Morning Meditations # 99: Struggling for Focus and Feeling It Return

It is rare that I begin composing an MM the evening before I intend to publish, but this happens to be one of those times. Even though the events presented will be in chronological order, they were not composed that way. The compositional equivalent to movie magic.

Yesterday was one of those days when one meditation would have to do. Not a particularly long event, I did feel a little bit deflated. One of my uncompromisable goals being the six-hour meditation period, there is a little worry, as I have not “trained” as extensively as I had in the fall. Andyesterday’s efforts resulted in a blasé response from my psyche. May have had something to do with the heat.

As an old Arkansas boy, I realize that the temp isn’t in it’s extremes yet, but I’ve never tried extensive outdoor meditation under these conditions. The biting insects and droplets of sweat tracing trails of distraction every second can cloud the mind as much as a busy street. The fight would define the day.

I have a feeling it drained me more than I realize. While I did come out of the session with great clarity, as I studied half the day away afterward, my body told me, and is still telling me, that I didn’t come out unscathed. Sluggishness would persist through those hours of study. Frequent breaks were need to regain focus and stretch my fatiguing legs. And while these are reasonably good study habits without discomfort, the feeling that I had less left in the tank after every intermission would follow me into the evening. When I finally decided I could work no more, it was nearing 18:00, and the desire for a meal had nearly taken over. I ate a Cutie while the fire that would burn through the night began taking form. There are some fold-out grates for cooking always ready, and by the time the sausages were making the fire sizzle, I was too.

Before sleep would take me, which would come early, the task of sending an email and trying to make a few short-notice River Valley contacts found completion.  Wearily I wandered back to my campsite. I wanted to read but I couldn’t summon the strength to hold up the paperback version of Small Gods by Pratchett, which has been reserved for text access only so that I stay on top of my writing and research goals.

The toads and frogs were loud. Unconsciousness came quickly.

I woke this morning with a sore neck and tight quads. A high water intake had been maintained yesterday, so I felt fine. But, the hammys threatened to be immobile and my calves quivered a little with spasm. I sat there wondering how these caudal appendages would function. I gathered my moxie and unzipped the tent. One foot, two feet, good. Taking several paces away from camp I made my morning check in with the wild life by leaving my mark. I felt amazing, the soreness aside. Pain is one of my good friends; we used to be at odds, and there is some times and places where it isn’t welcome, but I kind of like my discomfort these days. It allows me to give attention to those aging and ailing parts. I find that when I do, the whole mind-body system provides fulfillment within itself.

Yes, just the very process of tending to my pain is a part of life that fills me with pride and joy. There was a time when I felt trapped and limited by my pain. Now, tending to it is one of the very things that often get me from my bed and into the flow.

After this little yoga session, I began to organize my trip back into the city. Once organized, I decided to see how mediation would treat me today, seeing as I didn’t do a bedtime one last night.

A little internally noisy for my taste. Had to bring myself back from daydream over and over again. When I stood from my meditation perch, I felt calm. Relieved.

MM 99
The fountain outside of the Fort Smith Public Library.

I do have one bitch about this retreat thus far. Of the six businesses I have tried to patron, five have been closed. I even used the Fort Smith shop local business site. Have fallen flat on my face. Fortunately, I have only ventured to one major retailer, and have found alternate ways to navigate, but I still lack incense. Where does one buy incense in this town? I shall keep looking.

 

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