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Wednesday, August 7, 2019


I've been meditating for the summer, and I have a few preliminary results.

The first is a feeling of sweet calmness during the meditation itself. This isn't constant, but intermittent, but it is palpable. This could be one of the main results of meditation, simply an ability to relax mind and body. It is not the only kind of feeling one has meditating, but it is something of valuable.

The second is a kind of "sorting out" process, where unimportant stuff gets to be seen as unimportant, not worth sweating over. It doesn't necessarily make important things less important, but gives a sense of priority and perspective. So minor annoyances get to be seen as minor. This helps in daily life, where you won't be bothered as much by a long stop light or a mosquito bite.

There is greater concentration when doing other, non-meditative kinds of things. Distractions are less distracting, because you can return more quickly to the primary object of attention, and less annoyed with yourself for being distracted.

In a short period of time, I've learned that the meanings we give to things are arbitrary ones. This is enormously freeing, because we realize that we don't have to think of things in certain ways or draw arbitrary conclusions. So thinking of myself as a slow runner I have not run in groups, but I realize now that the groups around town have slow and fast runners and everything in between. I've thought I couldn't join because they are early in the morning, but I am usually awake anyway at those times. You could think that I could have realized many these things without meditation, but in fact I didn't. I do certain things in certain ways because I think it is necessary, but it really is not.

In some ways, it is like knocking a piece of yourself loose, that should have been loose all along and not taut. There are many things I have not done because I didn't see myself as free to do them. I had an arbitrary rule book that I was following.

I'm sure if I keep this up for a year, these results will seem naive or over-hasty, or other, deeper insights will prevail. For example, I might once have thought that the bodily relaxation was the main point of it all.

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