Day 55- unsuccessful

Today I am tired. More than tired, I am exhausted. We stayed up late for our last night in Mexico and after only 2 hours of sleep, I wake up because my nose is bleeding. I stand sleepily over the sink until the blood clots and then wonder back to bed, this time lying on my back so that I don’t mess the bed if my nose starts again. After less than an hour, my alarm goes off with AC/DC’s ‘Back to Black’ and I turn it off in a zombie-like state, then lie down, willing my eyes to open. Once a week in Mexico, to reduce pollution, each car must abstain from driving between 5am and 10pm. This morning is my cousin’s turn, so he has to get us to the airport by 4.30am so that he can get to work by 5am. Our flight is at 7.55am anyway. We wonder through the airport, absorbed by the emails, blogs and Facebook notifications of which we have been deprived for the past four days. I can’t help it, but my life revolves around this intangible and mysterious phenomenon called internet. Often I try to remember what it was like before the internet ruled my life and with horror I realise I can’t. The only time of purity I spend where I am completely shut off from the world is when I am on the boat. The greatest thing about that, is that after I forget about the internet for two weeks, it seems to forget about me and after several sea trips, I eventually realise that I barely miss it. This year is harder since I have committed to blogging about my 365 days in Bliss meditations and I wonder if, somehow, it is creating a conflict between the purist intention of non-attachment to the material world, and withdrawal of the senses, to having to write about the meditation and upload it on the internet? Obviously I don’t get a chance to upload the post every day but I do have to sit down and open my shiny little Macbook Air every day to write about it. I have no answers to these ponderings today, so all these questions must be thrown into the rhetorical basket for now.

We board the plane and I finally feel like I can close my eyes and do a morning meditation… Three hours later I wake up. Damn it, I fell asleep straight away. Lorin Roche says that if sleep is lacking it will ALWAYS take priority over meditation, and why shouldn’t it? We need to sleep.

In fact, when I don’t sleep, I feel moody, slightly despondent, a little less intelligent and… constipated. In every way. My brain seems to clog up with dust and all the intake of thought sits there, undigested. Similarly, my skin seems to feel a little oily, like it is holding onto the pollution I am breathing and the food I am eating. My stomach, worst of all lacks the energy to do anything with the pancakes and hot chocolate I had for breakfast or the healthy quinoa salad and stuffed mushroom I have for lunch. We go shopping and I have forgotten my bottle of water so I wonder around the shops staring blankly at the clothing and shoes, coming home with only a soft white beanie. In my simple frame of mind, I am way too amused by the pom-pom on the beanie. After we shop, we walk down the pier on Manhattan beach, trying to feel some late afternoon fresh air. I have barely spoken all day, my mind just seems to be flashing with ERROR CODE: NO COMMENT. By late evening we just drink some wine and eat some cheese and I barely get through the end of the movie before I am asleep again. In the back of my mind, I know that I have not taken any time to meditate, but all I want to do is sleep.

Sleep and internet. The prerequisite and post requisite to each day of meditation. When I ask the internet what the importance of sleep is, it’s first answer is from Harvard, (a source synonymous with intelligence). This is what I am told by

  1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
  2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
  4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
  5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.
My own addition:
7. Meditation: Sleep will replace meditation, whether you like it or not.
This is where I have to let go of attachment and forgive myself. I did not succeed in meditation today, but tomorrow is another day.

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