So basically, I can skip certain portions because for me, fixed meditation is a superhabit. I believe that I can also skip the part where I JUST observe my emotional states starting at 20 minutes. Way back in Brazil I did this and executed techniques in Step 10 - The Arising and Quelling of Negative Emotion.
My problem was that it wasn’t sustainable. I did Step 11 - Expansion - I did all at once, monitoring, quelling and executing techniques, recording, and doing it all day. That was exhausting, and though I felt amazing, I couldn’t continue doing it.
With that in mind I’m going to form a habit of 20 minutes of happiness. I’m going to record it and time it. I’m sure I’ll experience bleed over.
It’s confusing because before I set the habit as “immediately counteracting arising negative emotion” which screwed with the SRHI. I had a false rise because I was doing the action so many times during a day. It would not be as drastic because I’ll only be starting with 20 minutes.
It’s a dicey thing. I can think of it as a daily 20 minute practice, and expand, or I can view it as a series of individual practices. I think I’m going to do the former, simply because I tried the latter before and my other habits - writing, exercising, etc, have habitualized and expanded well so far.
I did a little bit of it today - what I forgot was that for many things a formal technique isn’t really necessary. It’s almost like it’s the observation and the redirection of the flow of my mind that is necessary. I have no doubt that the individual techniques I practiced in fixed meditation will be necessary - but it’s as though they give me a basic grounding to flex a muscle I never knew I had - the muscle of choosing the course of negativity or the course of satisfied happiness. Doing it today I felt the same wild hilarity - the feeling of cheating at the test of life and laughing - that I felt long ago in Brazil when I first attempted it.
It’s flexing that muscle and observing negativity as it arises that’s key. And it was shocking how minute and integral things like pessimism and tension/worry for no reason are to my moment to moment experience.