Midway through Week 02 of Month 01

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    I’m doing 20 minutes sitting, ten minutes standing. And I’m doing that THREE times a day: At 6 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 6 p.m.

    POINT 1: Counting breaths is something I am apparently “good” at. Because, I’m spacing out very infrequently. BUT: That doesn’t feel good, it fact it feels AWFUL! It feels VERY tense, nervous, even angry. Like I need to prove something. Years ago someone told me I was “hypervigilant.” That word came to mind as another description of how I felt today counting my own breaths.

    POINT 2: The following applies VERY MUCH to when I was SITTING, both times today — and a little less to when I was STANDING: There was a physical feeling of the breathing-space (namely the abdomen, or belly) being physically tight and closed in, like there’s just NOT enough ROOM there. Like there’s a scarcity of room for breathing — almost NO room to inhale, almost NO room to exhale. And the “amplitude” of the breaths went down almost to zero. To the point that the breaths became hard to count! This lasted the whole time I was sitting, both times so far today. And there was a background emotion of fear or panic.

    POINT 3: This has to do directly with Point 2. It so happens I have been learning and practicing Breathing Lesson No. 1 from: Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body. I believe I can now do, correctly, 20 belly breaths in a row. And today, right after meditating the second time, I tried doing the 20 belly breaths not only lying down, but also sitting and also standing. AND HERE’S THE POINT: In slowly doing the belly breaths, 20 at a time, there was NONE of that fear and tenseness — and NONE of that feeling that there wasn’t enough room to breathe — which I felt while meditating, as described under Point 2. Even though my physical situation was just the same while meditating as it was a little later while belly breathing (sitting and standing). And even though the type of breaths I was intending to do while meditating was: belly breaths. I wonder why these two experiences were so different? (And the first so unpleasant.)



    Hello Sam, cheers- neat discovery-exploration process.. so good luck.
    A few thoughts, just like sitting or standing posture- aligns can be recognized by “letting go of holding/gripping” ie relaxing (to the degree one is aligned to gravity, one doesn’t need to Lock and hold, to the degree that one isn’t aligned to gravity, when there is some relaxing-let-go one will even reclench to hold or one will lean-fall :)

    -in the same way the holding of the ‘nervous-system’ (like “What is that noise? listen.. just ready to jump… poised… that sense of tension- both locking and holding, and controlling things= tension of the nerves (thus in mind, as well as in the body)…
    Thus relation of doing the count, to the degree it is easy, and one isn’t distracting from focus, then little tension is needed to “hold it together”.. (if you need to restrict your focus to not be distracted, that is just the proactive setup to a projected distraction.. -in other words, if one wasn’t going to be distracted you wouldn’t need to screen out input… (just like how some people get on the phone and have to have the room quiet.. shhh, or if you can be talking, walking, (and chewing gum:) at the same time, but if a stressful/”important” issue comes up.. people stop walking, lower the gaze (to see less- in order to “go inside” and thus have less input)..etc.
    Sort of belabour the point, and may not apply, but this directly, and indirectly via the affect that tensing your nerves stiffles one’s breathing.. and in particular tense-freezing literally locks the abs (thus interferes with breathing as spine is stabilized ready to move, but also the freeze reflex makes easier to “stop-look&listen” or “shh something is about to happen.. -or- reverse, something might arise that I’m going to not be distracted by….”

    anyway- I hope some of that might bring out something of interest, even if it doesn’t apply (as well as one can note how “naturalness” and the sense of being in that place.. vs experiencing the thought of being there (which may make more sense only in comparitive hindsight… as seems we are experiencing directly, as well as ‘relaxed’, until we shift and look back and think– oh, I didn’t know this could even be a possibility.. now I feel (more) directly experiencing and ‘less’ tense than I was (may or may not think this is “fixed” or perhaps think– hmm maybe there is another realization even now..etc.)….
    but nearly all that stand in a posture, just lock in place which (as I’ve learned, thru my exper and perspective) doesn’t do much; it requires recognizing what is happening (which Bruce touches on in his materials.. but even that awareness can be interpreted in different way)… so I find that is a shift needed

    Luck to any and all reading this, in your practice and path.

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