Reflective Journal on Mindfulness Practice: Date: 15 April 2013, Monday night Activity: 1. Teeth Brushing By slowing down the teeth brushing process, it came to my notice that there were some sore sports inside my gum, which I recalled should first be noted years ago, however, I had been ignoring them and skipped brushing the inflected parts through out the years. Without catching the unpleasant feelings in the conscious level, I failed to recognize problem in my gum. 2. Shower When water hit the top of my head and ran all the way down to my toe, water seem to be running much slower than before, I could feel a much stronger sensation in my body and the I could notice some of the tensed up muscles and joins started to ease out. After a while, aches started to surface on the back of my neck, shoulders and upper back. The aches were not on the surface of the body, instead it was brought out from the muscle deep inside by the gentle pressure created by water tapping on my skin. The whole shower took double of the time I normally took, however, after the shower, I felt a much deeper relaxation. Date: 16 April 2013, Tuesday night Activity: 1. Walking Meditation In playing full attention on every movement of the foot – from lifting, to carrying, then to placing – the sensation of the foot turned up to be much stronger. The feeling of touching ground was sharp and clear. The whole process was in slow motion, step by step, one to another, the transmission of pressure on foot could clearly be sensed – from toe to palm, from palm to sole. This gave me a moment of high concentration. 2. Seated Meditation (Loving – Kindness) After half an hour of walking meditation, breathing was steady and calm, energy movement inside the body was noticeably active. It just took me a short while in sitting to bring the whole body in ease. In sending loving-kindness to myself, a stream of warm air filled up my chest. However, not taking long, my mind was carried away by thoughts, and I had to keep pulling my mind back to complete a half an hour meditation. 3. Bathroom Meditation Throughout the shower, I mindfully slow down the pace, but I kept lossing attention on the body, my mind would just drift away without notice. When I noticed I was with my mind, I had to pull the attention back to my body sensation. I noticed that even the experience of mindful shower was so pleasant, yet it was so hard to stay present with it. The thoughts that carried my mind away were pretty random, and each thought could not stay long either. However, I did catch a thought that came back often which was a question on whether I should occupy the bathroom that long, especially at the moment when the pleasant feeling arose inside my body. Having said that, both body and mind felt very refreshing when I stepped out of the bathroom. 4. Bed Resting Meditation The resonance of loving-kindness from the heart was strong when I meditated on the bed. However, I could not stay long in reciting the loving words, first felt kind of drowsy and then fell asleep pretty soon. Date: 17 April 2013, Wednesday Activity: 1. Walking Meditation Among the others, I found this method of meditation was the one that could keep me concentrate on my sensation the longest. In addition to the sense of the feet touching the ground, I further realized synchronizing the movement of my hand with the feet will help to improve the smoothness of the body movement as it would help balancing the body as a whole when movements were slow. 2. Seated Meditation I started with keeping my concentration on the abdomen breathing, followed by loving-kindness sharing. I felt I could kept in the calm and steady state longer, yet my mind would still be carried away by thoughts. In following the aching points at the back, I could also feel sea sickness slightly in the stomach and heat at the forehead. 3. Bathroom Meditation I could feel a very strong sense of freedom in the bathroom, and feel well connected with the space, even the space was pretty small. However as before, the thoughts of undue length of time occupying the bathroom continuously pop up. There was a tangle in mind between staying and leaving throughout the period. 4. Noble Silence When facing others, there was a difficult feeling of not interacting even the others were informed beforehand. The mind kept on thinking how the others would think, most of the thoughts were denying the practice even felt good in heart to have the time of my own. Through out the period, I kept an eye on the others and giving response or kept doing things for the others to show that they had not been ignored. I had a feeling of guilt of not to do so, I just found it so hard to stay focus on my own. Date: 18 and 19 April 2013, Thursday and Friday Activity: 1. Walking Meditation I found myself less distracted even by strangers when I was practicing this in the public area. As noticed before, my concentration on sensation last the longest in comparing to the other practices. 2. Seated Meditation As practicing more, loving-kindness could give rise a delight feeling in heart even loving-kindness was sending to the person of dislike. Body could be in deep ease and shallow breathing could be kept longer, and I had relatively less diversions in mind. In short intervals, I could feel I was in deeper concentration and I was able to catch feelings in my organs as arose along with the changing body sensation. When there were troubling thoughts popping up, I could sense breathing turned heavier along with noticeably higher body heat … 3. Bathroom Meditation Not yet able to overcome the negative feelings arised from occupying the bathroom. However, through sending loving-kindness to myself when negative feelings arose, it helped to soothe a bit the tensions in mind. Nevertheless, the same negative feelings kept coming back. 4. Noble Silence Still found it difficult to stay with people in silence and not communicating, even I felt calm and easy when I could eat slower and chew longer, observing liquid flowing down the stomach, and move slowly etc. However the thought of whether I was causing inconvenient to the others kept popping up and that always lead diversion of my mind from concentration. Summary: With my meditation practices for a week, I found that in general I could sense my body better and my feelings were more noticeable to me. Most importantly, I felt less tense than before.