Day 5: Jewish Body Shop
Fuck the rules: from now on I’m taking 2 showers a day. I am bored. Another depressed morning after a restless sleep. Can’t believe I’m still less than halfway there.
“This too shall pass” keeps running through my head. In the morning meditation, as I’m scanning my body for sensation, the pain in my back and legs becomes intense, firy heat -- sharp firy pokers in my back, left leg on fire -- but I am less perturbed by it than I have been by pain in the days when the breath (rather than body sensation) was the object of meditation.
Starting at lunch, I leave my body for a while. My consciousness hangs 5 feet over my head, providing running commentary about my body’s activities. “Body is feeling a little cold.” “Body feels a little pain in its back.” “Body is eating fast.” “Mmm, body likes tomatoes. Oh, body!” ... The voice in my head is smug and vaguely Indian-sounding, which makes me feel brainwashed by Goenka. But the voice is also cute (“body” sounds a little like “buddy”). It’s an interesting feeling, like I’m watching my life on DVR. I wonder if it will stay this way. I wonder if I can do this trick when I’m in extreme pain later, I doubt it.
It’s a beautiful sunny day, and after lunch I sit in a chair and clip my toenails. Completely absorbed, calmly waiting for the other shoe to drop mood-wise. During the next sit, the shoe drops. My back is killing me. I feel like now I get it: the point of the whole experience is to endure physical pain. Feel like I’m torturing my inner crybaby (hopefully) to death.
I have the same plane crash dream again, with the belt tightening around my stomach and the accompanying wretching feeling. I look out the window of the plane and see a shop in the sky called “The Jewish Body Shop.” I realize it’s a dream but can’t do anything to change the scene or relieve myself of the wretching feeling, which persists for what feels like 45 minutes in the dream.
Edit the description to add:
- Historical context: the work's place in history, how it was received
- A summary of the work's overall themes (example: "Here, Byron evokes the classic struggle between virtue and temptation...")
- A description of the work's overall style and tone