Day 189 Record Keeping
Day 157 Fixed Meditation
Day 103 Bodyweight Exercise (3 ground up bridges, 1x4 dragon lifts)
Day 30 Writing = 38
Day 203 Eating = 78
Great sleep, great wakeup.
Additional Scaling to Meditation and Bodyweights
After reading Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha and perusing the Dharma Overground the conclusion I’ve come to is that there are various facets of meditation. As far as I can tell you can work on single pointed concentration, “energy” work/tantra, and insight meditation.
Energy work or tantric style meditation (no not sexual stuff like how tantra is mischaracterized in the West) is what I’d categorize what I’m working on now. I basically use imagination, sensation, and visualization to drain away negative emotion and transform it into positive emotion. This has been the root of my training.
After reading the MCTB I’ve tacked on insight meditation - distantly observing sensations arising, staying the same, and lessening - a practice that has helped me immensely not only with emotional control, but controlling pain.
What I’ve lacked is really serious single pointed meditation training. In Roald Dahl’s short story The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar the main character does this by taking a stop watch and literally times how long he can concentrate on one object. I’ve started doing the same and will start recording stats.
I’ve also decided to alternate days on this in 2 day splits - just like with bodyweight training’s 3 day splits. Every day I’ll work on the emotional energy thing, then add in either single pointed or insight training on alternating days.
Bodyweight training is going really well. I’m able to do 3x8 burpees with knee slappers and I’m starting in on full diamond pushups. I’ve made amazing progress with my core and am very proud to start training for the dragon flag.
The dragon flag is one of the most intense core exercises, and I thought I wouldn’t be ready for a long long time. But it too presents problems with scaling. Thank god for youtube. The guy in THIS video has a lot of tips on starting off and gradually progressing with the exercise. I’m at the lowest lowest rung on that progression, the beginner exercises of simply doing a leg raise, going past that and getting the butt off the ground and extending out without letting my butt touch the ground (what I’m calling “dragon lifts” - though I’m sure there’s got to be a better term for it).
It’s hard but I’m really excited to get started on it.