Day 101 & Vipassana Metaphor

Day 101 Record Keeping SRHI = 58
Day 69 Fixed Meditation SRHI = 71
Day 15 Burpee SRHI= 43 (2x) and another 2x5 later in the day for fun)
Day 115 Eating SRHI = 63 
Good sleep, good wakeup. Really bad bout of depression last night.

Vipassana Metaphor

In Vipassana, the idea is to focus on the mind itself. In the teachings I’ve learned, you calmly repeat in your mind some quality about the emotion you are feeling. After staying with that emotional energy long enough, it will dissipate.

For example, when I’m mad, I  focus on the bodily sensations - is it a throbbing at my temple or a chocking sensation at my throat. Then I simply call out in my mind whether it’s staying the same, lessening, or unchanging at regular intervals. 

This first works by distancing - by calling out the quality of the emotion I’ve immediately stepped away from it. By focusing on how it’s changing, I have no room to feed the emotion by replaying the images or voices that set me off to begin with. So gradually it starts to fade.

What’s interesting is that this works with pain. A few months ago I was having horrible tension headaches - when I did this technique the pain receded. I’ve used this same principle with stomach pains.

What if habit formation is like this, only for long term? We try to focus on keeping to a schedule, but it fades from us…we forget about it. But if we stay with it long enough, it fades, merging into our subconscious as a habit.

Record keeping is my way of staying with it - I calmly record deviances in performance just like I record fluctuations of emotion. Eventually they level out as long as I can restrain myself from getting caught up in either emotions or the forgetfulness of other tasks of day-to-day life. 

In emotions, you refrain from feeding the recall of what set you off. I think with habits it’s more of not feeding the voices of inertia. Change is an unexpected thing - we don’t expect it in others, and we certainly don’t really believe it in ourselves. So we stress out - “why isn’t it happening faster!” or “maybe I’m failing” echo, and ironically, these thoughts cause us to fail. 

By not feeding those thoughts…by staying with it, despite distractions, inner qualms, and outward lapses, we form a habit, and in forming a habit, we get the change we desire.