day 51, 52, 53 and 54

Oh dear. Busy and busy-brained. Two days, 30 minutes of “mindful” sitting – as mindful as possible, at least. 45 minutes of group zazen yesterday. Work after was so hectic I have no recollection of how the zazen itself went. 30 minutes of zazen this morning, with some noisy work brain happening. It’s all fine. No judging mind. We keep going.

day 47

3o minutes sitting after sanzen. I mentioned to my teacher that sometimes, when counting the breath, I go way past 10 without noticing. She laughed and told me I don’t need to count any more. So I didn’t, and realised how much it’s been getting in the way. I will still count involuntarily – and that’s fine, I won’t fight that. But I won’t try to count either. I’m also going to stop “scoring” my discipline. This was intended as a way to show what proportion of my zazen was clear-minded. But it inevitably sounds more like a self-critical review of the sit, which isn’t helpful. On another note, sometimes now, when I sit, I can almost instantaneously fall into a meditative state. This feels like progress – it’s not something I really experienced last year. A misty morning. Autumn has arrived and is making itself known.

day 45

A rare, mid-morning sit. My most successful sit yet of those that haven’t happened at the start of the day. This coincides with a rethinking of my working day. This morning I got up early to get some writing done because, it’s becoming apparent, this is by far the best time. I can then reward myself with a mid-morning sit before getting on with the inevitable faff of the rest of the working day, finishing early and taking catch-up breaks whenever humanly possible. A good session.

Discipline: 7/10.