By the third day of sesshin, the schedule, the silence of work practice, the energy of the other sitters in the Zendo, all lent itself to my mind turning inward.
At that point, my inward mind became strangely obsessed with swallowing. Yes, swallowing.
It’s one of those physical actions I never noticed until I sat for 3 days. When my mind finally became tired, it decided to focus on the inside of my mouth and the saliva that formed at the back of my throat. That saliva has to naturally go somewhere. So I found myself constantly swallowing and the more I focused on what seemed like my saliva endlessly collecting at the back of my throat, the more I needed to swallow. In a quiet Zendo, swallowing can be very loud.
I found myself becoming self-conscious, and then I began to hear other sitters swallow. What was going on? It was starting to drive me a bit batty. [Read more...]