Thittato

My meditation journal

269 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Had the opportunity to meditate for 1 hour and 40 min this night-shift and wow, that was really amazing. Feels like I’m synchronizing up with my experience so that I can actually own my experience instead of feeling victimized by it. There is like this tantric experience that when I go into my suffering for long and deep enough and just really surrenders to it it actually transform into pleasure and joy. I feel on top of my experience. When everything feels wrong, if I just actually open up to that experience deeply enough it will transform into everything feeling right. This is a lesson I’ve experienced many times, but it has never been permanent. Experience clogs up again and again, and I just got to keep on keepin’ on penetrating stuck material so that it dissolves into flow.

This seems like a good opportunity to quote one of my favorite poems:

 

Unconditional

Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I gain the embrace of the universe;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.
Each condition I flee from pursues me,
Each condition I welcome transforms me
And becomes itself transformed
Into its radiant jewel-like essence.
I bow to the one who has made it so,
Who has crafted this Master Game.
To play it is purest delight;
To honor its form–true devotion.

– Jennifer Welwood

Edited by Thittato

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Embodiment

35 min sitting meditation today, then I did some handstand exercises and then I did 10 sun salutations. Now I’m at night-shift again, and I feel very open and expansive. Some of the clogged up stuff has been cleared out. I guess the whole conclusion to this meditation VS. yoga dichotomy I’ve been having is that I need both. It is very clear that meditation most of the time gives me much deeper spiritual experiences, but I need the yoga to get them integrated into my body. Embodiment is my favorite word today.

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Posted (edited)

More on my drawings

Finished with three nights of working night-shift. Was pretty high in my mood when I was finished, so I went home and had a nice drawing-session before going to bed. Then I overslept and didn’t reach my yoga class, and just arrived in time for pub chess, and now I had another drawing-session before going to bed again. I think my art is really where I’m the most stuck in my life. It totally is. I don’t think the end-result really matters, but this frustration has to be dealt with in one way or another. To boil it down to the essence - something that is obstructed needs to be expressed. And so far it seems I just need to put in a lot of consistent work into my drawings to get this expressed. There needs to be a sense of mastery around this process that has so far been lacking.

I often think what I do is shit, and other  times I think it is pretty awesome, but basically I’m too identified with any one drawing at that particular point making it into a proof, or lack of proof, for my self-worth. This needs to change into a greater understanding for the whole process, and that any one drawing is not what matters, but what matters is nurturing this process until it starts to really bloom.

I don’t really think I’m far from seeing this process tip over into something much more rewarding and far less frustrating.

If everything so far has been play and experimentation, now is the time to make something more out of it.

Edited by Thittato

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Posted (edited)

75 min Iyengar yoga class this morning. Really awesome. I feel very vulnerable around this art-thing so it was very nice to feel the power and support that comes from yoga. It as like I haven’t allowed myself to dream big for myself. As if I was going to sit around as a little boy with my cute little hobbies for the rest of my life. I think I will have to make drawing into my second job for a long time. Or actually it is my number one job. The social worker job is the one that pays my bills, but my true passion lies in the art. And I shouldn’t make my yoga/meditation practice into my job. That is my exercise, which of course is very important. I will experiment with this «configuration» for a while, and also do other necessary steps and research to figure out this purpose thing. I think everything will be much easier this way. I have two jobs and one yoga/meditation practice. Simple as that.

Edited by Thittato

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20 min vinyasa flow guided from youtube today. I did it together with a really hot female friend, and afterwards we cuddled on my sofa for 2 hours while we listened to chill mantra music. Was really soothing for my broken heart. Also yesterday I drank some beers with another really cool female friend, while we were drawing together. We had such a good time together that she invited me to exhibit together with her at a local art festival here in town that is going to be in November. I felt really up for it, and it feels like exactly what I need. Feels like all this frustrated creative energy has now found a destination to channel itself toward. So excited. I even was at a meeting at my job this evening and my boss was so happy with me giving me a lot of positive feedback. My contract is only 30 %, and then I work extra by being on-call when someone gets sick or there is an extra need, so usually it amounts to 100 %, and I prefer it that way because I like the freedom - it is like being a freelance social worker. My education is social worker, and he can only give permanent 100 % contract to nurses, but today he wanted to give me another 50 % daytime contract for half a year. The 30 % that I already have is permanent. Pretty awesome. So it feels like it is all coming together - both my yoga, my art, my job, and my relationship with women is improving. Now I just need to continue to practice yoga so that I don’t get carried away but so that I can maintain a good foundation for stability in my growth-process. Also, best of all, my mom invited me out for dinner today and she has also gotten a yoga-kick very suddenly!! I’ve tried to recommend it to her, but she didn’t really latch on, but now her eyes has very suddenly opened up to Restorative Yoga, she is going to one of my teachers, and I think this will be really good for her health, so it makes me very happy that now she has found such a good way to take care of herself.

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No meditation today. Woke up and had gotten a cold and have just been sleeping a lot, but I have been doing a lot of organizing in my home. Regarding this exhibition that I’m going to have in November I have been pulling down all my drawings from that pile that they were stuffed together in on top of one ld my closets. There were also a lot of clothes on top of that closet that now I have found a better home for, and wow my home feels so much better after that pile of stuff has been organized. I’m no longer going to have a pile of anything on top of that closet - it just really clogs up my whole sense of spaciousness in this appartment. Having my various drawings lying around and having at various places on my wall in an organized way just totally added to a good sense of orderliness even though my appartment is very full, but it feels like a very good active  work-process where something that was before just a dark corner of chaos and guilty conscience is now put into a healthy flowing system. As part of this exhibition I’m going to read Alex Grey’s book The Mission of Art again, so that I get both the philosophical frames around this along with the social and physical structures. I’m going to make my cute little artistic activity into a complete process. If I can have this whole process as something that I have a good overview over and with all the right support-structures, then I think I can kind of just surrender into that structure and just be currious about where it will naturally lead me. I was talking a lot last night with an established artist here in town about just trusting the process. Well, she shared me a lot of her insights on that matter - that one doesn’t see the full picture to begin with but it is something about just trusting where the process goes and some kind of mystical intelligence will sort of work on seeking some kind of release to a problem or artistic challenge that one is intuitively seeking to figure out. Made me really think that I don’t really have much choice in this - there is just some kind of expression that wants to be expressed through me - seemingly through the medium of drawing right now. All I can do is just to facilitate a good space for this process to come through, and if I don’t, if I try to fight it, then I will feel miserable and clogged up and stuck. Just be getting into this focus I seem to attract more and more people that can help me with this process by sharing their insights on it and lots of very interesting conversations. It seems very right right now that I wasn’t going to become a therapist and therefore it was wrong to study something that was not alligned with my purpose any longer, but that it was good to complete those first two years of that education in order to deal with my own traumas. Gosh, I was so frustrated before I got this exhibition, but now the right set-up seems to have been established in order to get this process flowing. I think one needs to be a total geek on all parts of this process to really get it to flow - to seek maximal expansion to all parts of the process, and to allow oneself to really clear out all limiting beliefs. My expression is pretty abstract, but I also have a lot of experience with figure-drawing, and right now I want to be skilled at all kinds of expressions, both abstract and more figurative stuff, in order not to close myself down into something that is limiting, so I will take up naturalistic drawing again as part of this process.

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45 min meditation today. Didn’t quite get myself «into gear,» probably because I was a bit too tired to settle down into a steady focus, but at the end of the meditation it was getting more comfortable. Was halfway grooving on a lot of awesomeness, and halfway feeling resistance since I wasn’t getting the momentum going.

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90 min heated Jivamukti yoga class yesterday. Today I was just frustrated, so I went to the bath-house and did some cold-baths and sauna. It helped a little bit. I’m drawing a lot these days, and I get periodically extremly frustrated in my attempts to make art, but there is no way around it, as they say in gestalttherapy «the only way to get over is through.» I think I’ve given up too early before. Which is to say, I’ve never given up, because it is impossible to get rid of this activity, but I try to distract myself with something else when I hit this frustration again and again, so I better just be prepared to work with this whatever it is.

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20 min yoga at home guided by a youtube-video this morning. I had a big release yesterday regarding that art-frustration that I mentioned, so when I woke up I had a lot of power to put into this short yoga-session. Feels really awesome when there is this extra gear that makes me put a lot more power and depth into all the poses. I was sitting up late drawing last night and I was very frustrated, but then I found a really cool track to listen to while I started applying charcoal to one of my drawings, and suddenly everything started to feel much more organic and flowing and powerful. My art-making process has so far been very hit or miss, because I get very manic when I think I make something cool, but then this frustration hits and I just think that it is all a bunch of crap so I just try to escape, but I can’t because I’m always doodling on whatever I can find but it doesn’t really go anywhere because the whole process is so bipolar, but now I think I can find a way to push through this frustration and make the whole process much more consistent, and then I think I will start to feel the momentum increase and I would imagine that would bring in more a sense of mastery. In the larger picture everything is going to be a lot of experimentation, so there is going to be both a lot of really cool pieces, but of course also a lot of crap and failed experiments, so that is just to be expected, but by not judging myself too harshly based on anyone single piece, it will be a lot easier to just allow this experimentation to expand to its full potential. Also on any one piece there is usually a point where I feel that it is going down-hill because I took too big a chance of some kind, but then the dramatic rescue-operation sets in, and usually I can bring it back to balance again. Without taking these risks it probably won’t get much of any authentic feel, so probably by gaining even more self-esteem on my ability to activate the right rescue-operation, I can probably gain a lot more freedom in all my artistic attempts.

Now I’m going to the bath-house to cool myself down in the cold-baths as I am a little bit too manic again :-)

Edited by Thittato

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Not much writing here lately, but lots of good things have been happening. I have been getting a studio together with a really nice friend who is drawing in the same category as myself, she is just starting up herself, but she has the guts to get herself frequent exhibitions at local café’s, festivals, and help various musicians with their art-work, etc, and I’ve gotten a lot of good advice from many different people regarding my creative frustrations. Basically everybody is just advicing me to «push on through» to try to see what lies on the other side of this frustration. I know a lot of people who have creative ambitions but who doesn’t do what they really want to do because of this frustration. And I also know a lot of people who have gotten succesful - who regularly have exhibitions, concerts, have gotten their poems published, etc. It just seems like the difference is that those who are successful just doesn’t give up and they find a way to deal with these types of frustrations. The other category usually gets stuck in too much drinking and/or drugs, lack of self-esteem and unhealthy relationships that drain all their energy. So it is not really a choice. Or the choice is: Figure out what one wants and go for it, or become miserable.

I can also see a clear difference when I look at my own drawings now. The question I have in my mind is much more: «How can I make this look really cool?» instead of getting stuck in self-loathing, and when self-loathing happens it is easier to identify it, and find a way to calm down and continue. I guess it is much easier when one is commited to the process. Even if one day feels unsuccessful one knows that one will continue the next day and that that day will be different.

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This journal has developed from being focused on healing myself to being focused on finding my purpose. I believe creating art should have / would have been my purpose if I hadn’t been so traumatized and needed so much healing for so long to get myself together. Now I have an up-coming exhibition, I have an art-studio, and I’m sharing that studio with a really inspiring friend which I’m also having this exhibition together with, so there will now be plenty of time to figure out if this is really my craft, or if it will be possible to make this into my craft.

Feels like this is really what I should have been focusing on getting together all these years, but I guess that if I just focus on getting it together now I will find a way somehow. There is probably many different directions that this could take.

One of the most important things I will work on improving is my drawing skills. I’ve made a style out of improvised drawing where I put much more attention onto the composition and the wholeness of the drawing itself, but not so much on classical drawing skills. My style is pretty naivistic, but I do put a lot of work into it still and my drawings are really rich with details. Still I want my skills to improve, so I will start to sketch daily trying to improve my ability to draw naturalistic as well. The style I already have can probably continue to develop along with more dedicated efforts to improve my naturalistic abilities. In fact if I got really good at drawing naturalistically I think my self-esteem as an artist would improve dramatically, and I think it would give me a lot more freedom to improve my style. Fortunately I already did one year of art-school where we improved our naturalistic abilities with drawing nudes and portraits almost every day, so I had a breakthrough with this during that year, and now I just need to bring it back up again and make it into a routine.

It will probably be a lot easier to develop good work habits now that I’m much less traumatized. I’ve always been so restless before when working on my drawings, even though I’ve returned to it again and again, but with sooooo much frustrations, but I believe this time I can overcome these frustrations and instead develop good work habits.

Basically I already have a well-developed style as I have been drawing my whole life. Now I just need to make the whole thing professional.

Adding one of my latest sketches to put a visual symbol to this whole post. This is what drawing has always been to me. I go through some internal process, and to get like something external that I can relate it to, or to sort of objectify something internal I make an external symbol out of it, to get some distance, but also to take something that felt like something chaotic inside and to organize it into something as an act of devotion to existence. It is a form of prayer. I should develop a really clear understanding about what this process is about. Why I do it, and why it continue to happen again and again, and what kind of meaning I put into it.

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Edited by Thittato

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Seems to be working out well building up a habit of sketching naturalistic style every day. I’m building it up slowly by starting with simple objects, and then I’m going to advance gradually. These are 3 portraits I did in 2013 right after art school. They are sort of the peek of what I could do naturalistic style, and I’m pretty far from this today, but I think it will be quick to warm up to this again with daily practice. Not saying these are the best either. I had to really force myself to do them because of all the traumatic restlessness I was in those days, but I think now it will be easier to settle down into this habit, and that I will experience much more of a gentle flow. In fact drawing today was much more of a gentle flow. It only takes some will-power to sit down and do it, but once I have started it is usually pretty soothing, especially when my expectations doesn’t kill me as they used to do before.

A very interesting thing with drawing naturalistic style, and this is how it relates to meditation, and that is that I get out of my head and into my senses when I do it. Actually it is that same kind of resistance as before meditation before doing it, but as with meditation, when the resistance to just do it has been overcome I’m usually just very glad I finally sat down and did it.

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13 hours ago, Thittato said:

Seems to be working out well building up a habit of sketching naturalistic style every day. I’m building it up slowly by starting with simple objects, and then I’m going to advance gradually. These are 3 portraits I did in 2013 right after art school. They are sort of the peek of what I could do naturalistic style, and I’m pretty far from this today, but I think it will be quick to warm up to this again with daily practice. Not saying these are the best either. I had to really force myself to do them because of all the traumatic restlessness I was in those days, but I think now it will be easier to settle down into this habit, and that I will experience much more of a gentle flow. In fact drawing today was much more of a gentle flow. It only takes some will-power to sit down and do it, but once I have started it is usually pretty soothing, especially when my expectations doesn’t kill me as they used to do before.

A very interesting thing with drawing naturalistic style, and this is how it relates to meditation, and that is that I get out of my head and into my senses when I do it. Actually it is that same kind of resistance as before meditation before doing it, but as with meditation, when the resistance to just do it has been overcome I’m usually just very glad I finally sat down and did it.

382CC1B7-4796-467F-A32A-F36D502624EA.jpeg

5BBAF7ED-CE84-4D6B-B1D8-E139F58059A5.jpeg

2347B32F-152C-4EF9-ABB1-5727FBE61579.jpeg

I can relate to you. I had a drawing habit some time ago for my university class. And when I sat down to draw it felt like a meditation because one has to observe very carefully. 

Nice drawings btw.

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On 15.9.2019 at 2:23 PM, lennart said:

I can relate to you. I had a drawing habit some time ago for my university class. And when I sat down to draw it felt like a meditation because one has to observe very carefully. 

Nice drawings btw.

Thank you! Always nice when someone can relate 😊

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So I’m having a cold and I’ve been spending the last couple of days in bed. Meditated for 20 min yesterday. My whole yoga/meditation practice has been disrupted for probably 2 weeks now. I do a little bit of meditation here and there, but the sort of daily discipline aspect of it has been disrupted. I’m wondering if perhaps now is the time to transition back to having my primary focus on meditation again instead of yoga. But I will have to see about that 🤔

Of course everything now is colored by having a cold, but there are some strong clogged up energetic/emotional material that I need to get to the roots of. It has to do with feeling I have seen everything before so many times. Like I’m getting old and cynical. I think meditation is better for working with those kind of things. I call it «stuck material» and by going into it through meditation I can make it vibrate and put it into motion. Somehow experience always seems to get clogged up. Or that is how it seems to be for me at least. Maybe I could need a few days of meditation retreat 🤔

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1 hour meditation today. As I usually get a bit depressed when having a cold, it was nice to see my meditation generating some positive energy. Over and over it is the same - go into the pain, in whatever form it manifests, explore the resistance, surrender into it, and watch it transform into positive qualities. 

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20 min meditation before going to bed as well. I think full power is back again at the meditation. My technique is simple, but there are myriads ways of describing it. Basically I just try to make the totality of my whole experience vibrate by tuning into the small little flickerings in any sensation in my field of awareness and even in the sense of awareness itself. By doing this things that appears to be solid will start to turn into flow, and there is a sense that the energy-circulation in the whole body is stimulated. Along with this there is an energizing lightness that comes into my being, and the visual field behind my closed eyelids literally gets much lighter. There is a sense that experience gets re-newed and that old clogged up stuff gets washed out. When the experience gets strong my sense of my body almost gets blottered out and instead I feel like a vibrating ball of healing energy that makes my mind quiet and uplifted. Why on earth I spend so much time wallowing around in much darker energies when I have access to this healing experience is a mystery, but I guess I can only say that it is easy to forget, and sometimes there are a lot of dry patches as well where it just doesn’t feel juicy no matter how much I try to tune into these vibrations.

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45 min meditation today. Felt like the technique was pretty good, but sometimes a little sense of slipperiness so I got to remember to apply the technique also to these sensations so that I don’t get caught up in them and start to slide around. It can be tempting but one clue is to also see the suffering in that sort of haze.

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45 min sitting meditation today. I feel damn stuck in life, but through meditation I’m befriending this stuckness. Cannot exactly say that I made any breakthrough today, still feels like I’m in the middle of the tension, but maybe I’ve put it more into motion. Let us see about that. Regarding this up-comming exhibition that I’m having, and this art studio that I’m going to be having for at least three months with a friend I can say that I’ve been going through some extreme cycles ranging from feeling like I’m really going for it now to paralyzing doubt. I’ve concluded with that there is some kind of therapeutic charge here still related to whatever this is, and that either I end up as an art craftsman, or that this is some temporary art therapy where I’m working out some kind of tension through the medium of art, or both, and either way it is fine. Guess I’m not the one to say anything for certain at this point.

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1 hour meditation this morning. Wow, this was a much better meditation than the one yesterday. Flow, full circulation in my body, stillness in my mind, awesome concentration, negative energy quickly transforming into positive energy, etc.

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