Monday and Tuesday – 20 minutes before going to bed. I diligently maintained focus on my breath. My evening sittings are usually very challenging due to tiredness. But somehow I managed to sit without experiencing much drowsiness at all. I think it had something to do with the extra effort I put into maintaining concentration. I was focused to the point where I started to experience pleasure.
Yesterday – half an hour in the morning. Again, I focused all my attention on the breath. Pleasant again.
This morning, I sat for an hour. Nothing special. First 40 minutes – good concentration. Remaining 20 – I struggled a bit with drowsiness. I noticed that at times, even though I was focused on the breath, there were thoughts in the background. As if my mind was doing two things at the same time. I remembered that I read somewhere that different regions of the brain generate different streams of thoughts. That our behaviour is not dictated by a single command centre, rather various processes fighting for a domination.
I thought about my practice. That only a year ago I was struggling with awful pain in the lower back just after 10 minutes of sitting. That meditating for an hour seemed like a complete impossibility. (On those few occasions when I dared to sit for that long each and every second was a torture.) That I was only able to keep undistributed attention on the breath for no longer than 5 seconds at a time. I feel very hopeful.
A few days ago, I had to drive to Co. Cavan early in the morning. I snapped this picture of a sunrise: