Well! Got back on the horse yesterday, and it was interesting. I tried meditating on the subway on my way to work (didn’t go so well), I started Session B of Memory Master, and I switched over to doing the interwoven alphabet instead of writing it in reverse (which I can do perfectly well by now).
Meditating on the subway didn’t work so well, mostly because I was still trying to count stops until I reached Gou Wu Gong Yuan. I was still much calmer and more collected when I arrived, though, than when I left, so that counts for something.
As to Memory Master, now I remember why I shoved Sessions A and B together. 😛 They’re essentially the same lesson, taught in slightly different ways. I screwed up one or two entries on the fifteen-item shopping list, so I’m going to try again this morning. I also went ahead and memorized the lists of observation and concentration exercises out of my Petit Perception guide, which are shorter.
The interwoven alphabet (the A-Z B-Y pattern) was interesting. It seems to take me about thirty minutes to get through fifty lines of anything, so, since I have now pretty well memorized the alphabet backwards, I decided to do parts 2 and 3 of Exercise I instead. I felt the weird sensation again, like my brain was splitting in two and moving parallel, that I felt back in Yangshuo. But only when I was working it out, or going back to working it out. I would write A, Z, then focus on A and write the next letter (B), then focus on Z and write the next letter (Y)…and then I felt the brain shift. Later, I got distracted by the arrival of my hot chocolate, and did a few by rote. It felt different.
Also, you may want to try inflicting the room survey or an improvised Kim’s Game on your friends the next time you’re all sitting down to dinner or something. I did it to a few friends and students in my favorite bar last night, and it was great fun for all.