8 January 2008

New Year

1st January 2008

January 1st – the first day of the rest of my life – ho hum.

In the early morning of day one of the rest of my life went bushwalking before the heat of the day turned nature into a brown green crisp. It got to 41C degrees yesterday, today will be 38C. Full bushfire alert.
I did my first practice of the year today (that’s now 1 of 365), a strange mid afternoon practice – not strictly Ashtanga because the house was too hot and I was too tired. Will head to the beach this evening for a swim after sunset. Then tomorrow, it’s back to work.
A new year is born.

Christmas Day
I practised with Angie at the shala on Christmas morning – we were the only two there.
It was the first practice after returning from theVipassana retreat so how it would go was a complete unknown.
Turned out to be a good thing that no-one else was there.
I started gently, trying to listen to my body and take cues from it. Dear Angie had the music up loud, which normally doesn’t bother me, but today it pulled me away from what I was doing, diverted my attention and disconnecte me from my internal experience.
Still I practiced correctly up to Marichy A then did 2 rather stiff backbends and all the finishing sequence.
Something is always better than nothing.

Intense periods of meditatation will always cause some kind of change deep in the psyche and its not easy to identify exactly where this is and how it will manifest once the initial dramatic effect of the retreat wears off.
Each time I do a Vipassana course I’m awestruck at the profound wisdom of the teaching and theoretical basis that underpins the actual meditation technique.
Vipassana could easily pass as a technique of psychotherapy - we look into the mind itself – and to do this we are taught how to disidentify with it’s thoughts through a very clever process: observing the string of mental processes objectively and the habit of reacting to external stimuli and events, getting caught up in what is negative and impure in our minds and eventually seeing through it to another way of being in this world - one where our words and actions originate from a positive and loving source.

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