The elation of starting this project kept me up all night. I brainstormed a workflow that is easy enough to stick to every single day.
So the workflow goes something like this:
- Write article in Medium.
- Record audio in Audacity
- Create video in Final Cut Pro
- Publish audio to anchor
- Publish video and text to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram
Balance never being my forte, I ended up sleeping 3 hours in the morning and then back to office work. So meditation takes a backseat just one more day.
But as I am writing this tonight, the realisation has hit strongly in me that my practice is at the core of this endeavour. Without practice, all of this does not mean anything. So I am going to take the time off and sit for 40 minutes now, tuning into my body before completing this blog entry.
40 mins later
Many parts of my body of course began to scream as I have been ignoring them for the last week. Combining that with poor sleeping habits, the torture session was inevitable. All I had to do was sit through it and let it all come to the surface as much as possible. Tight scalp, swollen cheeks, clutched abdomen, numb feet, nothing new about it. But the joy of having the courage to face it and be with it never gets old.
So at the end of the day, 40 mins of sitting practice. Nothing close to the eight hours that I want to give, but its still better than 0 mins that I have done in the past few days. So far so good.
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Day 6 — A man of lust
6:45What I am about to share with you is purely from my experience. I do not have the scientific knowledge nor am I interested in finding out at this point in my journey. The results could be different for other people but this is just what I found after a more intense observation of the changes taking place in me in the last 24 hours. While the changes are subtle, an intense observation of the body makes it impossible to ignore these changes. The arch of the feet became slightly stiff. The calf muscles too. But the tightness is more pronounced in the inner thighs and the hamstrings. The fluidity that is usually experienced when I place my awareness in these areas has diminished noticeably. Coming to the perineum, it is considerably wound up. An attempt to unwind it showed me that it is intricately connected to the tightness of the lower belly. Slightly painful sensation in the base of the genitals. Strangely this entire area is somehow connected to my nasal septum and I don’t know how. An attempt to relax this area results in relaxation in my nasal septum which is slightly deviated. Conversely, more sexual acts results in the deviation becoming a wee bit more severe. A few months ago, I had done a few extended sessions of relaxing my lower belly and perineum. My deviated septum had become completely straight. This was a revelation for me at the time. Over the years, I have noticed that an extended period of semen retention results in butterfly sensations in the mid chest and lower belly region. These sensations remind me of the first few heady days of romantic love. These feelings also have the colour of innocent joy and excitement — a feeling which dominated my psyche much more as a child. But they disappear almost completely after orgasm. Today, at this moment I feel nothing but light constricting pain which could be easily mistaken for hunger. What is most pronounced is the tightness that manifests each and everytime on my collarbones and the entire throat, jawline, and scalp area. My cheeks are swollen, eyes are a little smaller and my whole scalp feels quite inflamed and tight — almost like I am wearing a swimming cap. The inflammation of the scalp has resulted in my hair thinning out over the years.Within a few hours of ejaculation, the face turns from glowing and thin to fat and dull. These are happening on a subtle level, but very difficult to ignore once you pay enough attention. Over a period of time, I have realised that most men go through these changes. It is clear that these signs of sexual indulgence are manifest more in some men than others. While I am out and about, it more clear to me who is too affected by sexual desire and who is not by just looking at one’s face — this is wisdom gained from the sex demon living inside me. If nothing else, the way their eyes move, or their smile sometimes gives it away. A quick google search of rapists and sexual predators will give you tight faces which have the features I described above like swollen jaws and cheeks, smaller eyes. This is very much in contrast with the face of meditators who typically have gentler and warmer faces. Goodnight.
Day 5 — The No Fap myth
5:43There is a strange connection between a night of disturbed sleep and high level of sexual cravings the next day. I have been a witness to this multiple times over the past few years to ignore this connection. Today was another episode of this ongoing struggle. While I am a firm believer in semen retention and its benefits, I am also against forceful abstinence. Over the years of multiple failed attempts at abstinence, I have become a considerable expert in the art of making resolutions, failing at them and starting over. The most convincing weapon that my mind comes up with is — Curiosity. “Lets just take a look. Test yourself. Its been so long that you have gone without seeing the female body. You are beyond these superficial things. Don’t you want to prove to yourself that you are not a slave to your desire anymore?” So far the mind has managed to win, every single time in tricking me. The second most deadly excuse that my mind comes up with — “this is going to be THE LAST TIME EVER.” I have lost count of how many “last” times I have had in the past 7 years ever since I started to try and be a celibate yogi. Have I finally realised the futility of this exercise after 7 years? — It is beginning to dawn on me, yes. Do I still harbour a faint hope that I will be successful in becoming a master of my desire?- Very much so. So what is my new gameplan of rising beyond Nature’s trick? The gameplan is not new, in fact it is probably one of the oldest and most failproof way of achieving this. And that is —to come back to the body. Again and again. The approach may be old, but my determination is brand new. The idea is to tune into the vastness and completeness of the body more and more deeply so that sexual desire seems puny in comparison and it naturally falls away. Why have I not done it so far if it is so simple? The reason is just that. It is because of a lack of trust in the simplicity and straightforwardness of the approach. I have tried all kinds of methods, gained from NoFap gurus on youtube — cold showers, limiting access to gadgets, imagining every woman to be my sister (thanks to Swami Sivananda Saraswati) and many other solutions. These approaches..they did help temporarily. But somehow my mind always managed to slip past whatever defenses I put up. Will this approach work? I don’t know for sure. Maybe, maybe not. I do hope it does. But its different from what I have been trying so far. And on days that I have been blessed to touch the infinite space of my body, the likelihood of cravings arising is so much lower. But those are rare days. The goal is to deepen this connection and to ultimately never depart. Goodnight.
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Day 4 — Being with a loved one
1:47So the magic has begun. The feel good feelings are back. Today being my off day, I managed to spend a little more time in sitting practice. Combine that with a good nap in the evening and I am starting to feel alive again. I was able to have a loving conversation with my partner without getting irritated. I was able to actually listen to her when she is confiding in me about how difficult a day she had. And not just pretend, but really listen without needing to solve her problem for her, come up with a solution or making an attempt to come up with a comforting response. It has been shown to me time and time again, that simply being with another person’s pain does them far more help than actually taking the reins and try to resolve their conflicts for them. Today was another reminder of just that. The funny thing is, this cannot be an advice that one follow. It is a spontaneous outcome of building the capacity to be with one’s own pain without shying away. It will be interesting to see how in the coming days this evolves, provided the consistency of practice remains. So far, so good. Goodnight.
Day 3 — Consistency feels good
1:591:00 AM — I have seen highs and lows in my discipline long enough to feel great being consistent for just 3 days. Still I can’t help but enjoy that one tiny ounce of confidence that is building up in me. Confidence in my ability to sit with the torment of my body without running away. Lets talk about the practical bit. After writing my article last night, it took me another 2 hours to actually record it and post it on Youtube, Instagram, Facebook and Anchor. I thought I can easily complete the entire process in an hour’s time but I overlooked the countless steps that need to be taken to publish it on all the platforms. So another late night later, I woke up with one hour in my hand before office. I used that time for some lying down relaxation work. Combine that with another 45 min sitting practice session just sometime ago, today is at least a step forward from yesterday. Work wise — not much change in my mood. No feelings of irritation, judgement, awkwardness. The good feelings that come with a consistent practice are still not here yet. In fact, I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they turn up so early given that I did not even sit for an hour. Good night.
Day 2 — The excitement of starting something new
2:20The elation of starting this project kept me up all night. I brainstormed a workflow that is easy enough to stick to every single day. So the workflow goes something like this: - Write article in Medium. - Record audio in Audacity - Create video in Final Cut Pro - Publish audio to anchor - Publish video and text to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram Balance never being my forte, I ended up sleeping 3 hours in the morning and then back to office work. So meditation takes a backseat just one more day. But as I am writing this tonight, the realisation has hit strongly in me that my practice is at the core of this endeavour. Without practice, all of this does not mean anything. So I am going to take the time off and sit for 40 minutes now, tuning into my body before completing this blog entry. 40 mins later Many parts of my body of course began to scream as I have been ignoring them for the last week. Combining that with poor sleeping habits, the torture session was inevitable. All I had to do was sit through it and let it all come to the surface as much as possible. Tight scalp, swollen cheeks, clutched abdomen, numb feet, nothing new about it. But the joy of having the courage to face it and be with it never gets old. So at the end of the day, 40 mins of sitting practice. Nothing close to the eight hours that I want to give, but its still better than 0 mins that I have done in the past few days. So far so good.
A fresh start... yet again
3:05Washed up listener of self help, spiritual gurus, a thorough day dreamer and a master procrastinator.. this is what pretty much defines me. The blog is an attempt to start being accountable, yet again. Looking at this as a safe place to vomit my shortcomings, inadequacies, petty ambitions and document an experiment. An experiment of a somewhat eccentric, compulsive being’s journey from neurosis to freedom. My path is one of meditation, more specifically somatic meditation. Even more specifically, Vajrayana pratice. Now do I know what Vajrayana is truly about? Not experientially, no. I am scared to put this label, because it can be automatically dismissed as religious nonsense. What I do know is that I have tasted the freedom, bliss and joy of a sustained mediation practice. I have experienced the capacity of being more loving, joyful and open. My only downfall is perfectionism. I will give you one example. Meditation brings up too much pain, too much neurosis. If I have anything less than 3 hours before I have to start working, I end up doing random stuff instead of making the most of those 3 hours for meditation practice. Mostly mindless Youtube. Now after sinking into a pit of hopelessness for more than a month, this is one more attempt at getting back up, being focused, being accountable, and taking steps towards exploring the depth of what meditation can do to a human being. Not reading about it, not thinking about it, not speculating, but first hand experience. Goodnight.