When I think of yoga, I often think meditation. So after my first yoga class, I eagerly set off to Shove Chapel for a Zen meditation group. Granted the actual story is eclipsed by the fact that my purse, electronics, business and identity were taken, the actual experience was beautiful (and again I found myself emotional responsive to it).
I joke with Tab that I would love to be/should be a monk (and its true, I’m a bit envious of monks). Plus, meditation is the bottom of our lifestyle pyramid. How many of us actually do it? Myself included. Maybe we feel guilty for taking the time to do ‘nothing’, we thin its pointless. We don’t know how. Or my favorite: we don’t have time. We have all kinds of excuses but the truth is:
WE ARE STRESSED AND IT’S KILLING US!
We truly underestimate the power of stress. We’ll tediously analyze a diet and restrict, restrict, restrict or exercise, exercise, exercise, but not lose weight. Why? Health is a dynamic (notice the emphasis on this week?), but stress is huge to this. Think of those who suffer tragedy or loss and then a chronic disease shows up. It feeds the likes of cancer and heart disease.
So I set off to unstress and Be on Monday. Meeting the receptive group, I took my place on a cushion, crossed my legs and elongated my spine. Familiar with mindfulness, Liz explained they like to explore a vastness: cool I can that! When a thought comes (because they will), see them like clouds and let them float away.
So I sat and the thoughts came (think this genius mind shut off easily?), but rally I don’t remember what they were, nor did I entertain them. There were moments of light, but also darkness enveloping me, letting me float in this vastness. Then we get up and walk for 5 minutes (note: wiggle toes before trying to get up, as I had to bring up the caboose because I would have face-planted if I tried to walk initially). Walking as one unit, like an invisible rope links us together to move as one entity. Another cushion session for an additional 25 minutes and we ended with a guest chaplain Ken Zen (which I don’t need to elaborate on, but the whole experience was magical).
I’m not trying to push Buddhism or religion, nor suggesting that you spend hours meditating. I do think methods to de-stress are not just a recommendation, but a MUST (like brushing your teeth). Meditation is a great way to do this. Maybe a couple of minutes a day at first. Steal 3 minutes in the morning when you wake up or th last four before you drift off into dreams. Meditate in your own way on your own time. Suggested reading (and another plug this week) would be Dr. Dyer’s Into the Gap.
I found the experience to be releasing. I felt free and light afterwards (maybe because I wasn’t weighed down with thoughts? Lucky for the thief I was in such a state of mind?). I felt fresh and recharged. Who knew doing ‘nothing’ could be so positive? More to come on the Power of Silence later this week!