Well once more I am talking about the sweeping breath because it seems to be one of the centrepieces of my life these days. I'm using the sweeping breath to review my life and clean my life. It's kind of like grooming oneself and keeping yourself neat and tidy by getting rid of garbage and tidying up your internal affairs. By sweeping my head back and forth slowly and breathing in and out with each sweep and reviewing my life I'm able to clean all those memories, filter out garbage and bad feelings, let go of all my attachments, and become a lighter detached person.
For the first year or two of this practice it was like crossing the desert. I would try to remember things but I couldn't remember them. I would have whole sessions where my mind wandered and I couldn't do any memory work. I felt like if remembering successfully was water then I was in the desert. To complete the analogy I sometimes came to Oasis. At the Oasis I was able to get a lot of constructive work done in cleaning out the attachments in my memories. But then it was back into the desert again for a long stretch of not being able to remember very much.
Naturally those were hard times. Being in the oasis was not good in one sense. I usually encountered traumatic memories and they were painful and difficult to let go of. But after each event one or two days would pass and I felt quite a bit better than before I started. That was what motivated me to keep going through the hard times. The particularly difficult memories were rather like poison coming back through my body. I felt ill and I felt in a bad mood for several hours even up to a day afterwards but after that feeling past I felt better than before doing that work.
Then there was a change in my breath. I could notice the feeling of my breath starting to change when my memories were particularly intense, or when my concentration was particularly focused. One of the most difficult parts of this activity that I called the sleeping breath is the concentration that it requires. It's very easy to let your mind wander onto other peripheral events that aren't the main point of what you want to work on. Once your mind starts wandering it tends to keep wondering and skipping shallowly over a vast number of events. With good concentration though you can stay focused on one event and then the quality of the breath changes and that is a signal I take as the release of the attachments that I have to that event.
This has increased my sensitivity to my feelings. Now I'm very aware of my feelings. I'm also becoming much more aware of my feelings towards people and events in the past. As I experience those feelings the second time I recognize them as mine but I can also see how I didn't quite notice them the first time even though I was feeling them in that first experience. This is making me more aware of my feelings in my day-to-day life now. And it's letting me hone in on feelings in the past with greater ability.
So I can get into my feelings with each event or person. Then as I experience that feeling I'm starting to realise the source of that feeling. I wrote previously about my sense of superiority, or my sense of inferiority. Those are the sources of some of my feelings with relation to people or events in the past. Understanding the sources of your feelings is of great benefit to being able to let go of them. It's also a great benefit to be able to recognize them in other situations, places, events in your past. So I've become more sensitive and I've become more able to let go of a lot of these feelings and attachments.
When I was crossing the desert, there was a lot of sessions that I did in my meditation that were not very productive. I didn't get results each time I went to meditate. I got results sometimes and that was enough to keep me going. But now,Every session has results. The problem is there are too many coming at me and I can't do them quickly enough and I lose focus and concentration. So now more than ever I have to work on my concentration. Now more than ever I have to focus like a laser on each event, person, or situation. It's becoming more challenging, but at the same time far richer and more rewarding. I'm looking forward to each session. But ironically I don't have enough time now to do my meditation because my business is becoming busier and busier with every passing week.