Monday, November 30, 2015

Banks and Meditations

Well, I didn’t manage to get to doing any writing as mentioned in my last blog post. Just after finishing that post I checked my emails and saw one from my solicitor. Apparently a deposit I made with her company was paid from the account of Mrs C Asher. WTF? I’d had a joint account with Caroline until more than a year ago when I put it in my name alone. My statements and my card all come with just my name. However, when I looked online I saw that on the main account page they had removed my name and left Caroline’s. I tried to change that online, but when I looked at the bit where personal details were my name was there. I therefore phoned HSBC and of course did not know my telephone banking security number. This resulted in me having to go through a series of robots before talking to a human being. I ended up on hold while my telephone banking was sorted. The human had then misunderstood me and when I finally got my problem through to her I was put onto online banking, and put on hold again. Finally I was told that this would be resolved in seven working days. And there went my writing day.

Another thing that has been using up my time is meditation. Over this last weekend I’ve spent about two hours a day doing this. I feel it is time well spent because, if I can get my mind straight, writing is no problem. When I started out setting myself a daily word count I found it difficult to get 1,000 done in a day. This went up to 2,000 in a day with the time it took me to write them steadily dwindling. If I told you how long, when I am ‘in the flow’, it take me to write 2,000 words you would start yelling at me and asking why I don’t write a book a month. It doesn’t work like that, and I’m not telling you anyway.

The meditation seems to be working. Any of you who have read my posts here or on Facebook will know that I am pragmatic and about as unmystical and irreligious as it is possible to be. I was of course very cynical about ‘mindfulness’ – about meditation. But I am aware of the plasticity of the brain and how it can be changed. I was also desperate for something effective that didn’t involve SSRIs or other drugs and their side effects. Meditation, I have found, relaxes and calms me and this lasts for some time after I stop. While I am doing it I find I can consciously cause a pleasurable relaxation throughout by body. It is also the first time I’ve found an off switch for my brain that hasn’t involved quantities of alcohol that would have a ‘health professional’ wincing. Then this Sunday something else happened.

I've been meditating using various hypnotic recordings. I just used one done by a guy called Benjamin Bonetti that was 55 minutes long. Quite swiftly I was very relaxed, so much so I couldn't feel my hands. Then, about halfway through, I had my first experience with hypnogogia while meditating - a hypnogogic hallucination. Just for a moment everything got really bright, and a blue sky appeared above me with mackerel clouds fleeing across it. My reaction was a brief panic and I switched that off as if clicking a switch. I then instantly regretted doing so because it simply felt good. I want this to happen again. Ain't the mind a strange and wonderful thing?

That’s all for now. I will get on with some writing, then some Greek reading … supposing I don’t have another email I need to react to…


Cannae said...

Really pleased to hear you're doing so well - despite the addition of telephone customer support. I suspect that would make Deepak Chopra need a stiff drink.

Max Kaehn said...

In Zen, the term for those hallucinations is "makyo", the devil's cave, and they tell us to just keep sitting and not to think it's a sign of enlightenment.

Neil said...

Ah yes... that little thing which ends up taking a few hours and ends up putting you in a grumpier mood ... customer support.

Had one this morning, spoof email from "paypal intl", ends up wasting 40 minutes, just checking things and deciding to instigate 2 phase authentication on paypal... not sure why I hadn't done it before.

So you recommend mediation then? A couple of people of said I could do with it :)

Neal Asher said...

Cannae, yes, customer support can be irritating, but I suppose it's partially my own fault not noting my telephone banking security number which, apparently, you should not write down. Ho ho.

Max, yes I read that the hallucinations should be ignored. However that idea stems from the Buddhist side of things so is not applicable in my case. I'm not searching for enlightenment or trying to attain nirvana - I just want to cripple my mental negativity.

Neil, yes I would recommend meditation if you have problems. Scientific studies have shown that it actually changes the structure of the brain.

Unknown said...

Tried it 40 odd years ago and found it made me too nice to run a family and a demanding job. .. Lot of bastards out there take advantage. They all end up dead in your books..... Very fitting! 20 minutes meditation a day was good for me and easy mantra.
Thanks for stories.