Five degrees

These two changes, if I may practise them and make them my own practice, may be liberating. If I can accept my own feelings and not be angry and fearful that I am feeling them, then I may be fully aware of them without nearly so much pain. And if I can forgive myself for arriving in the place where I find myself, then I am freed to mourn for it. If I am upset that I am stuck in my own room, and blame myself for it, that just loads more guilt on myself. If I am upset that I am stuck in my room and I forgive myself, then I can express how unhappy I am being in this position in life, and mourn for it, and work through that pain. It is all liberating. I hope.

I look at the world slightly differently, as if I have just turned my head five degrees, and my perspective is utterly changed.

Ever since my operation, I have suffered slight stress incontinence, just the odd dribble, and the pelvic floor exercises were slow to work. And on Thursday I did not have a pad, so went without. I have gone without pads since. You can imagine how I feel: intensely self-conscious, worried that I will leak, and smell, and have visible damp patches- and increasing delight, scarcely able to believe it, that I am OK. The physical cause for that shame seeming to have left, I feel able to mourn how painful it has been for me. While I had the problem, I had to endure it, and could not mourn.

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I love P’s meditation technique. He becomes aware of his physical sensations, first in his feet: what is under his feet, whether grass, carpet, socks, whatever. Then his legs, and slowly up the rest of his body. Then what he tastes and smells. Then what he hears, first the nearby, loudest sounds, then sounds further away, and then beyond them the silence. Then he opens his eyes and becomes aware of what he sees, which can be an intense experience. He then repeats the process. He can do this anywhere: in this field, under the Skylark-

The Skylark! I had not heard one before, and found it amazing, flying so high, singing louder than a smart-phone-

or on the Tube. He goes through the procedure twice: the first time might take twenty minutes, the second is much shorter. Some people say that is not proper meditation, he should be keeping his mind still, or paying attention to his breath, but he likes it. Sounds proper enough to me.

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