Time to increase the length of my morning meditation practice, I decided several days ago. For more than one year, I have sat for 20 minutes each morning, before having my coffee. Once seemingly endless, the 20 minutes have come to seem short. So, what am I waiting for?
A little over-ambitious, I tried for 45 minutes. The first day I tried it, that went well. The second day, not so well. Then I began suffering from a bad head cold. I changed the timer to 30 minutes, and that was hard — well before the timer chimed, I felt light-headed because of the cold symptoms. It was very interesting trying to fight through the sensation that I was about to faint!
Finally, on Thursday, the cold symptoms lessened, and I had a good 30-minute sit (with no fear of fainting).
The work done on the cushion continues to be challenging. For me, it is still mostly just maintaining focus on the breath. But I have recently begun an investigation of the Self — gosh, that sounds so snooty! What I mean is, I have started going past “What am I? Don’t know” and on to examining where “Self” might be, if there were one. I was influenced somewhat by John Daido Loori’s repeated references (see link) to “this bag of skin,” meaning the body, and I focused for a while on how the brain (not the mind) controls the body. I also focused a bit on physical sensations and how they cannot far exceed the physical location of the body.
I can’t tell exactly where this will lead, but it all seems correct to me.