The change I made while lying in my tent in the chilly dark in the Mojave Desert seems to have stuck. Don't ask me how: the mechanics of my sense of consciousness gets to be more of a damn miracle to me with every year that I live. But I got some news today that brought up a bunch of very powerful feelings; those took twenty minutes or so to pass through, and my energy is still a little twitchy, but in terms of my mind and thought processes, the powerful feelings have left very little trace:
22:00 > wow, my headspace is weeeird now. this is an interesting couple of months. 22:01 <dr.jd> yay insanifuz 22:01 > nono, this is an improvement, just a strange one. 22:01 > centered and free-floating, but with feelings coming and going freely without leaving marks. 22:02 > like waves on wet sand. after the wave is gone the wet sand looks the same. 22:02 <dr.jd> you sound like a zen calendar 22:02 <dr.jd> (not that I'm disagreeing or anything)
This is unusual, because I have a very clingy and obsessive mind that likes to latch onto things and not let go.
I've picked up zazen, finally. I never had the quiet or discipline to do it on my own before; apparently I needed to grow up and do martial arts for a few years (probably at the same time, since they've proceeded hand in hand). And now to sit down by myself and focus on my breathing for 25 minutes is not so hard (it's harder than 15 minutes, but that's by design). It's not entirely clear to me why I should be sitting zazen at this point: I've mostly (but not completely) given up on the whole "enlightenment" idea, and all I want now is a measure of peace and quiet in my own being. Zazen can help still the thoughts and enhance the power of concentration (joriki), which helps cut the mind off at the root, a process which I just realized is almost hopeless to explain. It's as if you see someone coming down the street who you know will start a fight with you, and you go into a store until they pass by. Because you were paying attention, you're able to cut off a conflict before it starts.
At any rate, I have an internal impulse to sit the same way I have an impulse to do aikido, which makes it something I can do as a sustainable discipline.
I wonder if Dharmanidhi saw something like this happening in my star chart. When I saw him in November, he said it was a great time to start a meditation practice, and to meditate and not have sex for six months or so.
It's possible that internal clenching I've had all these years is opening up. That'd be neat.