Last night I took a step towards one of the goals I have listed – getting better at meditation.
I knew I needed help with bettering my practice and finding a way to quiet the chatter. The cycle of thoughts usually seems to be never ending. I can have layers of thoughts. I can have a whole conversation in my head while trying to do something else. Atleast what those thoughts entail has improved lately.
You try to sit in a comfortable position in a calm, quiet place. Pay attention to your breathing. Maybe recite something to help you focus like number, “in and out”, or a mantra. Inevitably it ends up going something like this:
Breathe. In and out. In and out. I wonder what I should make for dinner tonight? I need to cook that chicken in the fridge. No, back to center. In and out. In and out. I really need to get an oil change soon. I think I’m about 3,000 miles over. I could take it to….Stop. In and out. In and out. Wasn’t that funny the other day when you…Quiet! Please. In and out. In and out. My butt kinda hurts.Fine! I’ll go make dinner.
Liz Gilbert put it best in Eat, Pray, Love :
“My thoughts have become like old neighbors, kind of bothersome but ultimately rather endearing – Mr. and Mrs. Yakkity-Yak and their three dum children, Blah, Blah, and Blah”
I’d like to be able to ask my neighbors to go home so I can have some space to myself. Space to myself in my own head. It really doesn’t seem like so much to ask, but it’s harder than it sounds.
My unofficial research indicates that the monkey chatter is the ego that doesn’t want to let go, too much clutter in the life, resistance to letting go, etc. Great, I know what it is, but how do I fix it? I decided I needed someone else to show me. Reading books and websites wasn’t getting me very far. On a whim I check out meetup.com. Imagine my shock when I found a group that meets right up the street from me! If that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is.
The leader of the group is an instructor with the Oneness University. The group meets every week in a comfortable quiet place in his home to meditate together and offer blessings for awakening of the mind. That sounded nice.
To be honest, I almost chickened out as I walked up the street in the cold. I felt silly. I’m not good at discussing or taking part in spiritual stuff. I told myself “Too bad. You’re going in. You can handle anything for an hour. And if you don’t like it, you don’t have to go again.”
As expected everyone was very nice and welcoming. Older, but nice. After introductions and a brief explanation we began our meditation as a group lead by the instructor. I still had some of the wandering thoughts, but they weren’t as obnoxious. It was like being rubbed by denim instead of sand paper. The blessing portion is hard to explain, especially since it was my first time receiving it, but I felt it made a difference. Afterwards everything felt calmer. Less cacophonous. While walking home the stars seemed a little brighter. Like a big breath had blown the whispy clouds out of the way while I had been inside.