PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Meditation: Class 8

The final class of this series got off to an ominous start. I have had a little cough tickle for the last three or four days but not a full flung anything. When I arrived at class I set up my "nest" with the bolsters, pillows, mats, etc and settled in for a long winter's "nap."

About ten minutes into the session, as Corinne was helping us settle in with her soothing voice, I had to cough. I suppressed and reached for a cough drop even though the room had quieted and people were beginning to enter the Yogi Nirdra "state." I suppressed again and realized I wan't going to make it. So I got up to leave the room and when I hit the hallway by the stairs, my cough exploded.

I proceeded down and around the corner and coughed, choked, hacked, all but vomited. Pretty huh? This behavior is not new so I was not worried but I hated to disturb the group and was feeling a little sad for myself at missing the last session.

A few minutes later, one of the group came to find me. She is a doctor and made my welfare part of her Yogi Nidra in making sure I was OK. I was moved by her action.

After a while my attack subsided and I went back upstairs and settled in just outside the classroom, laying on my back on the carpeted floor. I was surprised that I was able to get into a deep meditative state pretty quickly as I listened to Corinne talk about breathing, feeling the inhaled breath fill my entire body and the exhaled breath go out into the universe.

Then we arrived at the crux of this session, taking a deep look at our Heartfelt Desires (which we have looked at in various ways over the sessions.) This time we were to notice any emotions that were involved with our Heartfelt Desire. We shifted back and forth between the emotion and its opposite. Part of the purpose of this activity is to acknowledge that everything changes but that there is one essential thing that does not change and that is the Essential Self which is apart from Ego, being critical or judgmental of self, etc. I lovingly held both emotions in my arms and asked what they wanted me to know.

In my Heartfelt Desire, I once again looked towards my responsibilities as caregiver for Gregory. The emotions I alternated were Immense Sorrow and Great Joy.

The SORROW being our situation, the slow disintegration of Gregory, my loss of a friend and lover and life mate.

The JOY being what a good job I am doing of helping Gregory along his path, how happy and content he is, how good our life continues to be, and the many things I still enjoy doing with him as well as all of the creative life endeavors in which I continue to involve myself.

In relating to my Essential Self, I realized that both my SORROW and my JOY were the same ... LOVE! Love for Gregory and love for myself.

Next we looked for Beliefs that were supporting and Beliefs that were defeating the desires. Turns out my Critic is usually on full force telling me where I fall short of my goals, how I could be doing much better, what a failure I am.

At the same time my Essential Self is telling me that I am a wonderful, loving, creative caregiver, always doing my best even though I loose patience now and then and may not be as perfect as I would like.

As horrible as our situation is, the quality of our life and of my life is good. I continue to grow, to accomplish for myself and help keep Gregory's roller coaster of a life on the tracks.

I bring calm and love and order to both of us. There will ALWAYS be room for improvement and I am always seeking that. I am not as bad as my Critic would like me to believe.

Another awareness I have been working on is the ability to separate my Ego or Essential Nature from my Essential Self. I can almost FEEL who I am when my thoughts are quiet and I am not trying to label, identify, understand, interpret. Not totally sure what this means yet but wanted to mention it.

I am taking this class at the Heartwood Center in Evanston with Corinne Peterson.

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