Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Just Sitting

Today I got to do zazen with acupuncture needles in my back. Instead of a bell I would wait for JS to come back, see how the meridian points on my back looked. After the first round of 10 minute intervals he noted that I shouldn't strain my back muscles overly sitting upright as I was, but then observed that I was entirely used to sitting upright, still, quiet for long stretches at a time.

And I was fine. Quiet, doing metta practice for myself. Mostly just breathing. Just sitting. It was a rather intense experience being aware of the room, the needles, the sounds. Certainly the most interesting opportunity for zazen I've had in a long time!

Then the fatigue and headache started. JS had said I could carefully lie down on my right side or stomach, but I felt uncertain about movement with the needles still in my back. I've sat in the zendo while feeling downright ghastly at times, just present and waiting until the bell would ring. So I waited for the bell-like response of the door, staying present to the rising fatigue, so like what I'd felt in sesshin in August.

When he checked on me then JS said I should lie down and I agreed. I was settled onto my side and felt myself drifting slightly. Not spacing out, not exactly sleeping, but hazy. More metta, more feeling the breath, feeling the energy tingle and move across my skin. Many, many more minutes as meridians flared even more strongly before eventually settling down entirely. Over 2 hours would pass before I got up.

I'm very shaky tonight, very drained and depleted. JS said that the energy that's getting flushed out of my system by the acupuncture is deeply chaotic. However, he noted that it was the energy that I've been running on, regardless of how unhealthy it is. Getting this energy out, detoxifying my system from it will feel depleting, exhausting. He said I may even feel a bit like I have a hangover.

My doctor ordered lab work for my vitamin D to be checked. Will have to fit that in. No one, including my Mom, seems to know what my blood type is. CK and I are going to make plans to donate at the local Red Cross. It is a good thing to do, I used to actually do it regularly in college & my early 20s, and it is apparently the quickest, cheapest way to learn your blood type! JS is very curious to know the lab results and the blood type, noting there may be some nutritional things to recommend once he knows that.

I stayed home from the Dharma center tonight and CK stayed with me. We picked up take-out from Pho Jasmine and have been watching episodes of Buffy on DVD. The energy cycles go from depleted to drained entirely, I'm trying to keep drinking lots of water and green tea to help my system flush toxins.

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