RE: Diaries (was: Re: The Pause that Refreshes)

From: altamira (
Date: Sun Jun 11 2000 - 09:23:03 MDT

Martin, I'd be interested to learn more of the use you make of your

Here's one way I use meditation in conjunction with memories of past events.
I've found that there are certain moments in my life that stand out from the
others in that they're brighter and seem to have been experienced from a
state of mind that I'll call transcendant for want of a better word. (I
feel as though I must step carefully here to avoid being misinterpreted as
referring to something supernatural. Unfortunately, our language doesn't
contain words that exactly fit the things I'm trying to describe). The
characteristics of this state of mind include a feeling of timelessness, or
being outside of time; profound peace of mind; invulnerability; and great
beauty of an indescirbable sort--a beauty that might include, for example,
the "seeing" of radiation above and below the usual range of visible light.
If I sit quietly and let go of my present concerns, I can access these
isolated moments which occurred at different times of my life. The earliest
I can remember took place when I was a small child in Philadelphia (I would
have been around a year old, I guess). There was an alley behind our house,
and in the summer the dust in the alley would sparkle in the sunlight. Just
that. Looking at the dust sparkling in the sunlight. The next I can
remember took place in Houston when I must have been around 4. Standing in
the front yard of our house on a sunny day, listening to the engines of a
DC3 flying overhead. I didn't know at the time that it was a DC3, but
whenever I hear one now, I'm taken back to that moment. And so forth.

If I take some time each day, maybe only a couple of minutes here and there,
I find that I experience a qualitative difference in the way I perceive the
present context of my life. I'm able to find solutions to problems that
seemed before to be impossible obstacles. I'm able to grasp relationships
between objects that I couldn't grasp before, to see the way different
elements of an ecosystem work together, for example. And, one of the most
interesting aspects of this technique, people seem different to me: more
accessible, more friendly, more beautifully complex and worthy of respect.

When I begin to feel frustrated or depressed, if I take a moment at the
onset of the unpleasant feelings to access these brighter states of mind, I
can often pull myself out of these feelings of anger, hopelessness, or
whatever non-constructive state of mind I happen to be slipping into. I'm
not implying here that I ignore real problems or obstacles. I'm saying
rather that I shift my pov so that I begin to look for opportunities
associated with the thing or event I was thinking of before as a hopeless


-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Martin Ling
Sent: Sunday, June 11, 2000 8:47 AM
Subject: Diaries (was: Re: The Pause that Refreshes)

On Sun, Jun 11, 2000 at 02:56:38PM +0100, Amara Graps wrote:
> Perhaps this is a prosaic suggestion to something more imaginative
> that you might have been holding in your mind, but
> How about recording ourselves using the suggestion I said some
> weeks back? (Answering "What does it feel like to be ME?" at
> regular intervals.) It conects backwards, but one can always
> make committments to future selves at the same time.
> It's a way to see our own tracks through our own life-forest.
> Looking at one's life-tracks can be enlightening. It also
> shows how the sum of every experience makes us who we are today.

This is the exact reason I keep a diary. For those who do not, I cannot
recommend anything more highly. A month of life in which you have recorded
your thoughts and the things which have concerned and affected you can
be worth an entire year which you went through without, in my opinion.

Even after just a short while, you begin to become more aware of the
processes which shape you. You can probabably consider major events and
changes in your life, and look at the different ways you thought about
things - but I guaruntee you would be amazed to look back over some of
the inbetween steps you may have forgotten.

Coupled with meditation (the two usually overlapping), it has brought me
an incredible insight into not just myself, but others also. I'm
surprised it didn't occur to me to mention here earlier, in fact.

I'd love to discuss this with others, and would be happy to share some
advice on what I've found the best way to go about doing this.


-----[ Martin J. Ling ]-----[ ]-----

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