Monday, 13 December 2010

Project update: Wisdom, Chariots and Living like a Mystic


Just over a month ago I started a project to do a meditation to gain wisdom. Not long after that I started another project to read through my academic book collection on Merkavah and Hechalot (Chariot and Heavenly Halls) literature.

I was really quite excited. Finally starting a structured meditation with a fixed duration that I’d hoped would give me a quantum leap forward in my understanding and practice of Kabbalah.

Also whilst I’d come across references to Merkavah and Hechalot literature in numerous places, I was hoping that reading the academic literature would give a grounding in a Merkavist’s worldview. Who knows, perhaps I’d even end up living in a cave in the desert eating only bread and drinking water, praying and meditating all day? Well according to legend this is what Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and his son did for 13 years to escape from the Romans

Well the good news is that the completion date for 40 days for Wisdom is coming up on Tuesday 23rd December 2010 and I’ve not missed a day yet. Also on the research front, I’ve read 314 pages out of an expected 200 to date to reach the overall target of 2169 pages. So that means progress is at 14%, with the expected progress to date being 9%.

The other news is that since Saturday night I have only eaten bread and drunken water and spent my wakeful time in prayer or meditation. However this is not because I have been transformed from project-manager-and-armchair-occultist to Merkavah mystic. Rather this is because I spent a good portion of Saturday night being ill and almost all of Sunday in bed trying to recover.

So like any true Project Manager who has time and inclination to focus on the CHECK part of plan-do-check-act. Here’s the likely list of reasons for how my diet has become like that of a mystic without the rest of my life following suit:

  1. Winter bug
  2. Food poisoning
  3. Delay in Hochmah meditation
  4. End of Supernatural
  5. Giving notice at work

1. The winter bug comes around annually around now. Some years it passes me by and some years I get hit worse than most. It’s quite common for me to spend a few days in December ‘hibernating’, sleeping up to 15 hours per day.

2. Unfortunately at times I have a rather sensitive stomach. My siblings all seem to have cast iron stomachs, so I lost out on this quality in the genetic lottery.

3. So normally I do the Hochmah meditation before morning prayers. My mind is often quite calm then without any build up of emotions during the day. Due to unforeseen circumstances I had to delay this meditation until after lunch. Masaru Emoto http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaru_Emoto has done experiments on emotions on the structure of water and since this meditation involves drinking a glass of water at the end – well I’ll let you fill in the blanks.
(image courtesy of CW Print Creative)

4. After several years I’ve finally got to the last episode of season 5 in the TV series Supernatural. I’m not sure how that might be related to being violently sick every half hour on Saturday night except perhaps some emotional release that I have yet to fully grasp.

5. So after half a year of knowing job cuts are coming at work, the new organization structure is finally being rolled out. Although there is no voluntary redundancy this time, the option is available to let it be known that you’d rather be left out of the new organization structure.

Since I’ve been at the company and its parent company for half my working life, now seems as good a time as any to move on and expand my experience as a project manager. On Saturday afternoon I finally made the decision to ask to be made redundant and I think that it really hit me on Saturday night. Gordon mentions a similar experience of feeling of release when he stopped using his branded Oyster Card holder. My body’s reaction to deciding to leave the company has been… well let’s just say that I feel detoxed.

In summary, the meditation is on track and due to finish on the 23rd. The reading is going well. I’ve already started eating and drinking like a mystic (bread and water) and I feel cleaner inside. I just hope that my next epiphany will be a bit gentler.