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Meditation
Meditating together
26 entries
First: Sep 11, 2020
1 contributor
internetvin
@justin thanks man! All of this is a con...
ethan
Loved learning more about this practice....
Love this. That feeling of running out o...

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