“The music is in effect telling us about a future existence in which love and cooperation have placed strife and oppression. Once we have achieved a glimpse of that future state, our present mode of life becomes increasingly intolerable: who could be satisfied with prison after having breathed the sweet air of true freedom?”
Frank Kofsky

Coltrane - The Story of a Sound

Flat Sensations

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2 day ago I started doing some more programming on new features for FEM. Whenever I start programming my days get longer and I spend more time at the computer then I usually do (which is also more then I would like to admit). I also feel that my energy changes, my patience changes and my body stiffens up.

This morning after only 2 days of programming I sat down for a short meditation and in it I experienced what a profound affect this has on me. One word that really stuck in my mind was flat. I felt flat, my sensations were flat – kind of like listening to a wonderful high fidelity sound system, but from another room with a door closed and some people talking in the background.

A prominent sensation is that my thoughts are traveling fast between many ideas and lingering longer on each idea. This is different from “regular meditation noise” – where my thoughts will wander aimlessly and cling to fears & petty issues. When I am programming I have many ideas in my head, features, ideas, technical challenges, design, etc. My mind is actively engaged in them even when I am away from the computer. Sure I know how to “turn it off”, but as long as I am in the programming “period” there is a different quality to mind.

Then there came to me the sensations of hearing and my own voice. My hearing seems to be … well flat… tones are less rounded, the sound is more mechanic, less embracing. When I did some chanting my voice seemed to have similar qualities – only this time it wasn’t just the sound. I felt as if the sound was coming from a shallow source instead of a deeper sensation I am used to. The resonance of the sounds inside me was also thinner and has much less body.

So I took action. I spent the first few hours of the day in the garden. I collected leaves we use for brewing tea from the plants around the house, collected them into bundles and hung them to dry. Some grounding to complement the abstract programming work that lies ahead.

dryingleaves

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