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Lions, and Tigers, and Bears...

Good laird, this brain of mine be tired! This evening marked the end of the weekend's Way of Shambhala level. III, meditation retreat, thereby concluding a rough total of fifteen hours of meditation and discussion. Just to make things fun, a date with a girl by the name of Jen was crammed into Saturday night as well. She'd contacted me through one of those dating sites, and, as she was both cute, and a dancer, I decided to meet with her after the day's practice had ended.

The date wasn't so great; not bad per se, but a little tried. She has some issues with nervousness and anxiety -- by her own admission -- and it showed through. She spoke a little bit too loudly, a little bit too quickly, and was projecting a defensive persona to some extent. It took a bit of time to get past that, and to get a sort of personal connection going. Nevertheless, she hinted strongly that she'd like to go out dancing, and so I invited her to come out next Friday. It seems unlikely that anything will come of it, but I was feeling rather open after umpteen hours of meditating, and didn't figure on there being any harm in a second date; we're both clear on not looking for anything serious from each other, at any rate.

The meditation weekend was much more engaging, but rather difficult to write about... We sat a lot. We also breathed quite a bit... There were tea breaks, and discussions, and a small dinner at the end. Sort of difficult to engage an audience with that sort of stuff, isn't it? Well, the specific meditation practice which was the focus for this level, was directed towards direct or simple perception of the surrounding environment, with a recourse to mindfulness of breath as an anchor in the face of discursive or narrative thought. There's likely a much shorter Tibetan or Sanskrit term for that, but unfortunately, it's not known to me.

Simply put, the purpose is to mind one's senses of one's environment while withholding the habitual mind's tendency to impose narrative upon whatever or whoever happens to be around. Essentially, to with-hold the imagination and mental formations from what one comes into contact with. Oh yes, and there's all the fun watching your thoughts fly off to Oz every other minute, while you're simply trying to pay a moment's direct attention to the room you happen to be sitting in...

Anyways, too tired to write any more at the moment. 'Have to translate a page or two of The Apology tomorrow, and meet E.G. for a coffee after discussion groups.

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