I took an Intro to Meditation class at the local library tonight. I've meditated a bit in the past but wanted to get an overview of some of the different methods available. The class started at 7PM. The room was so heavy with patcholi incense that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to stay. My nose plugged up and my eyes watered, but I finally lost my sense of smell and then it was somewhat OK. But by 7:15 I had failed the course completely. My mellow was so thoroughly harshed that it's lucky I didn't hurt someone.
In what universe do you sign up for a 7PM MEDITATION course, show up 10-15 late and then enter the room, gabbing loudly on your cell phone, asking people to move so you and your equally tardy and talkative friend can sit together, and asking what you missed? And it wasn't just one or two people. It was about ten, one or two at a time, spaced in intervals that exactly matched when we'd just got calmed down from the last idiots that crashed the calm.
OK-So by 20 after we're all there. We start the first meditation which just requires quiet breathing and a check of your body from toes to the top of your head. This was all explained before we started. The teacher quietly and gently led the exercise starting at the toes....moving up the ankle...and the shins....only to be interrupted loudly by an old lady who screeched that she was deaf and couldn't hear the teacher. The teacher explained that it wasn't necessary to hear her. Just breathe and check in with your body starting with your toes and ending at the top of your head. We started again. All went smoothly for about 3 minutes until the old lady bellowed, 'Are you guys at your hips yet?!' Sigh.
We started the second exercise that the teacher explained to the class (and then more loudly to the elderly lady), that this one involved breathing and chanting 'ROM' in unison. Apparently there is a lot of confusion as to what 'in unison' meant which led to a cacophony of discordant'Rama-lama-ding-dongs' all over the room. Real calming.
The final exercise was to do a weird-a** fingernails-on-chalkboard noise three times (which over half of us refused to do-I must admit I was proud of us.) and then chant ROM three times each from the body center, our heart center, and our head center and then finish up in the body center again.. Of course over half of the group had no idea what that meant (oddly enough, the old lady caught right on the first time) so it was a 10 minute diatribe descibing the locations of the centers, then giggling at where the 'body center' is (below your belly button and between your hip bones. Hilarious.What are we 5 years old?) Then another 5 minutes to explain that these were really IMAGINARY spots and you couldn't identify them in an x-ray and no, the glowing orb of light that you were supposed to imagine there wouldn't show up either,
The fertilizer really hit the fan though when the teacher stated, "Make sure the last one you do is in the body center....because that's where you want to end up....you don't want to leave anything behind." Holy Carp! Pandemonium. That can happen?!?!?!?
I just looked at the lady beside me and said 'Glad I don't have to clean up after this tonight.'
'Yeah,' She said drolly, 'No ectoplasmic containment system.' Then we both said 'Who ya gonna call.' and laughed, The teacher gave us a pointed look. Yeah, Like, WE'RE your biggest problem! *Eye roll*
Based on tonight's experience, maybe meditation isn't for me. When the library has a MEDICATION seminar, I'll be the first to sign up...if I can beat the teacher to the front of the line.