Monday, April 29, 2013

Meditation exercises

A couple days ago, I listened to about ten minutes of the intro session of a webinar class about finding your "truth" and awakening to your life's purpose:

"Imagine a parallel life in a parallel universe and yourself there..." the speaker cooed. It's about "repatterning your brain, mind, psych a kind of happiness...beyond imagination...creating new patterns in the brain...creating new possibilities in the real existential world...get off the same old same old and the narrow band of consciousness you now inhabit. You put your dreams on hold for so long that you get bored/disgusted/frustrated with yourself...but its never too late! Put yourself in a state of yearning, as in 'somewhere over the rainbow'...longing...grow your capacities for being..."

It was interesting. It also related to other pieces of information and wisdom floating around lately, such as 'you are what you think' and 'what you think about, expands'.

Yesterday felt fresh. Or was it Saturday? Change is most definitely upon me. My whole being feels different. I find myself at the cross-roads of several forces. Medication, connection through program (OA), and counseling. And also, the efforts of my husband to change and face his own demons. We live in a co-dependent microcosm where we are both so wrapped up in each other's lives.

I notice as I gain a bit of freedom from compulsive eating, my need to control spreads out from food and exercise. Mainly, to my husband, because he is the closest thing in reach of my voice. I find myself getting pettily annoyed at situations and circumstances that I can normally let go of. Dirty counters. Untidiness. Is this how I am without food? Needing more order in my environment? Or am I simply transferring my need to control over to another issue.

This morning, he went to a mediation group for veterans. Quietly and calmly, he told me about it when I got home from work. "The topic was acceptance; I know you know about that," he said, nodding his head towards me. [Acceptance is the key to 12 step programs...well, along with surrender and willingness] "Tell me anyway" I replied.

He related the meditation practice they went through. Sitting with your back against a chair, try to meditate on the sensation of the chair against your back until the physical feeling disappears. What happens? You can't do it. Or, it becomes increasingly difficult. For me, the chair became more pronounced, and I experienced mental and physical discomfort trying to think and feel anything else; pretty dresses, the feeling of my toes in the carpet, sex. Nothing worked. The second part is to try again, but allow yourself to meditate only on the sensation of your back against the chair. And see what happens. For me? My back and the chair became one, and I couldn't tell where one ended and the other began.

The more you try and shut out a feeling or situation, the more pronounced it becomes, even uncomfortable. However, allow the feeling or situation to be present in your mind, accept it, and its resolution will be more natural, after a space of time.

Another metaphor: you are having a family reunion. There is one aunt, Aunt Ida, who you can't STAND. She belittles you, causes discord, eats all the food, and drinks too much. The gathering is underway. She knocks at the door. You have two options. Do you lock the door and grip the handle and hold it tight against what you imagine to be the headache on the other side? Imagine actually doing this. She would probably bang and scream and kick to be let in. The other family members would be uncomfortable and drift into corners or leave. The party would be over. The second choice? Let her in. Welcome her politely, and let her run her move through the house unobstructed, running her course. Accept she is a part of your family, that you can't do anything about it. Fighting the truth will only make things worse. The sooner she gets in and makes her scene, the sooner she will leave. Delay it, and you only delay what is inevitable.

When an emotion or sense of pain/agitation/anxiety rises, let it come. Allow it to work its way through your body. Accept it, and it will pass. Fight it, and it will become harder and harder to resist, until it is so uncomfortable and in your face, you have to deal with it, and by then, its a shit storm of an issue/problem.

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