Just finished sitting. Had planned to meet up with my sangha for an outdoor meditation this morning, which happens once a season. This would have been my first. However, I missed them; did not have specific enough info about place.
I browsed a Goodwill bookstore and bought some used CDs and books, then headed for Starbucks, where the sangha planned to gather after.
It was nice to make some connection with David, John, Sue, William, and one other man whose name I’ve forgotten.
Our conversation was wide-ranging–Hill Country geology, the Appamada web site, the steam train, a bodhidharma photo, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a documentary about the Lost Boys, a new quick method of trauma recovery that involves positioning the body just so and allowing the muscles to shake, the book Buddha’s Brain, and so much more interesting stuff.
Two things: BookPeople has sold out of Buddha’s Brain, but a truckload is coming out this week. That means the first printing in November sold out really quickly. (I love the description from a reviewer: “This is your brain on dharma!”)
And–It is a rare sunny January afternoon outside.
Today I sat in siddhasana the whole 30 minutes. The five minutes yesterday was a warmup; today I allowed the discomfort to fill my awareness. It quickly faded to background discomfort. It is strange and counterintuitive to go toward pain instead of avoiding it.
But, you know, maybe it just wants attention. “This is new. I’m not used to it. It’s not comfortable.” “Yes, I understand.”
How much has the direction “away from” run my life? Probably a lot more than I feel really good about admitting to!
Ooh. I’m doing it now, aren’t I?
Okay. Avoiding is comfortable. This year of sitting is not just about sitting. It is also about actively exploring my comfort zone.
In the case of tight muscles and fascia, I know that holding a stretch for longer than a couple of minutes brings a deeper, fuller release. I can direct my attention toward discomfort to allow my body to do whatever flows from that. It is a lot smarter than my conscious mind, most of the time.