Getting on Track
I used to journal.
I used to write every day, usually at night, sometimes for hours, working through all the labyrinths and riddles of my mind.
There was a natural process I’d go through without ever really being clear what that process was, or what exactly it was accomplishing. I’d feel sometimes, at the end of writing, that I’d figured everything out. But if I stopped and thought about what I actually had figured out, there was nothing clear or practical there.
It’s probably a lot like how plants grow, or how insects molt – they’re not really sure of what they’re doing, but they’re doing some process that’s right for them to continue on in life’s natural flow.
What are some of your processes that you go through that are vital to your life?
What are some processes you used to have that you’ve fallen away from.
Is it good you’ve stopped them?
What processes or habits would benefit you now?
I’ve been rethinking my idea of meditation lately.
I guess I’ll back up a bit.
Back when I was beginning the whole journaling thing back in freshman/sophomore year of college, I was going through a lot of the existential stuff humans experience when they are growing through something. Negative feelings came on, I began to recognize those feelings as anxiety, and I began looking for a way to deal with it.
My trouble with anxiety is that I was proud. I had the idea that I could think through anything, and if I couldn’t figure something out, more thinking would solve it eventually. This works great until you start thinking about scary things which cause scary feelings, and those feelings get worse and worse cause you keep thinking, and then your feelings cause your thoughts to be scarier.
So my way out was in letting myself accept that there were other ways to exist ‘correctly’ besides thinking. So before I really knew meditation was a thing, I’d prescribed myself with the goal of sitting with my thoughts and not losing myself in them. Seeing through the impermanence, the transience of all the things that ‘I’ experience internally. As long as I sat down on this cushion and didn’t move, there was no thought that could truly harm me. And I realized (read: actualized) this through practice.
I did 30 minutes of meditation a day for 4 years straight.
Then when I got to Japan, I decided to break the habit and quit cold turkey.
I was going into the next phase of whatever this journey was.
Where I rejected what seemed to be the one way to find peace and wisdom, and instead look for peace and wisdom everywhere in the world.
So now, 5 years since then, I’m really rethinking my idea of what meditation is.
There are so many forms.
And there are so many wise, happy people in the world.
So the real essence of what all these self help techniques, all these enlightenment practices, all these get-in-touch-with-God sermons, are getting at – well it’s got to be the same thing.
And that thing must be of the nature that it cannot be defined – that is, stated in a way that will always convey the meaning accurately.
Any person can define happiness, or peace, or introspection, or what they mean by God – but they’ll only ever be getting at their understanding of it. And even then, just getting at it.
So anyways. I guess I’ve become kind of a universalist.
Strongly against the idea that all things are the same, that all things are relative. I hate this idea.
All things have meaning, and that there is never a right answer.
There is only one wrong answer, and that is the thought that you’ve found the answer.
There are kind of two minds you can have when meditating. There are two many practices, in my understanding. Mindfulness and vipassana (concentration). You know, one is broad, open, accepting, all-encompassing, and the other is focused, (not in a negative way) narrow, unified, strong.
In either of these practices, the aim is the same. To see things as they are, to use the technique to bring clarity and compassion to yourself and your world.
You can spend just as much meaningful time on one as the other, and you can spend just as much time appreciating and practicing both, as well as picking one and focusing on it.
This flexibility in the universe is fascinating.
Back when I did all that journaling, and then meditating stuff,
It was the internal preparation for a lot of external movement that followed the next few years.
I’m kind of getting the feeling that all this journaling and thoughtful stuff I’m doing now, and really,
what I’ve been doing during these 12 months of being unable to progress in life…
It’s all to get ready to move again.
So enough of this philosophy stuff.
Here’s what I’m going to do be doing from now on:
- Blogs every week to stay organized, note my plans, and of course talk about anything stak related. Also going to do a 10~ish part series reflecting on my 7 months in quarantine and the process of returning to Japan.
- A movie every week. This is going to be my rule. It doesn’t matter what kind of thing, but I have to make one every week.
- Build up a youtube page. Channels that follow my interests.
- One of these will be a series of videos on learning English for Japanese speakers.
- One will be of course, videos I make for stak. I will make one stak commercial every month.
- One will probably be a series of music playlists and music videos as I find the time and songs to put them together.
- I want to make stuff on games and esports, but I’m not sure what angle to take on this yet.
- I want to also make a random series about… thoughts, people? Uncategorized.
- It would be cool to one day revisit Sounds of Japan.
I’ll also be you know, moving around again so, back on the photography grind. stak and personal instagrams, let’s go.
I’ll be back next week. Thanks for keeping up.