November 4th, 2019 ~ I would like to comment on a process I am following that is relatively new for me. It happens during meditation, for the most part. It happens when I observe the itchiness in my face. It is easier for me to be physically still when I am meditating, so that I can notice more and slow things down. This is especially true for me when my face itches. Even though it is itchy, say around my third eye or the area between my upper lip and nostril, I am able to notice it and not itch. Outside of meditation, it is much harder, especially in the middle of the night when I wake up to go the bathroom. It starts even though it is not itchy, but the itching causes it to be itchy, so I don’t know what started it and how it will stop or whether it should. It is quite confusing. If I am in public e.g. listening to a talk where other people are around, I can feel compelled to itch. Once I feel more comfortable, I itch less. Does this make sense? Once I lie down, I am able to relax and stop the itching. At times in the past, I have broken skin which hurts. That hasn’t happened too much lately.
Anyway, what is new is that while I am noticing the itchiness in my face, I am noticing my hand getting ready to itch. You might think this is odd and that I am over-analyzing this. However, Krishnamurti says to become very familiar with the mind. That is what I am doing here. What may have helped me is an experience I had while lying down in bed. I may have been dreaming. What it felt like was two different experiences: the itchiness and the desire &/or sensation to itch with my hand. Another thing I have noticed is my hand while itching is quite clumsy. It is doing a lot more than just itching the spot. It might even be soothing me. Ironically, it is also causing more itchiness, similar to the experience when I wake up in the middle of the night. Now, I have written about my itchiness in the past. This new insight is tied in with desire and motivation. These are also topics I have written about. The hand just sits there. It takes a motive to move. It is conditioning where it is unconscious. Most likely, it is always conditioning. As I watch though, there is a conflict: wanting or feeling the need to itch vs starting the hand to itch. If you slow it down, you can just notice the two processes. With the hand, it almost feels neutral. I could move it or not. This motive to move is interesting. I notice this while lying in my bed and not getting up in the morning. The motive and the momentum is to continue lying in bed. There is a desire to get out of bed that eventually kicks in. That often, for me, has been weak. I like to simmer, another topic I have written about. There is a conflict within us about many things. My mentor Don said if you wait long enough, the motivation to do something will eventually happen. Put another way, the resistance to do a task like washing the dishes, will dissipate eventually if you wait long enough. Once we start an activity, there is desire there but also potential conflict: wanting to end, or even being neutral. Focusing on motivation is a topic for another blog entry. However, if I could just add, when I notice myself starting to practice Tai Chi on my own, the desire changes during the day. I often notice the desire is not very strong at the beginning so I encourage myself just to start. The idea of practicing for 45 minutes can be daunting at times. After several minutes up to 15 minutes, I am often on my way and the desire to finish can kick in, although not always. There evidently is a mechanism in our brain that wants to finish things once we start it. It is on Youtube.
So what is new for me is seeing multiple processes going on simultaneously. They are separate yet connected. Everything is connected, the great ones tell us. Yet, there are dependent parts. This arm not moving is a part that is dependent. So is the itchy face. So the desire to move my arm doesn’t materialize. I notice these two processes happening at the same time. Now, is it possible for the itchy face to stop. Once it starts, it has to stop. Nothing lasts forever. I noticed today the sleepiness I was feeling in meditation felt similar, in that it was a process. I have been told sleepiness is conditioning, a habit. Maybe the part of giving into it is another process. Seeing these processes are important, according to K because of our conditioning. This is where are problems have originated. It is due to our conditioning. Our brains are conditioned in problems. Solving problems. So we look at everything as a problem. My judging of my itchiness appears to be decreasing. Having compassion for myself is growing.