This is part of my meditation journal. See the first post for additional details.
All of the meditation on my own that I have been doing was in preparation for the class I took today, and, boy, was I glad I did! Today's class had very, very little instruction. It was guided meditation, but that guidance was minimal. There was little methodology learning, but it was still somewhat valuable. It was roughly the equivalent of taking an exercise class where the instructor assumes that you know how to do each exercise. Shinzen was just the motivational teacher keeping you focused and moving you on to the next exercise at the appropriate time.
This class definitely kept me meditating in longer sessions than I had done before; an hour and half session followed by another hour-long session. In between that was a break/self-practice time which, like yesterday, Shinzen encouraged you to meditate in motion, like when walking around or doing simple tasks, in order to take baby steps in extending Mindfulness into the rest of your life.
Anyway, for me, I impressed myself with how well I held the meditative, straight-back posture this time. While I was in the posture groove, I experienced an odd sensation that I have sometimes when I am drifting off to sleep. That sensation is the unreal perception of the body shrinking into nothingness while only the head remains. It was pretty fun to have that experience while I was fully awake and aware!
I think this odd sensation has to do with continuous, unchanging stimulation of the nerves. I think that they get so used to the feeling the same impulses that the brain starts to accept it as normal, like the ambient temperature. My guess is that this same tweak of perception could be useful in pain management.
As for hearing-focused meditation, I have been getting better at it, definitely. I can turn on accentuated hearing very easily, and that elevated sensitivity lasts well after the meditation session. Although, I think I could still use a lot more work in hearing the voices in my head. :-)
In the break, I tried meditating while washing dishes, and I actually had some moderate success.