Being new to the area, and currently unemployed, I have more time on my hands than anyone should. So I joined a Meditation Meetup group that was held at a nearby library. I had never been to a Meditation group before. My closest experience with meditation was reading Liz Gilbert’s, Eat, Pray, Love. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew for certain was that with all of the recent changes in my life, a little meditation might be nice.
Nervous and running a few minutes late (an ongoing theme in my life) I scurried down a long hallway of an unfamiliar library until I found the room. I was a little disappointed as I walked into the room. I’m not sure what exactly I thought I would find; maybe a bunch of bald men wearing orange robes and Birkenstocks; carrying flowers and unable to speak because they all just took an oath of silence (which would make the guided meditation interesting). Or maybe I thought there would be a bunch of young, unkempt college students with long dirty hair, wearing tie died tee-shirts and sandals: a flag with a marijuana leaf and a peace sign would be hanging on one of the walls. Either cliché would have freaked the hell out of me but it would be much more interesting than what I actually found.
The room I entered was an average-sized room suitable for a small class. Next to the doorway was a rectangular table with a CD player on it. A soothing mantra was playing. Eight chairs were placed in a small circle around the room. The group leader, a nice lady wearing casual business attire sat in the center chair at the head of the room. Four other individuals, all middle-aged were wearing either casual or business casual attire were scattered in various chairs. No one individual actually sat next to another. I took my seat – the closest one to the door just in case this group got their freaky on.
The group leader began by asking everyone to go around the room and say their name. Oh boy! My favorite thing ever! I love it when instructors make you do that! It gives me another opportunity I don’t need to say something stupid and embarrass myself. Yippee!
Everyone in the circle had a history of meditation and either wanted to make it more of a habit or wanted additional guidance for the process. Then there’s me; the virgin. I don’t really know what to say and before I know this escapes from my mouth:
“Hi there. My name is Allison and I’ve never actually meditated before but I’ve had a lot of recent change. Over the past three years I’ve been divorced, moved across country, changed careers. Then three weeks ago I moved across country again, remarried and now I’m in the process of changing careers again. And boy oh boy, if there was ever a time to start meditating now would be as good as any to start ’cause I think I’m a nut case.”
Silence. Complete and utter silence. There wasn’t one snicker or giggle.
Did I say something stupid? ‘Cause I was going for funny. Really. I know I suffer from open-mouth-insert-foot syndrome but I don’t think I did that. Did I?
Finally after an unbearable minute and a half the group leader spoke up.
“Okay everyone. Now it’s time for our guided meditation.”
“Everyone close your eyes. Feet flat on the floor, Ladies. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Let all of you anger go.”
Wow. I’m actually feeling relaxed. It’s like I can feel a pressure holding me against my stomach and I’m being forced to relax.
“Forget about your day. Take deep breaths.”
I need a job. I wonder where I’m gonna end up working. Maybe I should get a copy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I wonder if my mom has a subscription to that.
“Let all of the negative thoughts go. Just release the negative energy all together.”
My ex-husband is such a dumbass. I really hope he has his shit together now.
“Make a decision that you’re not going to have any negative thoughts at all. And breathe. Deep breaths.”
Get rid of my shoes. I can’t believe I actually let that asshole tell me that there was a limit to the number of shoes that I could buy with the money that I EARNED BECAUSE HE COULDN’T BOTHER TO GET OFF HIS LAZY BUTT AND GET A JOB!
Is my blood pressure supposed to raise during meditation. I don’t think I’m doing this right.
“Replace all of your negative thoughts with positive thoughts as you continue to slowly inhale and exhale.”
Oh. It’s happy thoughts time. Let’s see. What would make me happy? A book deal. Winning the lottery. Never having to pay taxes again. Did my husband file his tax return? I should ask him about that later. Wait…..what day is today? Did he have PT this morning? He might be in bed by the time I get home. Maybe I’ll just send him a text message.
Shit. I’m supposed to be thinking happy thoughts. Um…..My husband! He’s so hot! I can’t wait to have his babies.
Then there was silence…well the mantra was still playing in the background but our group leader was quiet.
She’s probably much better at meditating then I am. Partially because she’s the group leader and partially because she’s been doing it for like a hundred and twenty thousand years.
When it was time to open our eyes I felt like I had been sleeping even though I know I was awake. I felt both relaxed and frustrated. Frustrated because I couldn’t clear my mind. Frustrated because it would be another month before this group would meet again. I want to believe that I’m going to go home and practice meditating everyday, but I know that for the next four weeks I’ll spend everyday at home thinking, “I should meditate today. I’ll do it after Charmed. Charmed is over. I’ll do it later. Mom’s home. Dinner time. I’ll do it after I clean the kitchen. Bedtime. I’ll do it tomorrow.”