Wanted to keep this separate from my other journal.
Session 1 (9:07 am, 14 minutes)
Started off listening to Simple Actualism PCE instructions. Then practiced for 14 minutes. First 5 minutes were pretty bad, was feeling that same frustration and was not able to delight in my senses at all. Next 10 minutes were much better. I followed the sense of being here now, that this is my only moment of being alive. That seems to work for me. Pretty soon I started to feel giddy, began delighting in the senses a bit. I started to feel like “yeah! I can enjoy myself here!”.
Current time awareness 3/5
Feeling good 2/5
I got that flavour of feeling good and I’ve been carrying it around all day.
Been practicing everyday for 15 minutes. I’ve been struggling with feelings of forcing and frustration. It’s like I’m trying very hard to capture a certain flavour of current time awareness or feeling good. Have any of you had similar issues?
Today’s session for 20 mins was very good. I stopped forcing so much and just let myself sit there and ramp up. For me it seems if I don’t have current time awareness (which brings with it feeling good), sensual delight feels very forced/fake and frustrates me. I’m going to play around with this a bit, as it could just be me not allowing myself to enjoy the sensual delights. One form of sensuosity that works for me is the awareness of space (as opposed to looking at specific objects). Looking at the room itself, and feeling myself in that room. In contrast to Srinath’s advice of dropping the running commentary, I feel it helps me a lot to talk myself through it. I like to give myself pointers or reminders along the way. I’m a bit scared to do longer sessions because I am so prone to frustration.
This practice has greatly improved my application of the method throughout the day. It has inspired confidence that I can feel good regardless of what is happening. Whereas before I would have to struggle and talk myself into feeling good (piss poor results), now I just tune into that flavour (feeling) and away we go. There is no “cognitive” aspect to application of the method.
I can relate to the frustrated feeling. The trick is that ‘you’ can’t make this awareness or experience happen, you can only allow it to happen. ‘You’ are actually exactly what prevents it - which is why when ‘you’ try to do it then it becomes worse. Frustration is natural and of course also makes it worse because ‘you’ get in the way even more via being that frustration. Which then will just make you more frustrated etc in a vicious cycle.
If feeling frustrated I recommend acknowledging that, acknowledge that it simply won’t work that way, and then just sit there with that information. “If it doesn’t work that way does it mean it’s impossible to do? Well other people say it’s possible , and I got closer before , how did that work …?” And contemplate that.
Allowing it to happen means something outside of ‘you’ gradually takes the reins. Which is very interesting if you think about it …
Also frustration is a sign that you are trying to get ahead of yourself and getting too expectant. Slow it down. Go back to feeling good if you get frustrated and simply enjoy wherever you are. Sensual delight will be very mild at first. The trick is not to discount those early subtle impressions but to appreciate them, as this what will form the basis for the next level of enjoyment and appreciation - and on and on it ramps up. 15 minutes is quite a short time to have a PCE in. See if you can have more time without putting pressure on yourself.
But yeah, play around and see what works for you. Maybe short sessions are the way to go right now. You’ll find your very own way to do this, so follow your nose and feel free to ignore whatever doesn’t work and go with what is delivering the goods.
@claudiu I am starting to see that the frustration is getting in the way. It is ‘me’ trying to make things happen and that itself makes me more and more angry. Part of addressing this is addressing why I am so afraid to fail. And I’m working on just being okay with failing. That itself is taking the pressure off and allowing me to focus more on enjoying myself.
@Srinath I am practicing in a washroom, which (although very nice and furnished) is not that interesting. Yeah, a good point to not discount the mild sensual delight, as I am quick to dismiss it as not being interesting enough.
I am starting to get a taste of complete immersion in this moment of being alive. As if it is self-contained, and I am nowhere else. But I have also gotten this feeling while meditating, being immersed in the breath and enjoying it. So is it the same kind of immersion?