I am in a strange place physically: The pain has increased and even though I have taken the pain medication I had to fight for so hard, the pain is not relenting as I would like. It is fighting back, and so am I. Today I have meditated some, and will meditate more with a lot of visualization; I have prayed and will pray more; and I will not give in or give up. Hopefully, at some point today, the pain will ease up more and I will have more of an “external” day than what is happening now.
On days like this you can go “inside” and “outside” simultaneously. Video games, books, movies, petting the dogs, playing with the turtle are all “outside” activities, but if you look closely at them, they are also “internal” activities as well. Reading especially is one of my favorite examples of this because you can “get lost” in a good book, but you still have to turn the page or click the page-turn which is an “external” action we really don’t pay much attention to. Video games require more conscious thought, but you can also have the same “getting lost” in the story of the video game and its action as well. Some studies recently done have suggested that a twenty-minute change from routine to a video game even at work, restarts the brain processes and gives overworked centers a rest. The same can be said with reading and knitting. (I looked for the study but couldn’t find it.)
Lately I have noticed a two-fold effect of meditation: 1) The pain is easier to get in control of, logically; and 2) story ideas come a lot more often and plot problems are more easily spotted and corrected. The aggravation of writing eases up: No matter how much we writers love to write, there are days when a writing day is nothing but aggravation, but you just can’t quit on those days without one more good effort to get over the hump. Getting hold of the aggravation is a lot harder to do for me than getting hold of the pain. At first I thought it was because I add a lot more practice at trying to help the medications work by distracting myself from physical pain – the truth is: Aggravation and annoyance are completely different animals! When you are aggravated and/or annoyed it takes twice as long to relax well enough to view the situation and have any chance of correcting it, or, at the very least, letting it go. It takes more energy. More thought. More…everything. Even to seasoned meditation practitioners. Just because it is harder doesn’t mean it can’t be done. You just have to be more determined, less willing to give up.
So, today will be a day of quiet in the ink mines. This doesn’t mean I won’t be writing, just that there won’t be a lot of external stimuli to distract me, and I will be taking a lot of video game breaks and meditation breaks throughout the day.
And a question just popped into my head: This is for those who practice meditation on a more regular basis, Do you find some days are better to meditate without music than with it? I would love to hear from you about your experiences. What helps you? What doesn’t?
Have a wonderful weekend!