Louis’ practice log 3 - Discussion
Louis’ practice log 3
Hello all. It's my time to hop back on the saddle and keep myself accountable. I plan on doing a mix of samatha and freestyle noting aloud in my sessions and I plan to practice twice a day. May all beings be free from suffering in this lifetime.
All the best Louis
Thanks papa che! I just sat for 45 minutes. Started with 15 minutes of box breathing, which involves breathing in for four seconds, holding for four seconds, breathing out for four and then holding for four and repeating. I like to imagine the numbers moving around a box which is great for concentration and I find is working better for me than regular breath counting. I then moved into freestyle noting aloud. I tried my best to accept all the sensations that came up as really that is the only place where suffering can not survive; within true acceptance of whatever is right now! As some of you know from my previous logs I suffered a mental breakdown this year and have been really struggling with feelings of extreme guilt and anxiety (I have been diagnosed with OCD). This is all due to obsessions over whether I acted innapropiately in a sexual way with my ex-girlfriend who I broke up with almost a year ago now. There were definitely many times throughout our relationship where I persuaded her to have sex with me which was very wrong, and I definiely may have over-stepped the mark with some of my past actions. But a lot of my suffering is down to not being able to exactly remember all possible sexual encounters we had, and wondering if some of the things I did counted as rape or not. This led me to search my memory bank as hard as I possibly could for months in order to arrive at some reassurance and certainty that I am infact not a rapist. This has caused me a significant amount of suffering this year, and I have to say that this year has been the hardest year of my life at the age of 20. I even reached out to her a few months ago and said I feel as if I have done something horrible to you, Do you remember anything? She basically said that she can't remember and that she hopes I feel less guilty. Any normal person would just move on with their lives after that reassurance but my OCD just kept saying well maybe she forgot that you did such horrible things to her? I was again bombarded with these images of sexual scenarios that I can't distinguish between imagination and actual memory. Basically a shit tonne of uncertainty that I was not able to accept. Sitting with this uncertainty, fear and guilt in the sit today really helped. Being able to accept the uncertainty over these images and sensations really does help. Even if I did such things, So what? Accept and move on. She's moved on, so should I. I am getting therapy with NOCD currently and I am doing over an hour and a half of exposure and response prevention each day to practice disregarding all of these urges to search my memory for reasurance, disregarding all these images and feelings of guilt and so on. Sitting with these shitty feelings with utter acceptance has helped a lot and I am excited to continue sitting. I even dabbled with some self inquiry during the sit: "Who is scared of being a rapist?", "Who is hearing?", "Who is feeling?", "Who is talking?" and so on. I will update you all later with my evening sit. Just thought I'd give a brief intro. Thank you all!
Sat another 45er tonight. Sadness, tiredness, a shit tonne of aversion, guilt, images of all sorts, and a strong urge to get the fuck up and go do something else as it felt as if I was wasting my time. But I remembered to accept everything and just sat there in the shitty pool of mud until that bell rang.