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About Thittato

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  1. The Spiritual side of Chess (or whatever….) So I got obsessed with Chess almost 4 months ago, and have been playing it daily on, but now I will take one week off just to get some perspective again. I've gotten pretty obsessed so to say, so will be nice with a break. Those Blitz games where one plays really fast are pretty addictive, and in general I'm pretty addicted to the internet, so will be nice with a break now. Been indulging in Chess every day, both games, and instructional videos on youtube and discussion forums, so I think giving my brain one week to think about everything else instead will actually be good for my learning-process. Also I think I will be moving over from Blitz-games, to actual classical Chess where one has much longer time-controls. I'm playing with my neighbor now (over and we have at maximum 7 days to make our move. I met at pretty cool guy through the forums on, and he is teaching me how to analyze my games, and write notes for each move that I make. If I could have a routine like this going, without it getting so obsessive, I think that would be fun to keep going with. But I have to admit I'm contemplating giving it up altogether. In many ways it seems like a waste of time compared to all the other things I could have been spending my time on. But it has been a study that I've been doing for 4 months, and also I have connected with the local Chess-club, and tomorrow (not including this in my one week break) I will be going to play with them for the 4th time. Perhaps this whole thing was sort of like the social anthropologist in me that was really curious about this group of people. I think it has much of that same mysticism to it as the meditation culture and martial arts has. There are old and wise masters in these groups that have seen deep into the nature of this game, and for them it is not only a game it seems, but more a way of life. I could have said a lot about this, especially to days ago when I was really manic about Chess and thought it was the greatest ever, but now I rather not think so much about it. So sat for 30 min today, and completed a lot of stuff on my To Do list. Probably the reason for this Chess-pause was triggered yesterday when I was spending the day playing online and not doing anything on my To Do list and when I went to work to work night-shift I felt really crappy, and I figured the reason why I felt crappy was because I had fallen out of the structure that I'm trying to build in my life, and the sense of safety and trust that brings up when I feel successful about it. I need to get much better at spending my time wisely, for instance spending more time in nature, so with these To Do lists and my way of planning my day all this seems much more within reach. So this week without Chess will be dedicated to this work on structure that I have just started.
  2. Making my home into a Zen Temple / Ashram / Chamber of Love and Devotion So regarding that lack of structure I mentioned yesterday, I've done some more improvements today getting my home more organized. I have to admit, and this is really embarrassing, but I think this lack of structure is perhaps the number 1. stickingpoint in my dating-life lately. I was on some dates in the beginning of this new year, but I simply don't feel fresh enough for a sexual relationship right now. Don't get me wrong, I'm clean enough for friends, studies, to be presentable and professional at my job, social life etc, but to have a girl entering my intimate zone, well, I'm simply not fresh enough for that right now. Whenever I go on a date, it is always a hassle making making sure I find some clean clothes, that my bed has fresh bedclothes on it, etc. So this is an area of my life that I will totally have to take care of immediately. Getting the inner structures of my home and personal hygiene fresh and always at its best. I used to have some tantric lovers before, and that was really fun, but this area of my life has really been down-prioritized lately. Fortunately, and this is a really good sign, for the first time ever I managed to keep to plants alive here in my home for almost 6 months. I'm really starting to love these plants. They are a sign of vitality and freshness in my home. So I just want my whole home, and all the inner structures of my life, to have this aspect of vitality and freshness, so whenever visitors comes inside my door they are met with a smell of freshness and vitality. This whole thing is really embarrassing and shameful to write about, but probably that just shows how great the benefits will be when I get this taken care of. I'm already on a good way now, and with the structures around my job and my studies being well-established now, I can easily get this other chaos taken care of. I can see that when I feel fresh and on top of things I feel much more attractive and ready to take a lover into my life again. So yeah, this chaos has probably been my number one stickingpoint in my dating-life lately, but time to get it handled now. Unfortunately I didn't get time to meditate today, because now I will have to go sleep for a little bit before I go and work a night-shift, but this organizing of my home, and writing this embarrassing journal-entry was really important. I'm going to become a fresh meditator, not a sloppy one :-) Yeah, damn, I totally deserve to live in a beautiful and fresh home. I've always intended to make my personal space into a beautiful place. I have my altar with my Buddha and Ganesh on, I have my incence, I have my meditaton cushion and my space where I do my yoga practice, I have my guitar and my drum ready to sing devotional mantras anytime, I have candle lights, etc. No need to make this place into an embarrassing mess that I'm shameful about. Jesus Christ how many dates I've been fucking up because of this. Well, from now on I'm going to become a proud and devoted caretaker of this cute little temple that I have here for myself. It is going to become a reservoir of healing, self-development, devotion, fun studies, and creativity. Gosh, this journaling is so good for me. It really helps me becoming much more honest with myself about my sticking-point. Exactly the tool I was looking for.
  3. Structure Sat for 30 min this morning. Now another issue has become apparent, and that is too weak structure in my life. My apartment is a mess, and I rarely have food in the fridge, etc. And this is creating much more chaos in my life than there has to be. But I have a good tool for this which I have been using before. I wrote a long "To Do" list with all the things I can think about that needs to be done, and each evening I plan my next day trying to move as many of the things on the To Do list over to my plan for the next day, and cross each out as each task has been completed. So I'm going to implement this again because my life desperately needs more structure. Also I'm going to implement the rule that each time I leave my house I'm going to live behind a home that is tidy, and when I go to bed I'm also going to make sure it is tidy before I end the day. Also I'm going to be flexible about this so that it doesn't become an "all or nothing" thing that quickly breaks, but I'm going to practice on this to get it implemented more and more until it finally is established just permanently and naturally.
  4. Respectful ending of a therapist/client relationship that was good for a really long time but that became difficult towards the end Gosh, I thought I was going to be angry and hurt for a long time because of this conflict with my old therapist, but we ended our formal relationship in a respectful way and with a heartfelt hug assisted in a meeting where the head-therapist that founded the school held space for us. I also got help from my new therapist to really squeeze out the remaining resentment I had towards him, and now it feels like already I'm ready to move on and I'm feeling inspired again by this education. In the long run this whole process is going to be very educational, and I also learned some important lessons in standing up for myself as I actually sent in a formal complaint against him and the head-therapist assisting our meeting understood my perspectives very well and my old therapist continued counseling (he is doing the education to advance to a teacher-therapist that can teach new therapists the trade) will most likely be informed by the complaints I've raised against him. So both him and I have learned a lot from this process, and the whole relationship ended in a respectful way were we both expressed our hurt feelings and also our love for each other. I'm feeling inspired thinking about the future again and what possibilities are ahead of me. This last bit of resentment after this meeting we had was probably just an after-process of ending it. Like the tail-end of that process got intensified a little bit before it cools off.
  5. The Guru/Disciple relationship in therapy-education Sat for 45 min today. So I met a therapist approximately 3 years ago, and he inspired me to start this gestalttherapy-education that I'm now 1,5 year into. The classical trap of falling into the Guru/Disciple relationship happened in our therapist/client relationship, and now after some conflict we had to end our relationship and I'm changing to another therapist as part of this education. The education is 4 years in total, but I'm thinking that I will probably only complete this 2nd year and then quit, unless my inspiration comes back again. Got very inspired by meeting this new therapist, and she understood exactly what had happened with the relationship with my previous therapist and understood why I thought he had dealt with this situation very unprofessionally. To his excuse he is a very new therapist. In fact I started going to him while he was still a student. So when I was idealizing him it was probably tempting for him to fall into that idealized role I was putting him in. Anyways, this sort of dynamic has happened with me many times before, so it is interesting to get this stuff happening live right in front of me as part of my therapist-education. If I was going to complete this education in sum total I would have probably learned much more from this situation then if my therapist was perfect all the way through. This is like a very classical unhealthy dynamic that develops in these types of relationships, and now I have a very professional way of understanding it. I was very angry for a long time that my therapist didn't have the tools to get us out of this situation. The only thing he would have needed to say to make me feel safe was to admit a little bit of his vulnerability and step out of his professional role and admit that this was a bit of a challenge to deal with but that he believed we would get safely through this. Instead he disappeared into an inauthentic role, got caught up in pride, and tried to pretend he had more experience than he actually had. Anyways, now that I'm getting some distance to this, and especially now that I'm enthusiastic about my new therapist, I'm much more positive about this whole thing and all the stuff I have learned from it. Perhaps my vocation as a psychotherapist will return, or perhaps not and I'm meant to do something else. Either way it is fine. It all makes for some juicy stories in my spiritual adventure. And now that my new therapist could confirm that my experience and my intuition is actually valid, I feel much more sane again. So I feel landed back in both my job-situation and my study-situation, because my life is sort of configurated around some sort of mutual interplay between what I learn in my job as a social worker and how I gather inspiration from the gestalttherapy group-processes to bring back into my job as a social worker, and that's been my identity at my job that I study this gestalt-stuff. When I have so much social stuff going on both in my job and in my study, it is actually really nice to just spend time alone by myself, meditating, going for walks in the forest, or playing Chess online. I feel that I can allow myself alone time with a clear conscience. Probably that's exactly what I need more of - time alone - and feeling that I'm enough as I am just with myself not needing the constant validation of somebody else. Probably I'm getting much more independent in a healthy way now that I broke free from the addiction I had to my previous therapist. I totally admit that it was an addiction that also was created by my own need. I just don't think he dealt very well with it when I wanted to look closer at our dynamic. He was very good at helping me with external issues. But not very good at the interpersonal dynamic between us when our relationship became the object of my insecurities. But my new therapist has confirmed that it is perfectly ok that I bring up whatever I want to bring up regarding the dynamic in the interplay between the two of us. With my old therapist that always felt like a closed door that I was banging my head against.
  6. Dark Night of the Soul Hmmm...... Meditated for 45 min, and then for 30 min a bit later, today. Woke up with a lot of strong feelings of being totally miserable and a failure in life. Lots of shame, worthlessness, and just pretty much everything that is nasty and bad. Managed to clear out many of these feelings with the 2nd meditation, but seems like this "spot" is where it leads back to again and again, and I think there is some deep purification that is needed to process out all these feelings. Not just one meditation and then everything is fine again. Perhaps the most irritating part about this is that I don't stay there long enough. I get some reward from my meditation and then I feel fine again, but then the misery comes back again and again, so I sort of wish I could just stay in the misery until the purification was done. Just land in it. It is always better when I just accept that my life is miserable right now and probably will be for a period of time until this stuff is processed, then when I get my hopes up that life is fun again and having it crushed over and over. But probably I will just have to have the attitude that there is a lot of mediative work needed right now. This is also probably to wear down the escapism I get into when life feels fine again. Getting fed up with being intoxicated by the fun parts of life, forgetting there is spiritual work to do.
  7. Reflections around gestalttherapy group-processes and perhaps getting an art-studio next year or trying to figure out if that is just some daydreaming shit that will just make me more miserable. Mediated for 45 min this morning. Fell out of meditation for three days now. It has to do with having to do much work and a weekend-seminar regarding this gestalttherapist-education that I'm doing. Been going through a lot of shit for these three days. First of all I'm just going to finish this 2nd year of this education and then I'm going to quit. The education is 4 years in total, but I really don't like it anymore. It was good for the 1st year, but this whole 2nd year I've been really uninspired with this type of work. I think this form of psychotherapy lacks a spiritual dimension, and the sort of joy and life-energy you see in groups that practice meditation. This is a low-energy uninspired group that wallows in trauma, so it is pretty bad to be there when I've met so many joyful spiritual practitioners in my life. But anyways, I've signed the contract for this year, so I will just have to try to make the best out of it. Even though I don't want to be there, I will use this group as a mirror for all my projections. Fortunately I still like our main-teacher. She met me in a really nice way this time, as usual. So I'm reliving my school-traumatization where I've been sitting behind my desk for years feeling let down by my parents and the system and just projecting out that everything is shit and escaping into my fantasy, and she helped me understand that and that made me calm down. So I will just have to use the reminder of this year as a "projection screen" to get all this stuff triggered and then use the help of the teachers and my meditation practice to work through this stuff. So perhaps this is related because these last days I've also escaped into my fantasies about becoming an artist again, starting to think next year I will get an art-studio and that I will start to plan for my next exhibition (I've had several before, but this would have been my first solo-exhibition), but when I woke up again today that whole drive is just totally gone and I'm back to presence and meditation as my value-system. This sort of things happens over and over and over for many years, so I don't know what it is, whether I should go for it or whether I should just consider it some fantasy stuff. It is like the fantasy gets more and more real and realistic each time making plans and trying to figure out how I will direct my creative process in a realistic and dedicated way. But still that whole value system around making art seems to fall back on the ground when I mediate and sort of see through the narcissistic stuff in it. Probably doesn't have to be that way, but I guess I will just have to continue to meditate and see which way my life-force will move in based on that. Anyways, to use this gestaltherapy-student group that I don't like as a "projection screen" is probably the best that I can do for the reminder of this school-year, and it sort of makes me more settled to develop some understanding around how I will approach this. I think this gestalttherapy actually is some kind of trigger practice. No one can sit in a group like that listening to all that traumatic stuff without getting really really triggered. I don't think there is anything wrong with my capacity for vulnerability and empathy just because I don't like to sit immersed in a group like that for so long anymore. It was fun and meaningful when I needed that support and to get a sense of our shared sense of vulnerability and support for each other when I felt motivated to work with myself that way, but now it is just not inspiring anymore. I can still have a lot of vulnerability and empathy in my real life situations, for instance my job, when the situation calls for it, but those group-processes are some kind of artificially created groups where all this stuff is triggered up in too large quantities for me. Anyways, all this shit is stuff that I wallow in over and over, so I'm glad to get it out like this in the form of journaling so that I can see it in front of me instead of it just spinning around inside of my head.
  8. Vipassana and samatha In the buddhist meditation that I do there are two components called vipassana and samatha. Vipassana is the aspect of clear seeing or insight and samatha is the aspect of calmness. These two qualities are supposed to be brought into balance. Sometimes my mind is naturally very calm, and it is nice to just let it settle down and get some well-needed rest. Other times my mind is more active and I have to work more in my meditation and that is when I have to emphasize the vipassana aspect more. Today was such a day, and it felt like my vipassana skill has become much sharper, which was really cool.
  9. Meditation states Had a little depression going here again. Interesting how I don't notice that I fight it, and then I start to look in panic for external solutions, until I figure out what is going on and surrender to the feeling. It probably came because yesterday was so social fun, and now I feel left on my own again. I've already sat for 45 min, but I will sit for 45 more min after I'm done writing here. Also yesterday I was getting into a meditation state that was really mellow and nice, and today I didn't quite get there, but the momentum was sort of like there, but the state I was getting to, even though it was pretty present, had more of an edgy quality to it. I'm trying to learn to access these concentrated states of well-being, presence and softness, so I get a bit of a backlash when I'm not able to reproduce it. So I will have to look closer at this disappointment. It is like syncing up with what is here right now, and not trying to reproduce what was here yesterday which will always be a failure when I try, but if the attempt to reproduce is here, then that is something I can embrace. These states are a paradox. If I don't try at all my mind will never get collected enough, but if I try too hard I will squeeze them. And if there is more difficult stuff in my system that I need to process, then I have to work with that instead and usually these states are not available, at least not until the difficulties have been processed. So sit with what is. Sometimes I'm rewarded with states of well-being, sometimes not.
  10. Back in my center Seems like now that I have re-established my meditation-practice again as my nr. 1 priority, that the momentum is really getting strong again, and that I feel much more grounded, present, and landed in myself. Holy moses how far my mind can go in between these glimpses of being landed in myself. So I'm really happy that I discovered this page and this emphasis on journaling and that now it seems I have managed to write myself back to myself again. And so the journey from here on will just be to take this art of presence to the level of mastery, in other words being present all the time. I don't think that that is really all that hard, even though I have to admit that I have meditated for 16-17 years without managing to do that, but there has just been so much suffering and confusion in my life, that again and again I've lost the belief that I can actually bring my mind to the present moment and make it stay there. Like that priority and the will to do it just totally disappears in all the confusion. But now, with the help of both journaling and meditation, I'm going to map out how I can make this come alive in a gradual and systematic way. I really feel that I have suffered enough now, and when my mind goes off again to wallow in some negative thoughts and emotions, I think I just have to tell myself over and over that I don't want to go there in the sense of wallowing in it. I can go there in order to "feel it to heal it" and that takes just being present with whatever is going on, but that wallowing part, I think I can now gain the mental discipline to avoid that bad habit. I've simply seen this suffering going on and on over so many years now, that by now I should really know that no amount of spinning around in my own mind will ever be the solution to anything. Interesting how this journaling-journey started out with me being pretty much everywhere in my various creative projects and all kinds of thoughts about everything, and now I've managed to write myself back to the very core. Like trimming down a bush in the garden that hasn't been taken care of in a long time with wild branches going off in all kinds of directions. Haha, that's actually how I've been feeling.
  11. Full lotus 4 Sat for 1 hour today. 15 min intervals alternating between doing full lotus my normal way and then with the odd leg on top. In between these intervals I did the two yoga-exercises I have that are good for opening up my hips. Felt cool to do a drill like this. Already the odd side feels much less odd. Feels like my body is really opening up now. I will do some more yoga in the coming days as well to enhance this feeling of my body opening up. Feels a lot like my yoga-practice and my meditation-practice is merging into one thing.
  12. Full lotus 3 and gratitude So before I'm going to bed now I wanted to sit for 15 more minutes in full lotus, and so I did 2 yoga-exercises to open up my hips that are really great. So then I sat for 15 min, and when I was done I was so inspired that I wanted to sit for 15 more min with the opposite foot on top, so I repeated the yoga-exercises and did that and that also worked really well even though it felt a little bit odd compared to the usual way I sit. But I just meditated on this odd feeling going into it and embracing it and that was really fun too. Wonder why I haven't thought about this before. I've been meditating for 16-17 years, but I always just sat in half lotus with the same foot on top of my thigh. That is like getting stuck in the same comfortable pattern when I could have been using this time more efficiently getting more physical benefits out of it as well. Anyways now I'm doing that, and it feel like I'm translating some of the things I learned on snowboard over to this. Last time I was snowboarding I was specifically training for learning to ride with the opposite foot in front of what I usually do. I've always sought safe patterns like that to settle down in, but now I get angry at how lazy I've been with not challenging myself with simple things like this. So anyways, learning to do it the odd way is now my friend :-) Feels like just mediating has a lot of health effects, and especially when done in full lotus. It is something about the circulation that it creates in the body that is both vitalizing and strengthening. Feels like my body is just ready to open up much more now. Like untying itself. Funny thing is when I sit in half-lotus I sit on a cushion and than often when I have gotten some momentum in my practice I have felt like a king sitting on my throne. Although that has some healthy aspects to it, I think a sense of pride can be healthy, it also has some narcissistic aspects to it. When I sit in full lotus I sit directly on the floor only on top of a blanked, and I somehow feel smaller in many ways, but small in a humble and cute way. Like this meditation thing is no big deal. I'm just going to sit there for a little bit, re-charge and tune into a more gentle and friendly state while my body is open and relaxed. Perhaps that's what much of it is about. Just getting the tensions out of my body so that I can become just gentle, friendly and humble. I've given too much weight to this sense of feeling powerful and strong. A lot of that is just some ego-stuff wanting to get ahead of everybody else. Feeling so much gratitude right now :-)
  13. Full lotus 2 Today I sat for 35 min in full lotus, and then the remaining 10 min in half-lotus. Worked well today as well, no pain in my knees or my lower-back yet, but I can sense that it will be a strain to go for 45 min straight in full lotus every day, so I will try to build it up more gradually by doing only the first 15 min from now on. But 15 min of that every day will probably make my body quickly adjust to it because it already seems pretty accessible, so better just be careful not to over-extend. Fun to have a physical project around this as well :-)
  14. Full lotus So today I sat my 45 min in full lotus. I will see if my back and knees can handle it. Been training for this for a while, and it gives me a very powerful feeling when I sit like that. How to best describe it? Feels like my body is as collected and concentrated as it can possibly be, and erect and proud, and somehow also small and humble because I pack myself together to such an extent. It feels like some kind of bodily mastery, although the potential to "master" this pose is much greater. It is far from without strain so far, but still it was pretty pleasant today. I want to make these 45 min into as much of a "power pack" as possible, and training for full lotus really contributes to that. It also gives inspiration to my yoga-practice, because meditation feels much more like also a physical project this way. I find it is also symbolic regarding where all this is going. I started out with lots of thought in all kinds of directions, and now I try to collect and concentrate down all this energy, both physically, mentally and emotionally.
  15. 45 min of meditation per day I feel that now I have landed at a daily meditation practice of 45 min per day. This has been my standard before that I have returned to again and again. Just did my meditation, and I feel really grateful for this combination of meditation and journaling. Finally I have something going that gives my spiritual practice momentum again. I've been also looking more into Leo's teachings lately, and I have to admit that there is a lot there that I like, so there was probably a meaning why I came here. Especially I like his principle of self-experimentation in his 65 Core Principles of Living the Good Life. Basically just that we continue to experiment and experiment until we find what works for us, and that what works is different for everybody. Right now my self-experimentation brought me to the combination of journaling and meditation - which I think is a really powerful combination. So I feel grateful for my life these days. Seems like so much shit is starting to get sorted out after I started these journals. And I have a lot of faith in this process. The things I've been struggling with for years will get sorted out. And if I need something else or more to get my life to where I want it to be, I will figure out what that is and go get it. I have faith in my process again.