like a tree swaying in the wind or something where it's like I just move but there are no thoughts. It's difficult to describe, but it's as if there is nothing 'wrong' I can do because I'm just part of this larger unified system. There's no noise. No such thing as an incorrect action.

This was one of the most powerful meditation sessions I have had since I started this journal. There's something about this concept of 'the whole earth' or 'the whole earth is medicine' that really resonates with me. So I returned to this Koan today. I was letting my mind follow the natural progression of this Koan. "medicine and disease are correlated", "the whole earth is medicine", "so what am I?". This time when I asked my self that question, something more powerful happened than in the past. There was like this experiential data that came through me that felt like, "I am the whole earth" and then I felt entirely interconnected and harmonious with everything around me. This is very difficult to describe. Each time something frustrating or painful came up, it would just easily be accepted into this harmonious whole since it is part of it. I am all of 'this'. A pretty cool moment that seems lasting and more formative than anything else I have experienced so far. I wonder what'll happen next.

aside: since meditation can be very personal, I have my own private journal that I write in every day and then I pick select entries to share in this open journal <3

Meditation was noisy today, but it is always beneficial. Mostly because it slows me down and lets me parse through my thoughts in a healthier way. Creatively, the more I meditate the more my attention stays on the 'process'. This can be difficult to describe. Sometimes 'process' is defined as 'attention to detail'. To have attention to detail your mind cannot wander to other things and outcomes. Instead, you are entirely committed to each step you are taking and nothing else.

In a way meditation itself is a simulation. Your mind is darting around to so many different thoughts or visuals and you are trying to focus on just your breath and nothing else. Focusing on just the process of breathing. I find this is deceivingly simple and takes so much practice. And extrapolating this out further, it seems to apply to larger disciplines. Keeping your attention only on something you are designing or writing or making and on nothing else with no attachments to outcomes seems deceivingly simple but in reality is very difficult. If I miss a day of meditation, I find this type of activity becomes even more difficult. It's a continual state that I try to stay in through practice.

2

I wish I wrote these notes immediately after meditating but my life has been a bit absurd lately with some personal stuff and so I’ve been trying to figure out adjustments to my routine to handle it.

The thing I am working through right now in a personal sense is very high stress. A mental health crisis with a friend. So to process and handle it I have been increasing the duration of my meditation time as well as my work outs. With each meditation session now my mind kind really needs the time to relax and calm down so it’s something I really need to make space for. I’m working on that.

Today’s session was really good and I found points of heightened calmness. I mediate until my mind is still because to do everything I’m doing right now, I need a calm mind.

As mind calmed today, an interesting realization occurred, “What if I just never worried?”. As this question popped up I could feel myself widening. It’s hard to describe. Like connecting to something else.

I came across something in a book or in a course or something on relationships and basically it was this idea that you can put a limit on the amount of anger you are willing to experience in your life. And if any situation causes you to surpass that limit you can just disconnect from it until you cool off. The interesting thing about this to me was that you could make a philosophical decision about something like anger. Like you could just decide you’re not a person who’s down to get significantly angry (and that’s what I did). Sometimes I forget. :)

But I think you can do the same thing with worrying. Like you can just decide that you’re just not down to worry about stuff. Like “worrying is just not my vibe”. And then it’s a process to achieve that. It takes practice and studying but why can’t you build your life around something like that? It’s kind of like that expression, “I fear no man” or “the only thing I fear is god”.

There’s a lot of nuance here. But essentially, I’m curious like can I just become a person who doesn’t worry or fear things? How would I do that?

I meditated for a longer period time today. There were moments where I was able to be very calm. And other moments where things were more difficult. What I'm starting to realize is that everything is an expression of my internal state. When I'm able to slow down my mind, it feels like everything is just 'space'. Often this 'space' is called consciousness. It feels like nothing and everything. And it's hard for me to fully internalize and understand this, but it feels like every thought, feeling, idea, philosophy, creation is an alteration of that consciousness. If you imagine your internal state as a flowing web of all of those things, that web and its contents dictates every action you take. In other words, the product of your internal state is your life. So if you learn to tame and transform that web of thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc, you can have more control over what your life ends up becoming.

3

It's 6:15am and I just finished meditating. It's the ideal way for me to start my day. I find it can be so easy for me to disconnect from the 'process'. My mind always wants to move faster. It wants to do enough things to not be bored. I always wonder why being bored is such a bad thing? Why is it something that my mind would run away from?

I think boredom is something I am getting better at embracing each day. I don't like to work on many things any more. I prefer to strip things down to their essentials and try to do one thing right before moving on to the next. These days if I don't feel a sense of boredom, it's a sign that I am doing too much. This is really hard because there's always so many good reasons to add just one little small thing. I'm far from being good at this but the more I meditate, the more I develop a heightened awareness of what is around and within in me. And the more I develop that heightened awareness, the more sensitive I am to what is essential and what is not.

I meditated on a koan today, "the whole earth is medicine". It's something I keep coming back to now and I really like it. I've mentioned it in my other entries. It's very difficult to describe, but once I think about this I feel myself widen into nothing (or widen into whatever everything else is). I feel like a small part of everything else. It's a safe feeling. Some experiential data that comes through is, "if the whole earth is medicine, then there's nothing to do, there's nowhere to go, and nothing to worry about. You are already part of this earth so just be yourself".

It's 6:14AM on Monday morning. Today's meditation was simple and brief. I sat down and just immediately sank into the moment. Some days this happens easier than others. At one point, my back relaxed so my posture slouched. Sometimes when this happens, I'll think something like, "come on man, sit straight!", a little beating myself up. Today was different, I was not as critical of myself when it happened. I began to form a realization that how I sit in meditation is a form of self expression just like if I'm making something. How I sit, how I breathe and the care I put into it is another form of creative work. It's something I can try to do well and improve on each day by focusing on every element of the process.

It's 6:27am on Sunday morning. I just finished a short meditation. The theme of it was disconnecting from the concept of 'knowing' things. Moving towards a complete feeling of 'not knowing' anything. I think I walk around with a kind of continual attachment to various concepts that suggest I 'know' what I am doing at different scales. "I know what I need to do today", "I better do this first because…", "I'm the kind of person who…". This attachment to knowing things, structures and silos my day to day experience. It can create the illusion that I know how life works or at least how 'my life' works when the truth is I'm just one part of this entire thing and I have no idea how anything is happening (lol). I have found the most insightful or transformative things in my life were done 'just to see what happens'. When I let go of needing to know things, I can accept more of the entire experience of whatever 'being alive' is and that opens potential for new things.

It's 5:38am again, weird. Saturday morning. I like when little repetitions happen like that especially when I am running an experiment. It would happen at times when I was making some kind of music every day. A track length would match a previous day, or a file size would match. I don't know why but I've always seen these little quirks as gifts from the process.

I sat down for a brief meditation today, I'm not sure how long it was maybe 20 minutes. I meditated on the koan, "the whole earth is medicine". Some questions that came to mind were, "then what is the disease?", "if the whole earth is medicine, then who am I?". I do this thing and I have been doing it for years where while meditating I'll ask myself, "Who am I?" or "What am I?" on the exhale. If my mind is quiet enough, I'll get an experiential answer to this question. My internal state becomes super quiet, my body becomes hyper sensitive. At first it feels like I am the space between things. Then it feels like I am nothing. And then ultimately it feels like I am part of this whole life experience. I am one part of everything around me. In that sense, I am everything around me. There's nothing that separates me from everything else. There never will be.

If I am part of everything, then "how is the whole earth medicine?", "what is it medicine for?". I suffer when I think I am separate from everything. I am cured when I remember that I am part of everything.

1

It's 5:38am right now on Friday. Wow. I just realized it's already Friday lol. When I wake up early, I often hesitate to start my day with meditation. In the early morning hours, I'm so keen to get right into my work because it's rare these days to have extended hours with absolutely no interruptions like this. But everything I do is an expression of my inner state so even if I was to jump right into the work, I would be darting around from one thought to the next as I am working. I find that kind of untamed thinking takes away from the craft. So I try and slow my mind down before I begin.

The past few days my mind has been much more active than usual. There's a lot going on in my life right now. A lot of things I am doing. I find it's useful when I begin my meditation to kind of take inventory of the state of my mind sometimes before focusing on my breath. It's kind of weird but it seems when our minds are most active, it can be difficult to see how active they are. The heightened activity makes it difficult to step back and ask, "What is the state of my mind right now?". It took awhile, but eventually I asked myself that today. When I did I could kind of experience all of my different thoughts as a constellation of energies. I try to sit with them and not identify with any of them, but one by one giving each cluster of thought and energy my attention until I understood what it was and until it subsides. Since my mind is in an active state these days, there's a lot of things going on in that constellation.

A dominant feeling is this concept of 'running out of time'. It's an arbitrary feeling and I think it's the root of any anxiety I experience. I'm not actually running out of time (lol). For me it's very easy to conjure up a feeling like this. "Maybe I'm focusing on the wrong thing", "What if this happens?", "What if that happens?". There's benefits to questions and explorations like this in some ways because they are the type of questions that can help you determine what is essential and what is not. They can help you form new hypotheses and run experiments but there's a negative aspect to them as well. They can dominate your attention, they can confuse you and ultimately become barriers to flow states. They take you out of the present moment and out of the craft of just making things and seeing what happens, which is ultimately the only thing that matters to me. Over the years, I've been getting better at taming these feelings when they arise.

There's this concept I have that has captured my fascination these days and it is the reason I meditate; "the day as one continual motion". I have this vision of myself working through things, moving through my daily routine without a sense of self. My attention is entirely consumed by the thing I am doing, whether that's something creative or just something ordinary like drinking water. Just doing one thing at a time and then seamlessly transitioning to the next thing. There's no thoughts swirling in my head. No worries. I just kind of observe myself as I am going through my day. It can be hard to describe but a growing desire to explore this way of living has got me super interested in things like Zen. A lot of the principles seem to be aligned with what I'm trying to figure out in my own life and work.

I meditated today for what seemed like longer than usual. If I have the time, I continue meditating until I feel my mind is calm enough for what the type of day in front of me. My mind has been pretty active the past few days. I am not entirely sure why. It could be because I fell off my routine a bunch from getting sick. I find a sense of stillness compounds and is more lasting after a few consecutive days of best effort meditation. I start to feel heightened states of stillness. I can give each task more of my complete attention, without worrying about if I should be doing something else (lol). Just doing one thing at a time. It is tough to maintain this state throughout the day. When I finish meditating, I often think I'd like to meditate again in the day or meditate for longer sessions like an hour. Although this has not happened yet. I think my ideal practice would be meditating for an hour in the morning and then an hour after lunch. I'm a long way from that practice though. There's something really powerful about doing this. Everything you make and do is an expression of your inner state and when you meditate you gain the ability to sculpt your inner state. In that sense, I find meditation seems to be an incredibly powerful practice for creativity and just staying light in your day to day life.

It's 9:35am on Saturday and I just finished meditating. It was a noisy session at first, my mind was jumping between all of the things I need to do for Futureland. Switching between one idea and the next. Under the surface there was this little guilt or anxiety for taking time to just and slow my mind down. Similar to yesterday, a feeling that I should be doing something else. But it's persistent until I work through it, continually slowing down my mind through focusing on my breath. At times when I bring my attention to my breath, this anxious feeling will try to pull me away. "No maybe, we shouldn't focus on your breath" (lol).

What is this feeling that's constantly trying to divert my attention to something new? What is this thing that does not want to sit idle? I continued to slow my mind down to my breath. Each breath is getting richer in detail now. That feeling that diverts my attention is getting quieter. But it's still there and something I'll need to work through and understand.

In general, the focus of my meditation has become to help me be progressively more OK with doing nothing. I'm trying to put myself into states of boredom and then practice staying there. A part of me is starting to believe that a high acceptance of boredom (which takes practice) might be correlated to really good creative work. I think if you can accept high levels of boredom, then you're less likely to divert your attention away from the thing you're working on. If you have a low acceptance of boredom, anytime you feel it, you might glance at your phone. Or if a project induces boredom, you might all of a sudden come up with a new one. Narrowing the number of things you are working on only to the essential, is useful because it creates more focus but it also increases the likelihood of states of boredom. When you strip things away, you have to sit with and accept the things that are in front of you. If you do not have the ability to accept those things (the boredom), then non-essential things will creep in again. And before you know it, you're right back where you started.

Anyways yeah - so still getting super into being bored.

I am finding guided meditations a bit distracting lately. It seems more useful to get right into my practice on my own these days. Working through my own mental knots and watching them unwind. I started as usual by quieting my mind through focusing on my breath. As I became calmer, I tried to take note of any negative feelings. There's always something that comes up. Sometimes my mind is not quiet enough to observe and explore them. I can't stop darting from one little mind movie to the next. Some days are a bit better. A feeling that came up today was this desire to move. Not like physically but like this feeling of guilt for sitting still in the moment (lol). Like I was doing something wrong and I should be doing something else. It's a kind of quiet anxiety. I'm trying to understand what drives that kind of feeling. The feeling that something else is always more important than what you are doing right now. I don't know yet. But I'm getting better at sitting with it. As I feel those feelings of anxiety, telling me to "get up", "go do something else", "you're running out of time", I just sit there with them. It seems to be expanding me in some way when I do this.

I'm starting to entertain the idea that boredom is a necessary state of doing really creative work. And that things that disconnect from you boredom ultimately take you away from that work. So as I sit there with those feelings, "get up", "go do something else", "you're running out of time", I'm starting to believe that more I just sit there, the better I can get at accepting and connecting with states of boredom. In other words I've started to think about how I can be more bored lol

Started my day with some meditation today. As usual I start my trying to quiet my mind by focusing on my breath. Some days it takes longer than others to quiet my mind. As I’m doing this, I start to notice mental knots if you will. Little insecurities and anxieties. Stories I’m playing back in my head. I try to observe them and accept them and then they kind of just fade away. It doesn’t happen instantly. Often I have to give it my attention for some time until it begins to fade and then I bring my attention back to my breath until the next ‘knot’ reveals itself and the process continues.

A few thoughts since returning from Lake Huron. I’m noticing a lot of shifts in my mind. I can see my day to day routine and environment from a different perspective. While isolated, there was a lot of space for deep work. Which obviously makes sense because I was alone with no distractions. But another element was that I was there with minimal things. It was not my usual environment and because of that the environment was stripped from any of the built up excess that comes out of staying in environments for a long time. It made me wonder about how I could create more ‘creative space’ in my day to day life by removing more noise. My time by Lake Huron serves as a reference point in my day to day life. If while I’m there it’s as close to pure deep work as I can get then how close am I to that in my day to day life? How I can close that gap a bit?

I meditated today, not sure how long. I have a bit of a pattern forming right now. I'll likely repeat myself a bunch in these entries. When I first sit down I focus on my breath. Bringing my attention to each inhale and exhale as a means of tuning my awareness and slowing down my mind. My mind rapidly jumps to thoughts but then I slowly bring it back to my breath once I realize what's happening. As my mind gets quieter, I start asking myself "Who am I?" on each exhale. Sometimes nothing happens, but other times there's this consistent kind of like internal string or little wound that comes up. Like a mental knot. I try to bring my attention towards it until I form some kind of understanding of what it is. It's usually a thought that brings up feelings of insecurity, worry or anger. Something that bothers me. I keep my attention on it without judgement trying to accept it. The experiential data that comes through as I feel it is, "This feeling is also who I am". "I am a person who is not happy with x". "I am a person who is worried about x". And it's fine. More experiential data; life has both comfort and discomfort. You can be both tangled and untangled. As I accept these things it's just fine. This is the way things are. To not accept this is to not accept myself and to not accept life. I am a person who needs to work on things. The things I need to work on are part of who I am. And I am part of everything.

After drinking an espresso with 200mg of L-Theanine, I got into some meditation. I used my breathing to try and slow down my mind and tune it's attention. My mind was darting around thinking about many different things but as the minutes went on I was able to slow my mind down and have a calm internal state. I played with oscillating my attention between an object in front of me and then towards my own inner state. Trying to direct my attention on attention itself if you will. Then I tried to quiet my mind again through breathing and meditating on the question, "who am I?". I would inhale and then ask myself that question on the exhale. Each time I asked the question my mind would get quieter. It's hard to describe but it's like experiential data that rushes in and you have this sense of knowing that you are nothing more than part of this whole system. You are not separate from it. You never will be and you never can be. Every one of your actions and thoughts is part of this entire life experience. Everything I do is as natural as these trees gently swaying in the wind.

I meditated this morning with no guidance. My mind was a bit numb. Not as flexible as usual. Not as tuned. I found my mind jumping between thoughts. Continuously jumping out of the moment. As I write this now, I feel the same, but much less so. Some days my mind can jump into a state of awareness faster than others. One general helpful reference point is the expression, "thinking without knowing that you are thinking". Every now and then I'll glitch back into the present moment. And then I'll realize for the last 20 minutes I have been thinking and seeing flashes in my mind of various things, insecurities, distractions, without even knowing it. I was just watching this movie in my head. This kind of "thinking without knowing that you are thinking" also seems to happen at times when I use a computer. The computer is a 'general tool' just like my mind is. It can jump between so many different things. It can make a video, a song, or it can be used to have a conversation with someone else or to conjure up any image imaginable. So when I am using a computer and "thinking without knowing that I am thinking", I find myself flipping rapidly between applications. I'll be working on something and then I'll flip over to iMessage to message someone a thought. Or I'll open a browser to look up something that is all of a sudden so important. It's interesting that tuning your mind can be such a valuable thing. We have so many great tools but the degree to which we can use them depends entirely on how we can process sustained attention through them.

All of that is to say, I have been thinking about increasing the amount of time I meditate. I currently meditate between 10-20 minutes each day. More recently I lean towards longer sessions. And then I take some time afterwards to write about each one. I think I would like to meditate twice a day, perhaps 30 minutes each time and see how that influences my life and my work. It would be great to build up to 1 hour sessions twice a day. I'm not there yet though. Not just in the 'sitting' part of meditation but all of the elements in my day that need to be structured around that to make it happen.

We'll get there :)

A good meditation today. It started with a guided koan meditation from Sam Harris' Waking Up app but I found that very distracting. I believe it lasted about 8 minutes. Then I took some time for myself to meditate at my own pace. I meditated on the koan, "Who am I?". These experiences are difficult to describe, but each time I processed this question I could feel something unusual. A thought that felt like a little wound or something. I tried to isolate it and then I would ask myself the question again, "Who am I?". The feeling would return, like a little sting. I focused on it and then asked the question again, "Who am I?". I felt that almost like inner pain again. I took in a deep inhale and then I asked the question againas I exhaled, "Who am I?". Slowly I started to get some experiential data. I thought about all of the things I don't like about myself. My regrets. My mistakes. The times I've hurt people. The times I've done things I'm not proud of. All of this is part of who I am. I took in a deep inhale. On the exhale I asked, "Who am I?". More experiential data; I'm some how part of this massive interconnected system of life and I am afraid to die. Another inhale, again on the exhale I asked, "Who am I?". I can hear the waves crashing in through the windows of this house. There's tiny sounds this house makes as it provides heat for me. The trees are still swaying back and forth. Grooving all night. The planet rotates and the stars are visible. I am part of this entire thing. That's an undeniable fact. I am not above it below it or separate from it. I am it.

Preparation is defined as, "the state of having been made ready". This is valuable and it cannot be rushed. I want to work on developing my capacities each day so that I am ready in any moment for the things I need to do and create. The only way I know of to achieve a prepared state is to practice things every day. In that sense meditation is something I really need to practice more and practice deeply. I do not want to hope for calmness or search for clarity when I need it. In moments of need, I want to activate them instantly. Of course, I am not there yet. I'll continue my practice. <3

Sat down to meditate. Today I spent some time with Richard Lang's 'The Headless Way' on Sam Harris' Waking Up app. The material on this app is incredible. It's the kind of app that reminds you of the power of the Internet. How the Internet enables good teachers to distribute their ideas to everyone in the world. I have been around a lot of meditation books, films and meditators in my life and the material in this app is really amazing.

In the past, I would use meditation as a way to calm myself down. As a way of slowing down the frequency of my thoughts, especially stressful ones or panicky ones. I would take deep breaths and try to keep my attention on the entire duration of each inhale and exhale. When my attention would dart to something else, I would slowly bring my attention back to my breath in a forgiving way. As the minutes go on, my mind becomes quieter. By the time I open my eyes again, the entire experience of life seems more vivid. The way light reflects off plants or the way wind can make them move gracefully.

More recently though, I have found myself trying to move through more of the day in an empty state. I believe in Zen they call this 'no mind' or 'buddha nature' or through the expression, 'form is form and emptiness is emptiness'. It is an empty state that is kind of a container for experience. It is difficult to describe, but I am sure other meditators here have experienced this. I try to practice my activities throughout the day in this state. As I move through various journals in my daily, I try to work on them without thinking about anything else. Without thinking about what time it is or whether I should move on to new activity or something that worries me. I try and do that one thing and as I come to its completion I try and complete it without leaving a trace. No residue of thoughts or ego. No 'look how great I am!'. A clean completion. I try to do this as I am cooking, writing, designing, drinking water or working out through the day. I find it is very difficult but sometimes I can make it happen.

I meditated today with no guidance. Today was a day I really needed it. There's a web of thoughts and concepts floating around my mind. It's nice to slowly takes steps back towards emptiness. My outside environment often reflects my internal one. As things get cluttered in my mind, my desk begins to get messy and then it extends into the surrounding environment. Some objects are not placed where they usually are. As I tune and tame my mind again, the environment becomes tame as well. I start placing objects back where they belong. It's interesting how that works. I've always been around meditation. Both of my parents are avid meditators. More recently though, Zen has captured my attention. The more I study it, the more it resonates. Each day I try and do the same thing, which is to try and do one thing at a time. I find this incredibly difficult. It feels as though I could spend my whole life trying to get better at this. By doing one thing at a time, I mean being entirely consumed by the activity, no thoughts of anything else and when the activity is completed you leave 'no trace'. No thoughts of 'look how great this is' or 'this kind of sucks'. Once the activity is completed you move on to something else, retaining emptiness. I'm working on it :)

Meditated today and noticing that my mind is being pulled in many different directions. Today I let myself sit with this pulling in different directions and accepted that this was the current state of mind and then things started to slow down. The more I just sat and did not let myself go anywhere, the more my mind wanted to leave. It is an interesting thing to observe. I experimented with adjusting the focus of my attention. My glasses sat on the floor in front of me, and I let my attention point at my glasses by using my finger to point at them. Then slowly, I would turn my finger and point to myself and my attention would be on me or the space that I am. Consciousness. And I could switch these modes of attention so easily, flipping between looking out at the glasses and then inward towards myself. I think because of our vision it is much easier to fixate on outward attention, but then sometimes you fixate on thoughts often without knowing it. And it colours your perception of the outside. The hardest layer to focus on is the space that is you. The kind of emptiness that is beneath the surface.

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internetvin
internetvin Meditation