No, I haven't fallen off the cart!
I just haven't had time to write a decent post.
Last night was a most vexing night indeed. I couldn't string together enough mindfulness to count the breath to ten. Just total muddle mind.
Tonight wasn't so bad, but still there was a lot of preoccupation with various concerns from the day to day of my life. I tried counting each part of breathing, then only the outs while feeling the ins. I tried mindfulness of the posture, mindfulness of calm, and bent my attention toward a perception of light (the lamp light shining through my eyelids). I'm sure I tried other things in an effort to keep my mind from becoming consumed with its preoccupations.
Oh well. The trouble is that my daily life has issues which cannot be resolved unless I first give up craving. And therein lies the rub: how does one give up craving unless the mind is brought to a basic level of clarity first? And how to attain that clarity when these cravings persists? Eieieie!
Now, about sleep. It would be easier to get if there weren't so many light bulbs and beeping thingies in the world. I kid you not. The ability to turn of a frickin light so that I can read a book, or fool around on the internet, is a huge part of the problem. Doubly so for those that work away the day time hours while retaining the desire to spend time in leisure pursuits? Do them in the evening and at night, of course. Just tonight I could hear my neighbour in the adjoining apartment turn on a movie at midnight. Then banging around very loudly in the kitchen. Did he just return home then? Was this his time to unwind? Yet I know I am still awake, as are a few of my neighbours down the hall (who sometime have kids yelling and crying at 1 am). Can't any of us prioritize sleep?
Although sleep is a very, very basic need, a essential need, its lack is easily justified because sleep is a state of doing nothing, and so seems expendable. Yet, doing nothing is just what we really need.
Here I am, talking of sleep at 1:24am! Kind of a buffoon I am. Haha. Sigh. Just a hamster on a wheel, I think.
I really like that bit about Ajahn Brahm and the freedom to sleep at the beginning of retreat. I can imagine how good the sleep would be then, when there are no distractions from it. I can almost feel the relief!