I just did a 20 minute session while doing some work. It was pretty easy to track some of these things. Here’s what it looked like:
biting lip - anxiety - R
x3 minor anxiety arising - R
minor anxiety arising - x4 shoulders - R
x4 fingers - picking, flicking
x2 lip picking R
x2 caught minor anxiety
As you can see a lot of these things happen in groupings. And a lot of these things have very clear physical markers - lip picking, picking at my fingers, shoulders tensing up.
The “R” was just my short form for Regular - as in I didn’t use any sort of specific technique - I just stopped it - these were all minor tensions in the mind stream.
“X2 caught minor anxiety” referred to catching it as it formed in the mind. And “X5 laughing” referenced that feeling of cheating at life, that true happiness that seemed to arise as I felt how easy it was to change this.
That feeling is really what I’m after - and it IS easy, but like the rest of this project, extending even the simplest things out across months (or in this case over the course of a full day over time) is very very difficult.
Buddhism and Dynamic Meditation
I’ve been reading a lot on Buddhism lately, and it seems as though some people view Nirvana as getting into this state of equanimity - of completely uprooting the possibility to have these negative emotional arisings at all.
In Vipassana, this uprooting occurs through visceral knowledge of the state of the world through repeated meditative practice. Through just observing the mindstream, you’ll gradually come to realizations - like realizing that we are not angry - anger has just visited us momentarily. This eventually (as far as I understand) will get us to this uprooting.
There are other ways there - in Rinzai Zen you break the bonds of logic to attain sudden illumination, in Vajrayana you use visualization and ritual to get there (again, I’m still researching this stuff so please excuse my lack of understanding - and feel free to correct it).
My method of dynamic meditaiton through habit formation is the “quit smoking” version of equanimity - that if you counter the urge enough times, the urge ceases to arise at all. The urge has to be countered minutely from second to second in the mindstream, but as far as I understand it, this might just be another avenue to Nirvana. Which is kind’ve cool.
Now all of this is theoretical - I’m very curious to see how (or if!) it will work - especially next to these thousand-year traditions.