Mirror of Zen Blog

“The Inching Progress of a Little Child” (II): Another Snore Test

The chronic apnea gets another look, thanks to the prodding and the scheduling up to installing the webbing and tubing, my good strong practicing Sisters in the community. Doing retreat here or in Athens or Korea.

The mouth isn’t even taped fully shut yet, as I always do. It feels strange now to sleep with mouth open, except a nap. The nose-breathing has made my sleeps more deeply satisfying, reparative.

Still, my local doctor, a stern unsmiling machine, thinks that mouth-taping is stupid as a therapeutic, and she wants me to continue with this vice grip of plastic in my mouth all night as the standard treatment. So she has urged me to do this test with the plastic in my mouth, to compare with the previous test when I slept with mouth taped shut.

German technology and “Om mani padme hummmm…” carrying me into the arms of Morpheus. Sleeping but remaining wakeful of the appearance of the appearance of objects of the consciousnesses — eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and thinking-mind — and turning always back to the root. “What sees these things appearing through the nose? What hears that sound outside?” while consciousness separates itself, rationality becomes a cubist approximation, shreds, and image —

the Black.
No consciousness.

A little death, actually. Truly. A letting go into it and how quickly do you return to wakefulness? How long must you wander before you come to wake up again? Making this habit strong again is perhaps the reason why we need a consistent, regular practice.

And though I can still maintain this ancient-Now insight whether I formally “practice” or not, after all these years, the recent injuries -– in the knee, and then the hemorrhoids – – I have only lived the practicing life lying down for the last month and a half. And it is exceedingly challenging to maintain alertness in practice when the only position is horizontal for it. The only time sitting up must be given over to this crazed project of producing an enjoyable and hopefully helpful “online course“. So, I’m pretty wiped when I get to lie down again.

All I’m sharing here is, I do miss practicing regularly in the Dharma Room with everybody doing the retreat here. It feels strange to live in the temple and not be participating at the hour we have always practiced. It is certainly challenging to practice a “wakefulness” mind technology when the only position open to you is lying down with a heated pad wrapped around your knee. A very too-comfy meditation cushion I’ve never experienced before. And many tempting podcasts and recommended videos that could be reached for. (Although I am pretty much strictly abstinent there, due mostly perhaps to the demands of this amazing project-experience we have all been having together. It has been exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. Many boundaries will be pushed here, I hope in directions constructive for good souls to build a strong self-practice that opens their life to the cosmic Nowness of it all, this infinitely perfect Now.

But we are all wiped out from it all, because we have given it our all. Just a cool record I need to leave behind after my ashes are long-ago spread in a German forest. Some instruction in the basic technology that has helped me do the waking up I am still striving to do every moment. Habits take longer. And apnea is one dark manifestation of some undigested karma (and congenital bad structuring, as I share its severe form with at least one sister several brothers and the father, who was legendary at the art of breath stoppage during sleep). The reptile snake-tail of lingering karma.

Schlaf gut!

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