I was looking forward to this morning's sitting with Gil at IMC. Took place in one of few remaining seats, and quickly settled.
Not sure at first, of what's going on inside. Breath to help go down below the surface. I notice usual noises of people coming in, coughing, whispering, do not bother me, for a change. Attention drawn inward, instead. Feeling heat. I shall not move to relieve discomfort. Ache in right shoulder. Thought, this sitting is not pleasant. Itchy chin. Not getting better. I do not like this. Thought of getting up, and leaving. No, I am committed to staying, and sitting still, no matter what. Putting name on feeling. I am feeling frustration. Lots of it. Breath provides temporary relief, here and there. Frustration persists, gets more intense, even. Noticing frustration about frustration. Thought, I am stuck with feeling forever. Practical side takes over. Realization that yes, I am stuck with frustration for now, and I better make friend with it, not resist. Also, I start paying attention to quality of awareness. Thought, awareness is really gross right now, assigning fixed, permanent, rigid quality to frustration, which I know to not be true. Need to shift, and let go of preconceived notions about presence of frustration. Breath. Attention drawn to exact moment. Frustration about frustration, and other possibilities not yet known. Breath. Feeling of settling, and comfort even, with moment, including frustration. Surprise of bell ringing. Too soon.
As usual, some of Gil's talk
felt particularly relevant to my earlier sitting experience. Today was about the value of investigation, in the context of equanimity. Here are some of my notes:
Three leading factors of equanimity: 1) ability to have overview of situation, understanding from larger perspective, 2) ability to stand in the middle, to be balanced and centered, not reacting, 3) ability to step back and investigate, mostly nature of thinking process. What is glue that keep us attracted to certain thoughts? The stronger the glue, the more difficult it is to reach equanimity. Difference between 'thoughting', the process of mind creating thoughts, other which we have no control, and 'thinking', that which creates chain of associations between thoughts, and that is optional. Importance of not getting involved into thoughts, of not believing that thinking alone will solve our problems, of exploring range of beliefs we hold about thinking. Last, value of answering this important question: what is desire/wish hiding behind when we are thinking about something? and how can we best address that want?
I came home, feeling calm. Frustration, dissolved. Almost.