Friday, March 20, 2015


But not quite. I know what I want to achieve, but don't know it. I have merely seen it, maybe just an aspect of it. 

I'm rereading 'The Unfettered Mind' by Takuan Soho, something I read twelve years ago and understood naught of. Not really. The words are intelligible but esoteric. Unlike 'The Book of Five Rings' by Musashi, a contemporary of Takuan. Or even Yagyu's 'Art of War' often referred to in the west as 'The Life Giving Sword' to avoid confusion with the Machiavelli text.

But having direct experience of meditation nhas dispensed with the esoteric nature of the Unfettered Mind. I now find it quite articulate though I can't pretend to knowledge of the higher orders of mind he describes. 

But right-mindedness is the goal, my central goal. And it is incredibly self centered. There is no one word for it, but probity comes close. It is not righteousness because this is often hand in hand with proselytizing.

Achieving right-mindedness is like enjoying a delicious meal. An entirely subjective and internal payoff.

Monday, March 16, 2015


To the degree I can be confident in facebook's dating of posts, I have meditated every day for the past 35. You cannot see the mind with the mind, at least I cannot. It is one of the hardest experiences to say with confidence that I have actually experienced the things I have experienced. But I would be willing to testify that I have experienced some weird stuff. Stuff I would never have thought possible through a process as simple as meditating.

I can only suggest you try it, with the possible disclaimer that if you suffer from a mental health issue with 'intrusive thoughts' as a symptom such as schizophrenia or OCD to actually consult someone qualified before undertaking meditation.

The harder effect to determine and disclose is how meditation has effected me in my day to day life. When I am fully distracted by my thoughts and illusion of self, when I am not meditating. I dunno. I try to bring mindfulness practices out into my day to day life, mindful running is extremely hard (and extremely tempting I may go for a run after this).

But last weekend, I should call it weekend+ was new for me, new and weird. First thing was that I'm currently writing my invites for my next exhibition. My brain was fried, and I'm still only half way done. Then the dogsitting began, a process that is psychological torture for both me and the dog I sit. 

She is incredibly anxious and over 72 hours I never witnessed her sleep in my care. There was no way to tell her what was going on and she has not developed any independence. This meant by Friday morning I was both fried mentally from straining my frontal cortex to its limits writing invites and deprived of sleep by a dog.

As an aside, in part with my meditation work, I have chiefly been trying to overcome my own mental habit/addiction of judgement, of getting in others business and failing to differentiate. When I can become aware of myself doing this, I try to redirect to 'what is this telling me about myself' this dog was a great insight into neediness. The problem with neediness is ones ability to expend all your energy trying to obtain somebody elses. This is something I subconsciously loath about myself, particularly when I'm writing invitations. Incredibly self conscious of the neediness of this action.

Aside finished with, my point being I on Friday morning was already in a quite altered mind state. Then I proceeded into a weekend where everything dramatic washed over me like warm water, and everything calm, mundane, even sad, shone like the sun.

I'd had a farewell party dropped on me with slightly over 24 hours notice, for a girl I'd asked out and been completely ignored by. I knew my curiosity would generate more regret than my fear of showing, so I showed. I'm really glad I did. I still have no fucking idea what to make of this girl, but for a throwtogether farewell party of people who share a common first language that I don't, I was made to feel really welcome the moment I arrived.

I sat in an impromptu private concert of music that is just hard to see live in Melbourne, it's hard to hear about, know about and hard to get to, though it is there. It was the highlight of my weekend. And though I sat there thinking - 'damn' and not much else, it made me really happy.

Then in the early hours I managed to get home and get a few scant hours sleep. Then I got to my breakfast date with a friend and managed to express anger, actual anger as he was rude to the help. But breakfast was lunch...



I can give a blow by blow account, but I don't think I can describe the profundity of what it is to feel differently. This weekend bombarded me with feelings, and I was surprised at how much the orientation of those feelings to events had changed from how I lived maybe a year and a half ago. I am vulnerable now, that's the weird thing. and things that hurt, hurt and pass through. When I was hardened up and disassociated from such emotions I lived in a state of constant stress and pain. It wasn't that bad, I can certainly see how someone could live in such an emotional environment for decades and have a meaningful career and relationships and shit. I know that. 

But now though, I take the hit and feel it, and it is a very small thing, leaving me free to seize a moment like that singing in a shitty melbourne share house living room. That managed to outshine feeling wise a whole planned and perfectly executed wedding ceremony in the same weekend.

The feeling of being able to express anger, or just honestly not be excited/underwhelmed is liberating though it could get me into trouble. The self one has to live with without such freedom is the worst company I've had. I do not miss him at all.

I heard about a seperation, and I think I was able to let myself empathise without falling in. I don't know, the stakes is low, but to be in such a mental state and be bombarded with all these people's changing lives, it brings out the texture of my consciousness now. It is like light rain, where before it was more like fractured rock.

I like it. But I need to rest.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

3 Directions

Meditation really destroys my ability to write. Such that I have to arbitrarily 'mark the page' just to get things started.

So Metta is the budhist practice of loving-compassion meditation. I've learned the basic form I think now, but it turns out that doing a good quality guided meditation performance is not a simple matter, and unforch, the guided meditations I have thus far used to learn Meta have fallen down on their pacing, making them in themselves a session of dubious value.

But I found one on 'self-forgiveness' that produced value, and unlike more cerebral videos of value such as Gabor Mate talks or whatever, this one was more of a practice. With embarassing oversight-insight rather than food for thought insight.

The three directions of forgiveness:

1. Recognizing you've hurt somebody else and asking them to forgive you.
2. Recognizing you've hurt yourself and asking yourself for forgiveness.
3. Recognizing that others have hurt you, and forgiving them.

The words in Italics were what were revelations for me. When you look at that list the three directions make sense. It makes sense and it is comprehensive.

But in meditation I can actually notice what my mind struggles to do and recall and conceive of. While it is easy for me to dredge up and take responsibility for things I have done, that in itself serves as an impediment to asking somebody else to forgive me. This is an obvious (to me now) impediment to self forgiveness. A double standard, if I believe myself worthy of my own understanding and forgiveness, but other people don't.

My mind went fragmented and crazy, trying to hold anyone but me responsible for hurting me. There are of course cases where I have been hurt by others, but I realise now I pay them almost no mind. Quite literally, I have a need for control, a need for me to be the only responsible entity in the system of my life. It's self protective, and a problem. I need to think on this more.