Today practice in three periods of 15 minutes each. Listen more carefully than the day before. Listen for deeper inclinations. Again you must listen without judgment. You must not edit anything. You must listen deeply so that you may learn to hear.
Practice 16: Three 15-minute practice periods.
I am trying to hold onto this truth and when I meditate on this Step, I can see this purity deep in my mind, my True Self.
I am still holding onto this truth and when I meditate on this Step, I can see this purity deep in my mind, my True Self.
July 2, 2018 Round Three: For what it is worth, today I celebrate 12 years of sobriety. I know AAs who say that if you are no longer in AA (i.e. going to meetings, working the program), you don’t make a big deal about your sober birthday and don’t expect people to remember or congratulate you. There is even the insinuation that it doesn’t count. And indeed, no one remembers my DOS. Sometimes even I forget, because sobriety has long been a given in my life, something I don’t even think to question. There is no other way. There is no choice in this matter.
Knowledge is my True Self. I am to listen deeply to learn to hear what is coming from Knowledge - thoughts, impressions, inclinations, and direction. I understand that the animosity I feel toward Volodya is coming from my surface mind. But what about my inclination not to engage with him, ignore him to the extent possible, so that he doesn’t engage with me? Does he need to know that I don’t appreciate his company/presence, so that he will keep his distance? It seems to be working. He is not engaging with me. I only have to put up with him when he is engaging with Sasha in my vicinity. Sasha engages with him, he cannot do otherwise (it is part of his nature), so I grit my teeth when I am eating supper and Volodya is standing nearby yapping on about nothing.
First 15-min practice (4.16-4.31). I wanted to do it sitting on the bench in the garden, but it was muggy and the mosquitoes were abundant, so I came inside and sat in an armchair in the front room. I did not have total silence though. I could hear the neighbors through the wall - snoring, TV (low), then some agitated talking. I went through the gray opaqueness to the bright luminous place where my mind expands and I can hold myself in the light without the intrusion of extraneous thoughts. I know that Knowledge is beyond my mind.
I was unable to do the other two 15-min practice today. I tried to do the second one sitting against a tree in the garden, but Sasha kept distracting me, trying to get my attention and interrupting my stillness. So I can’t count it as a bone fide practice. I tried to do the third one at 20.00 before I went to sleep, but I feel asleep before the end of the 15 minutes.
July 3, 2018 I am going to try again today.
First 15-min practice. Sitting in the same armchair. Less noise from neighbors today. Room filled with the lovely aroma of blackcurrant leaves I am drying on the table. Meditation from 5.21-5.36. I entered the fire of Knowledge, the Light of Knowledge. I did not edit anything, I tried to listen deeply. I heard nothing consequential that caught my attention. I am feeling much better now after lying down again for half-an-hour. I went out into the light-filled garden before my practice. It was cool, invigorating, with dew on the grass. The plants all look as though they survived the lower temperatures during the night. They look fresh and happy. I like the feel of the cool dewy grass under my bare feet.
Second 15-min practice (11.58-21.13) - in the greenhouse. I keep thinking this would be a good place to practice. No one can see me, it is quiet, enclosed and peaceful, it has a wonderful ambience, I feel very good sitting among the tomato and pepper plants. It is close to Volodya, but he doesn’t see me. It was hot with the bright sun shining through the plexiglass, dry and mellowing. I was able to bask in the Light of Knowledge. I managed to stay in that place without thinking, some distraction from Volodya drilling.
Third 15-min practice didn’t work. I went out to the greenhouse again after seven in the evening, but the neighbors were playing loud music and there was no way I could shut my mind off from it. So I am calling the four practices I did over the past two days sufficient to move on. I shared with Hilary about it, as well as my feelings about Volodya and his intrusion and where they are coming from. Knowledge does not judge or criticise, so my thoughts are not from Knowledge, but the retinance I feel and the barrier I want to put up between us may be an inclination or direction from Knowledge. Volodya sucks my energy, like a vampire, he has to be avoided at all costs. His intrusion is debilitating and destructive.