90 Days of Stillness: Meditation Diary
I’m on day 220 or so right now. Just going back through my journal and transferring my chicken scratch to the computer. Looking back, this was a particularly rough time. I had very little motivation and skipped a couple days this month.
It’s brutal trying to meditate at night after an international flight. It’s almost laughable trying to stay awake. In general, I still feel like I should be meditating in the morning or during the day but I can’t let go of this practice before bed because I know I’ll have no chance of sleeping without it.
Today I’m still questioning the impact it’s having on my life and I’m still not using a teacher; although my friend Luke suggested a Zen master by the name of Henry Shukman today, and I’m going to listen to one of his podcasts tonight before I sit down.
There’s nothing I can honestly say other than this is really fucking hard and I want with everything to abandon the daily practice and just do it when I feel like it, like I do with everything else, and what I feel most of the people on this Earth do with most things.
See the first 30-day recap HERE.
See the second 30-day recap HERE .
Day 61 – 9.19.14
8:40am – 15 minutes. Villa Terrace, Bali.
Spreads through my body like thick jelly on a warm piece of toast – stillness. That’s what it feels like. Meditation. Today. Short. Like last night. 15 minutes. Getting less and less excited about sitting down. I am afraid that this is the case for everything. Start strong, almost obsessed, then I’m done. Just done. Bored and uncomfortable. What is the lesson? I really don’t know if I’m supposed to push through or move on and taste a little bit of everything. This fucks me up every day, every decision.
10:39pm – 10 minutes. Hotel room, Malaysia.
Meditation was shit tonight. Greg was up talking, I had too many thoughts I wanted to journal, and I just don’t know what I’m hoping to happen. Doesn’t help that my ass is numb from airplanes and taxis.
Day 62 – 9.20.14
10:05pm – 25 minutes. Hotel room, Malaysia
I just started a new thing called Meditation Masturbation. After a short breathing session, I engaged in a short beating session, applying the same principles of presence and physical sensation. Felt like someone else was jerking me off. It was great. No pics, no videos needed. I want to apply this lesson next time I have sex.
Day 63 – 9.21.14
10:20pm – 15 minutes. Hotel room, Malaysia
Anger is a disease and it’s symptoms are biting pains in your blood and thoughts of strangling innocent people for being unaware of your emotional instability. It’s a bomb that wants to go off and hurt as many people as possible, just so they know.
Day 64 – 9.22.14
11:40pm – 20 minutes. Hotel room, Malaysia
Meditation was more interesting after doing some of the pillow prop work for my back. I already started moving circulation and energy around so I could follow it more. It’s easier for me to sit when I can feel motion on the inside. Being still kills me. My thoughts are antagonized and I feel helpless against anxiety. Getting the blood flowing ahead of sitting down lets the sensation sustain me during the sit.
Every day I have to take so much care of myself so I don’t fly off the handle and tomorrow I will just have to start again. When I stop, so does my chance at happiness. It’s a lot of pressure and sometimes I want to rebel and obliterate myself. Instead, I won’t even take an ibuprofen. But in my head I’m doing cocaine and killing people.
Day 65 – 9.23.14
10:40pm – 20 minutes. Hong Kong apartment
I’m wasting this time drifting without goals. This journal could be a tool to reshape my mind but instead I’m just wandering from impulse to impulse following the story. I need to create the story. I need to do something about this anger. I can try gratitude even though it makes me want to ralph.
Here’s what I’m grateful for:
1) The last 4 years working for myself
2) The way Darci believes in me and has given me support
3) My nephew and my sister
4) Ashley and Ang for their friendship
5) Super office/standing desk/computers
6) Greg and Mijon and Seeds and seeing the world
7) Facetime with Jameson
8) Green smoothies and the sun
9) Sarah Clark – she works hard
10) The way I fight back
Day 66 – 9.24.14
Day 66 – 9.25.14
12:45am – 15 minutes. Apartment, HK
Having a hard time with meditation lately. Went for 15 brutal minutes and had severe anxiety. Couldn’t land a single thought. Took the day before off entirely. Told myself it was OK to “take a day off.” What a crock of shit. I can just justify something like that and all the sudden become this patient person that takes rests.
Staying up late makes me super creative but also super manic.
Day 67 – 9.26.14
1:10am – 20 minutes. Apartment, HK
Saw 11:11 tonight. Unplanned.
I know what brings me back to meditation – the textured feeling of sadness and comfort at the same time. I’m a child inside and I’m hugging that kid. It’s as real as blood.
I have to breathe to keep my mind occupied. Count the breaths to soften the thoughts. If I don’t have something to occupy me then my thoughts pierce the soft edge of my brain like a hornet forced to fight. It disrupts the smooth edges I create and pings and bounces and pulls me away from steadiness. It helps to open the eyes sometimes. To get away from a rule for eyes closed. It’s about that feeling for me, who cares if my eyes are open?
Day 68 – 9.27.14
12:30am – 20 minutes. Apartment, HK
I looked down the barrel of my spine and felt the beat of my heart in my stomach. Still, I’m here in HK and what’s the difference between KL, Bali, SD? All these places should feel different and significant. Instead they feel like nothing. Buildings taller than the sky falling flat in their impressions. What is missing for all of this to land? There aren’t many more magnificent things I could do in a year. What is disconnected and how do I fuse it back together?
Day 69 – 9.28.14
1:11am – 18 minutes. Apartment, HK
Certain themes from meditation are showing up naturally elsewhere. Being present to the feeling of the ball point gliding across the matte paper, drawing in my sketch book without trying to perform but instead experience, talk to people, smell shit, pause for a second and try to remember a moment. Small things are happening. My life hasn’t been changed and I’m borderline more confused than ever, but I know what life is like when I don’t do this and that’s motive enough to see what else is out there.
Hard to rest. 7 million minds buzzing.
Day 70 – 9.29.14
12:44am – 21 minutes. New apartment. Still HK
Took a sec to get settled with meditation tonight. Did some stretches and some spine traction first. Then settled in. New apartment, new noise, just trust the breath. Get in the zone, hear them in the living room and I’m pinched/stung/buzzed down my back. Settle back in, start to see visuals of drawings. Stone pillars under a bridge. I can see the shadows, the pencil stroke detail. I could never see this before. My drawing is teaming with my meditation and creating new waves of visuals in my brain. They never existed before and now they are clear. That’s something. I feel like that matters.
I set in and I felt the milk in my blood again and wanted to sit longer but started to doze off. Something is getting ready to happen. I’m gonna learn something soon. I can start to see a message. If I could just sit a while longer.
Day 71 – 9.30.14
My meditation tonight was being tear gassed. Hundreds of thousands gathered in the streets and I couldn’t miss that. Not long until I’m in the front line with goggles I grabbed from a friendly protestor and I have my camera in the MP’s face and his machine gun looks like a toy prop 2 inches from my hands. The canisters fired and the smoke hit our lungs and it was pain for a while but I was alive and I wouldn’t mind if it happened again because I can’t remember remembering something so vividly. I chased them down, the front lines. I ran towards the screaming, the gassing, the spraying, the action. 7 hours we stayed out there and then finally we went home.
Day 72 – 10.1.14
2:41am – 14 minutes. Apartment, HK
I need to work more and I need to work less at the same time.
Day 73 – 10.2.14
10:45pm – 23 minutes. Apartment, HK
I don’t need 100 likes today. I love my nephew and I love art. That is good enough for right now.
I want you to run for a bus and scream for people to stop it for you.
I want you to fall down in front of an attractive person with your hands full of things.
I want you to spill coffee all over your white shirt and walk around town and go about your day.
Day 74 – 10.3.14
2:41am – 16 minutes. Sitting in bed on pillow in HK
Started fidgeting. Just uploaded a video of Mong Kok riots so I had social media anxiety and got through shining skull and then the milkiness hit, started feeling smooth. Had the thought if I could give myself an orgasm without touching myself. I would like to reclaim feeling, what a better way to do it. Got myself hard but then couldn’t go any further. Still, it’s something. How far and in which direction can meditation take me?
Then my torso turned into a cloud, disappeared and merged with the HK city air. Brain started to pulse and body felt great sensation.
Day 75 – 10.4.14
12:10am – 18 minutes. HK bed
Came in with anxiety again. Emails and phone calls that I need to handle but don’t want to. Things I could walk away from and let pass but I feel compelled to address instead. Payroll. Payroll always stresses me out. The money out is guaranteed but not the money in.
Was able to settle in nicely after just 8 breaths. Found a bit of calm and then almost dozed off in my seated position.
I’m in the midst of a creative streak. I don’t know that my ideas are any better than usual but I believe in them more and care about them. That’s really all it takes. My belief will turn others doubt into belief as well. Their resistance is not a sustainable force if I remain dedicated. At the end of the day, they want what I’ve tasted and will leave to support me as well. It’s how everything works. I somehow feel like everything makes more sense lately. Getting what I want seems straightforward. Things work a certain way and there are few exceptions. If I’m willing to do the work and make a few clutch and timely decisions then I will have momentum. Those with momentum have the power because they are a moving force. Then I decide how I want to live and what I want to have in my life.
Day 76 – 10.5.14
4:45am – 10 minutes. HK freeway, Occupy Central
Last night to protest. Sat on the ground, a currently occupied freeway and did breathing as Chinese Police and PLA prepared their strategy to evacuate the streets. Was surreal. Hard to go deep but helpful to experience the situation more.
Day 77 – 10.6.14
11:00pm – 15 seconds. Hale. Home. San Diego
Quite literally 3 breaths before I passed out. Jet lag seems to constantly screw up my meditation.
Day 77 – 10.7.14
8:55am – 15 minutes. Hale
Did a morning session because I love being alone in my studio and I was making up for last night. Had a lot of work to do this morning and I kind of half started before I decided to meditate. That was a mistake as I carried a lot of anxiety with me. I had a few bright moments noticing the sensational effects of time and space travel on my body internally. Everything feels like it’s draining and being prepared to reset.
10:15pm – 5 breaths and passed out.
Day 78 – 10.8.14
8:40am – 18 minutes. Hale
Anxious again. So many computers in my office. Nothing but studio tasks float through mind. A moment after a deep belly squeeze when chemicals were released. All the dark crevices and their suffering get wrung out with the breath.
10:15pm – 8 minutes. Hale
A little less tired. Cool white patches all over my body. The opposite of heat flash. Effect of jet lag I believe.
Day 79 – 10.9.14
9:45pm – 15 minutes. Salt Lake City. Sitting in bed
Beyond exhausted. In someone else’s body. Didn’t want to sit through it. At some point it switched from anxiety to feeling safe and comfortable. Then I was myself again. Emotions and sensations. Feeling things, mostly sadness. Triggers creative thoughts. I’m about to write a story. A novel. A screen play. It’s going to burn and it will be therapy.
Day 80 – 10.11.14
9:51pm – 17 minutes. D’s bed
I skipped yesterday. Well, I took a few focused breaths before bed and was going to count it for the sake of my streak but it’s bullshit. I missed a day. Tonight I was raging with creative thoughts. The second I closed my eyes I started seeing scenes for my course intro video. I can’t phone in a boring video that everyone is expecting. I have to take the time to make it me. That’s what makes me happy. That’s what the world needs form me. The whole art is setting it up how I want it to look. Then there’s the execution – what truly separates all the talkers from the real artists.
Sat on edge of bed. Felt not as significant as cross legged. Something about cross legged feels really solid and important.
Day 81 – 10.12.14
8:20am – 20 minutes. Salt Lake living room
First breath filled me with anger. No idea why but it was piercing. Sat through many thoughts and concerns. There are parts of my life that I want out of and I know the moves I have to make but why does money seems to be the final decision maker? I always have to make money to do what makes me feel free. Must be smart enough to figure this out.
A couple times I wanted to open my eyes and stop because it felt like I had been going long enough. I get a spot of anxiety in my stomach and it seems to be attached to needing to open my eyes. But I sat through because the mystery of all this is, what happens if I just keep sitting? Where can my mind take me? Certainly there are places I have never been because I haven’t put myself in a position to feel something different.
What is the measurable output of meditation? What brings me back to the pillow? Especially when I’m not feeling it. It’s not private tutoring, where at the end I am fluent in Spanish. It’s not p90x where I will surely become ripped if I stick to it. I don’t have guidance. I don’t know where I’m going. So why keep sitting? Maybe I need to take on a teacher. But I hate the thought of an altered experience. Krishnamacharya said you can’t be a teacher or a student without a teacher of your own. I’m trying to be my own teacher. Perhaps that is very shortsighted of me. You can follow a program and progress very fast in a particular direction, or you can wander into the woods without a plan and learn the interworking of yourself over a long period of time.
Day 82 – 10.13.14
9:00am – 17 minutes. Living room, SLC
Nothing profound to report. Had good breaths. Felt good sensation in my belly. Had some thoughts of workload for the day. Brain just becoming sharp.
Day 83 – 10.14.14
11:17pm – 22 minutes. Living room, SLC
It’s hard not having a regular space to sit. I carve out momentum and familiarity in one space. Allows my basic needs to settle and think into deeper things. Then I leave.
Used a candle tonight to get started because the room is a little creepy. Had to change the feel.
Sorted through many thoughts. Things flew by. Ideas for organizing my blog homepage, adjusting the class schedule at Hale to keep the teacher fresh.
I need to up my pumping breaths from 50 at a time to 100. It’s getting too easy. I wonder if any of this breath is truly responsible for growing ability to perceive insight.
Day 84 – 10.15.14
11:30pm – 12 minutes. Hale office
Fix the shelf. Fix the closet. Build more storage. Send checks. Write emails. Things to get done.
Day 85 – 10.16.14
0 minutes. Nowhere.
I talked myself out of it all day. “Too tired.” “Don’t feel like it.” I just completely bitched out.
Day 85 – 10.17.14
12:30am – 18 minutes. Hale office
Despite all efforts to talk myself out of it, I sat. I have not been feeling it lately. I also have been feeling low energy, depressed, and not at all sexual.
Felt good to breathe. Had a lot of anger. I need to fight again. Visualized being in a knife fight with a local gang member. Something I think about almost daily. My life is scattered. I think it circles, I work in circles, and I live in circles. It’s good when I’m on because I can be prolific but if I lose motivation the whole system collapses. It depends on me and when I’m off I’m buried.
Very disconnected. Couldn’t get back to that feeling of comfortable sadness. Tonight, just indifference.
Day 86 – 10.18.14
2:30am – 20 minutes. Hale
I just had to play music so loud on the studio speakers. Just so I could sit with my eyes closed and get a little assist at feeling something. I laid on my back, almost started crying. I don’t know why I’m sad. I don’t know why I’m angry. I just am. I might feel alone but I am comfortable there. I don’t know why I always stretch my abilities until just before I snap. I keeping pushing. I’m either going to break through or get crushed. I’m fine either way. At least it’s something. Il’l get cracked open for the world to see. I’ll embarrass myself and have to start over again. Why the hell not? What else is going to feel real?
I got up and started dancing. I had fear even to dance by myself because it was freestyle and I am afraid I don’t know how to dance without choreography. I judge myself. I beat myself up. But I have to dance because I can’t talk myself out of it. I don’t want to be content. Then I’ll stop having to improvise. Stay sharp. Be a psycho. Do the psycho’s work. Suffer and churn, suffer and churn. Joy. Repeat. Die. Hopefully love too. Really hard.
Day 87 – 10.19.14
11:11pm – 20 minutes. Hale
Music. Made in Heights. Free style dancing and sweating, finding my style by paying attention. You look stupid. Who cares how you look just feel free. Feeling free, happy, soulful. Like life is simple. Meditate. Back is sweaty. Breaths are good. Still a meditation ronin. Where is my form? What am I crafting? Sarah says I need teaching. Maybe. But before the languages were people like me. I’ll find my stride.
For the last 10 to 15 seconds I found that comforting feeling. A swell of emotions. It’s been very absent lately. Life is hard to find now. And then I find it and I get too anxious to sit any longer.
Day 88 – 10.20.14
11:30pm – 18 minutes. Hale
Simple. Nothing profound. Didn’t want to get started. Saw my journal and felt like I had to. Now I’m happy. This is easy, why the struggle?
Day 89 – 10.21.14
11:58pm – 15 minutes. Jenny’s couch, NYC
NYC apartment couch. Propped up. Woke at 4:30am this morning for flight. When will I be settled again to have a consistent practice? Now I feel like I’m slacking again. Like I’m not in it. When I got to twice a day it was an energy that sustained me. Now I’m just trying to ft it in. Something to look out for when I am back in my own space for most of November.
Day 90 – 10.22.14
12:53am – 18 minutes. NYC couch
Hard to breathe through my nose. Ate gluten and popcorn. Always happens. Makes me want to put only things in my body that facilitate meditation. But then it makes me feel controlled. What am I resisting? Belonging to a particular lifestyle? Being defined?
I’m afraid I’m sick. I feel sickness trying to form in my cells. I don’t know what it is but there’s something. I’m neurotic though. I am likely a beacon of perfect health.
Got to a calm place. My body melted a bit and I saw small fires burning on the surface of the ocean. It wasn’t aggressive. It was ceremonious.
Total minutes – 533 ~ 18 min/day