so far

I’m about 21 days into study of Buddhism / meditation. It was around the middle of May when I started.

Effects:

  • Within the first 48 hrs, much less anger. Essentially no longer afflicted with anger.  Internet/information/media addiction gone.
  • Within the first few days, much less anxiety. Fear of free time mostly gone.
  • Days/weeks later, fear diminishing more generally. Fear is different than anxiety.
  • Days/weeks later, no more waking up in a panic (heart racing). Better mornings.
  • My home is clean.
  • I stay with my notebooks — I have a consistent practice of journaling.  Whereas in the past, this would fall away.
  • In general, more freedom from habit. More seeing the habit/neuroses.
  • More prone to surprising myself.
  • When anger appears, it is distinct from the surrounding experience — not a blur within a blur.
  • I look forward to relapse — I hope for relapse. Because it’s a chance for testing the durability of the practices.
  • There is value in simply having a new interest, apart from anything else.

Perhaps also:

  • Better ability to listen at readings.

I’m appropriately suspicious of any progress that’s rapid.  I see in my notebook there is recent instability, at least.  As recently as 5-7 days ago, there were thoughts about moving far away, leaving the country.  Not panicked thoughts, though.  More like checking to see what it’s like to think about leaving the country now that I don’t need to leave.


Postscript, Aug 11: “Essentially no longer afflicted with anger.” This is definitely not true. Still have anger. Still have fear. And depression at times. Anxiety is definitely less intense than it was pre-Buddhism. And there is some improvement in my ability to work with anger to keep it from harming me too much. I’ve had various sorts of “relapse” multiple times now, so I no longer look forward to it very much. Fear of free time has further diminished, and freedom from habit increased.