As an unemployed worker in the time of Corona does, I have been ransacking my living quarters, rearranging, and purging random shit.
My quest for order and organization has been more Kafka-esque than Kondo-esque. Instead of explaining to most of my belongings that I no longer need them and thanking them for their service, I am now displaying more tchotkes than ever. I am joyously celebrating clutter and disorder, instead of joyous order and minimalism. Woops!
It’s like I am excavating ancient ruins, digging them up, and then finding them too precious to discard. Even though they had been forgotten about for years.
What does this have to do with meditation? Not much. But, my re-cluttering work led me down a deep rabbit hole through my Nostalgic Paper Relic Collection © (Laura Kaplan, 2020), where I found this little note I wrote after what was probably my first ever meditation:
I’ve meditated many times since the above was written, but there are only two other experiences I remember aside from this one. And these two are polar opposites of each other.
I was sitting down comfortably (possibly on my Wii Fit? ha), eyes shut, focusing on trying to bring my awareness to the space where my third eye resides. For me, that’s where I pluck away the hairs of my uni-brow.
My eyes remaining shut, I began to follow a purple light deep between my eyes. It swirled around, deep into what felt like the middle of my head. Suddenly, overwhelmed by its beauty, as if I had seen the entire universe at once, I wowed so much that it abruptly disappeared. Feeling dizzy, I slowly regained my normal consciousness. I tried to get “it” (whatever it was) back by meditating more, but it hasn’t shown itself again.
I don’t know about you, but for me, the story above is what I think of when I think of what meditation is “supposed” to be (plot twist: it’s not “supposed” to be anything).
If that’s the dream of meditation, then this next story is more like the nightmare:
My boyfriend lives within walking distance of a meditation center. He tried to get me to go there for a long time, but I resisted.
One day I changed my mind and decided to go to the “beginner’s meditation,” with him. He gave me the lowdown of how it works there, and explained that even if I messed up a little, and it was noticeable to others, they would laugh or forgive me for my silly, cute mistakes because they really wouldn’t harm anyone.
I probably should have tried to leave after the communal dinner, where we narrowly avoided having to drink ranch dressing flavored green tea as a way to cleanse out our salad bowls without waste.
After the dinner there was a meditation 101 type class, where the teacher said he wasn’t going to teach us how to sit properly in meditation. It turns out that was what I needed to learn the most.
There were a lot of rules.
I’m someone who actually likes rules, rituals, routines, etc, but as the night progressed and I learned more about this style of meditation, even I, a typical goody-two-shoes, was scared I would break them. The list of specific protocols we needed to follow kept getting longer. There was a certain way to chant, a particular way to move or cough so we didn’t bother others, even a specific way to wear and tie the robes they gave us.
When it came time to actually meditate, everything started out normal but quickly went awry. First I felt my feet start to get numb. Ok, I thought to myself, here’s where I’m supposed to move without making the tiniest disruptive sound. What was I supposed to do, again? Knowing how ungraceful I am with my body and forgetting what it was I was supposed to do, I made the decision to stay this way. Twenty five more minutes of this couldn’t be that bad, could it?
Well, by the time everyone was done meditating and began to stand up and walk out in unison. I tried to stand up. This was impossible. I had lost all circulation in my lower body. My boyfriend just stood behind me as everyone else left in an orderly fashion. I was able to put my legs out in front of me, and eventually regain feeling enough to stand and walk.
No one there laughed at me, thankfully. But this was not cute.
Now, I find the whole experience kind of comical. I hope you did too.
Do you have any funny meditation stories? Share them with me!