Monday 11 March 2013

Meditation Techniques

Once again haven't done anything on the layout today, so here's some stuff.

Waiting in a box in the space underneath the baseboard is my pride and joy, Le Capitole.

My model is made by the Austrian firm, Roco

Marklin also make a model.
Here is a selection of le Capitole related images.

A train for the chic Parisian going south.

Going through Limoges

The locomotive is now kept in the Museum in Mulhouse, Alsace

A painting.

In Lego.

Lego too.
Die Schone Mullerin:

Purchased tickets for The Miller's Song, to be performed in April at the Conservatoire in Glasgow by Florian Boesch (baritone) and Malcolm Martineau (piano).

Here are extracts from the website notes:

"It is the classic Romantic tale: a passionate young man, smarting with disappointed love, jealous, enraged, distraught seeks escape from his pain on a journey that will take him far and wide, ultimately into the arms of oblivion.

"We know from his letters that Schubert himself was all too familiar with the pain and sorrow of love, and he channelled it nowhere more intensely than in his two song cycles, Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise. Florian Boesch and Malcolm Martineau have been exploring these works for years now and bring devastating drama and pathos, an unsettling, almost expressionist intensity to their interpretations. The Guardian called their Winterreise “Unquestionably superb…” "

They perform Winterreise, two days later at the City Halls.

When I saw James Gilchrist singing the cycle last year in Edinburgh, it was an eureka experience for me - completely converted me to lieder.

I'm curious to see how Florian Boesch compares. Our tickets are in the front row. I think that's crucial for such an intimate performance.

Martineau and Boesch
Last night's dinner:

I used to play squash with an Austrian academic. He was always hosting international events in Glasgow and I asked him if he ever invited the speakers to dine out with him in Glasgow. As it turned out, he took such visitors out quite frequently.

I was curious to see which Glasgow restaurants he deemed suitable for International guests. He listed a few that I'd heard of and finished by saying, " But for my wife and I, our favourite restaurant is without doubt, Pizza Express. We love it."

And that's where we were last night. Forgot to take photograph.

Cost per head? Approx £14.

Sauchiehall Street branch

Did a 30 minute stint yesterday. Nothing to report except that physically my cross-legged position is definitely improving.

Before today's stint I looked at articles on the internet about technique. I seem to remember from previous reading about meditation that breathing was considered a key element. Should one breath through the mouth or the nose or both or what? Also, should one  have one's eyes shut or open?

Transpires that there are mixed views on all these topics although there was general agreement that one should concentrate on the mechanics of the breathing.

Today I elected to keep my eyes shut for 30 minutes and breathe through the nose. I seem to have a naturally long drawn out and slow breathing rhythm. I maintained this habit and forced my mind to concentrate on the rims of my nostrils as the air passed in and out.

At first I found concentrating on each breath to be a chore but still managed to keep my mind focused on the physical sensations around the nostril area for pretty well the entire 30 minutes. I suppose the idea is that by concentrating on those physical sensations then one won't think about everyday thoughts.

As for  my eyes, I allowed them to open for a second at some point but other wise kept them shut.

I will make one observation. For the final 5, 6 , 7 minutes (I'm not sure for how long exactly) I felt faintly ecstatic. At least I was in a much lighter mood than I had been when I'd first crossed the legs half an hour earlier.


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