Last night we started talking more about meditation. Grant led us through the experience. He had us come to a comfortable seated position, preferable seated up on something so our knees could be lower than our hips. Hand on thighs, and eyes closed. I was really looking forward to learning and practicing meditation as I have always been drawn to it, and my brother had practiced with a lot of positive results.
I was most worried about how I was going to quiet my mind and tame my thoughts. The one thing I really do love about myself is that I’m able to have such a vivid imagination, and I think a lot. As we grow older the mind can slip away so I am very thankful for the fact that I am able to enjoy it now. However, it does have its perils. Sometimes I think too much, and sometimes I can’t concentrate. It’s taken me a good 7 months to finally get a hold on my mind while practicing yoga. I use to be completely in my head. Thinking about my day, good or bad, problems, what I was going to do after yoga. I’ve learned to simply BE THERE in the moment and believe that the most important thing RIGHT THEN was me, and my body. I thought meditation would be the same. I knew it would be something I needed to work on...but this was VERY traumatic and had me saying “I NEVER want to do this again!”
We closed out eyes as Grant walked us through. His voice is very easy to listen to. At some points it was SO quite it made me want to start laughing...I quickly pulled it together because I didn’t want to be THAT girl. After about a minute of Grant talking us through, he stopped talking and it was silent. Probably the most silence I’ve ever witnessed. He mentioned to us that if thoughts come up, let them, but don’t chase after them. Acknowledge they’re there and focus on your breathing. Nothing was coming up for me, I wasn’t thinking about anything other than breathing. This was great! I was doing it....until panic erupted inside me. My body got tense, I was clawing my thighs and had to keep reminding myself to relax. My eyes HURT, I wanted to scream! I was so tense I got the worst head ache. I couldn’t focus on my breath and I think I was even holding it at some points. I felt completely trapped. Trapped in my own body?? Wanting to scream? Was this right? This is meditation??
Every time I relaxed I felt as if I was being pulled away. I had to keep twitching my toes and clawing at myself to make sure I was still there. I was so scared. Scared of what though? I knew I was safe, I wasn’t going anywhere, I chose to be there...but I couldn’t seize that notion.
I think we stayed in for about 5 minutes , maybe? To me it felt like forever. I couldn’t wait to open my eyes. Right after this I had to do a presentation in front of the class about the God I was assigned “Ganesha” and then lead the class in a warm up flow. I KNEW I wasn’t myself, but tried to ignore it and move on. Afterwards...I broke down. I talked to my friends about it, and being as amazing and supportive as they are, they were ALL there for me. What I didn’t know is that Lindsey suffers from the same thing too. We’re looking forward to being able to support each other down the road.
I remembered something my Aunt told me about triggers. Maybe this was one of mine? However I can’t (at the moment) think of any triggers closing my eyes would bring up. Or even anything to do with meditation.
After speaking with Grant after class I felt better. He told me that he was proud of me for staying with it, even though I was uncomfortable and in distress. He told me that I WAS in fact meditating...but to remember not to try SO hard. Just let it be. These things take time to develop. Maybe keeping my eyes open would be beneficial for me to start, and working from there. I know I’m a strong woman, and I know eventually I will overcome this. I need to remember it’s not about “getting it” that’s important, it’s that over time with self-belief, tradition and just the motivation to be in the present moment I will get there, where ever and whatever works for me.
...Learn to be its master and not its slave.