Disappointed by Breath Function

First I must say, it is a beautiful interface. The simultaneous pulses to let you know when to breath in are lovely, allowing you to close your eyes.

I’m talking about my iWatch, which I believe has been rebranded to the Apple Watch, appropriately, to distinguish ‘pre’ from ‘post’ Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs is dead. It is obvious, but I digress.

That said and I must admit, this is not that big of a deal, BUT we’ve all come to expect more. Somewhere in my imagination there was a relationship between, let’s say, your heart rate and lack of movement and your watch responds with a reminder to breath.

Useful, insightful and welcome. However the reminders appear completely random. Or worse, at timed intervals, relating to nothing. And let’s face it. Not including my meditation as mindful moments, does somehow rub me the wrong way.

I may just turn it off completely until it is improved, if it ever is. As I mentioned earlier, Steve Jobs is dead.



A metaphor has sprung up in my life. I have started to charge my iWatch when I meditate. If I charge it for the hour of my meditation and put it on “Do Not Disturb” at night, I can wear it all the rest of the time. I choose not to wear it in the shower. But the tub, absolutely.

So as my battery runs down I realize I have not meditated in a while and probably should soon, before my battery runs out. 🙂


Super Day

Oh, yes. I had another super day, just like I had before. I got a huge amount of stuff done. In addition to the list of things I blogged about earlier, several more things came to mind.

Except for my taxes, which I’d hoped to have done today, I got it all done. I did do the grunt work. I have all my paperwork entered into an excel file. Now all I have to do is put the right numbers into the right holes. I should be able to do that pretty efficiently, tomorrow.

A myriad of tasks. I made more progress on more projects today than I have in weeks. I got my move and stand rings, but the exercise minutes are getting harder. Activity only counts above a certain heart rate on an iWatch.

This distinction allows the app to correct for the normal movement you do in a day, when your heartbeat is average for you. I only got 10 minutes or one third of the goal.

I likely got my exercise minutes when I got my ladder out to change the lightbulb in my kitchen ceiling. The ceiling slants up to meet the ceiling of the second story. So it is up about one and a half stories. It is a lot of work to get up there and change the bulbs, but I digress.

I’m attributing it to the meditation. Last time I had done a solid block and I believe this time as well. Worth looking into.

Since I’m not meditating daily, I seem to meditate a lot, get super productive and upbeat and then I take a day or two off and feel myself getting irritated and impatient. 

Blogging, Spirituality


This is a photo from Palas de Rei, Galicia, Spain. Not in any way related to the blog, but I wanted to add a photo.

So, I caught myself bitching, to myself, about other drivers. We all make mistakes and pretend we don’t so we can get all judgy about other people.

On a wintery, snow covered night, I intentionally pulled in front of a woman who had to veer into the other lane to miss me. I don’t mean to say I cut her off on purpose. I thought there was another lane and there wasn’t.

I figure it’s karma, because I know I got angry when someone did it to me. But I digress, the important thing is I recognized I felt irritated. I am getting irritated with the little inconveniences in life so infrequently now, it felt unwanted in my body.

So I’ve crossed the other line. I’m not doing vipassana enough. Now I’ve gotten to the point where I’m irritated when I should have been equanimitous.

Which, to me means I’m not meditating enough. I notice I’m grumpier when I meditate less. So I need to step it up.

Blogging, Spirituality

More Meditation?

This is a picture I took in Santa Colomba de Somoza, Castile and Leon, Spain. While I was walking the Camino.

Vipassana is increasing in my days. My meditating is increasing, I’ve surpassed the five times a week I promised myself.

I find I notice my mind is resting on my body making me feel comforted and relaxed. Equanimity, not labelling things as good or bad, just as is.

Notice any knots, Annica, change. Annica is the word to describe an understanding that everything is impermanent. Do not label it as good or bad just accept it as is and know everything changes.

Unlike calming meditations, wonderful for clearing your mind, vipassana focuses the mind on the body. That place that is experiencing this moment directly, not just talking about it.

I realize how stories overlap in patterns and the mood becomes real in your own life. What I mean is that when I sit and observe my thoughts they bring with them a mood, a visual pattern and a set of thoughts. Ignoring this chatter, even for an hour a day, gives you a break.

It is making my whole life feel better. Better enough that I’m willing to re-examine each black pebble and see if there is more truth there.


Fear of Happiness?

My daughter and I went to a paint night. This is what I brought home. It was fun and entertaining.

Wednesday scared me a little. The energy, focus, and joy of living I experienced overwhelmed me. I’ve become reluctant to meditate, but I will keep the promise I made to myself. Five for six weeks.

Interesting… I had a great day and it was so unfamiliar it frightened me a little. That is worth a little deconstructing.

Blogging, Spirituality

To Mantra, or Not To Mantra? That is the question. 

A clear and strong message, before you even apply to go the Vipassana retreat is that you are agreeing to try the meditation, as taught, while at the course. There are stipulations when you can leave. Like not at all, before you finish the course. Some people do leave early, you are not kept by force.

This is emphasized because there is an understanding of how important rituals, mantras and symbols are in a person’s life. There is no judgement placed on these, but you understand, before you sign up, to set them aside for the time of the course.

Goenka Ji explained this in many ways. The easiest to illustrate the importance of this is the use of mantras while meditating. He acknowledged the advantages of these practices and explained some of the benefits of using them. Then he requested everyone cease and desist.

You see, Vipassana teaches you how to focus your mind on your body. If you are trying to simultaneously repeat a Mantra, or visualize a God, and focus on your body, you are hindering your own progress. You are trying to teach your mind how to focus on your body, not a word or an image.