The other day I had a surplus of discretionary time. My boys were both off doing some big activities of their own (camping, and writing big long practice tests). I had a chunk of work to do for a future project, and that work was easily divisible into smaller chunks. It is the height of summer here in Japan now an we are in the obon holiday (festival of the dead). Covid is still at large albiet not as large as it was, yet in some ways larger. Essentially, I had a full day to work and meditate. From time to time I like to get big chunks of discretionary time where I don’t have to interact with anyone.
Cycles of Emotional Baggage Clearing
I decided to set my day up on 15 minute cycles. My plan was to work for fifteen minutes on the project, and then practice emotional baggage clearning for fifteen minutes. I think I first wrote about this in this post. I use a simpl timer that rings twice after the chosen time so I can change it as I see fit. I consider transitions a bit free, so I don’t panic trying to rush to maximise my time here or there. I used to be quite a bit stricter on transitions but I found that just made me more tired in the long run and on this day I wanted to keep going longer than I had in the past.
This schedule was really hard. I am also practicing tempering my body to get used to the heat, so I didn’t run an air conditioner (although I drank water liberally). I was starting to feel somewhat tired by lunch time. I continued into the afternoon until about 3 pm. Considering I started at 8:30 am, and took about 30 minutes for lunch, I reckon that puts me at about 3 hours of my emotional baggage clearing. It doesn’t set any records in the world at large but it is a milestone for me, as I rarely get big chunks of time like this.
Today, as I was moving from activity to activity, there were points when I was waiting for someone, or some event (like water to boil for my coffee). I found myself at a new level of inner quietude. I won’t be so bold as to call it inner silence but it certainly qualifies as inner quietude. It was(earlier today), and is now, just plain easy to sit with no thoughts in my mind for several moments. It is a kind of relaxedness. On the other hand, maybe I am just tired out from yesterday.
On top of all this, I find I am getting small ‘windows’ into my past where a fleeting memory is particulary fresh or intense. This is something new, or the vividness of it is new for me, and the frequency seems to be increasing. I typically don’t know where the memory is from. These small ‘glimpses’ are incredibly mine, and yet they are so fleeting that I cannot find any connection for them. It could me a sight or a smell, or a feeling. In fact, all my memories are becoming feelings for me. Sights, sounds, smells… they are all feelings for me, as opposed to categorizable ‘sensations’ or as the memory researchers call them, episodic memories. They are feelings, or in another strange sense, my memories have a strange kinship to smells.