I’ve read tons of articles over the years discussing the benefits of daily meditation. Have I done more than think I should start meditating regularly? Yes. Kind of. Not really. Okay fine, other than a few random online videos, no!
I saw a listing for a meditation class and finally gave it a go. Since we’re being honest, there was also a discount involved and the studio was walking distance from my apartment meaning no excuses this time.
There were ten students present. The instructor started by asking each of us what our meditation experience was followed by a series of deep breathing exercises.
Afterwards had us lay down (on yoga mats) and turned off the lights. Whenever I ask myself not to do “something” I tend to do the opposite and overdo that very “something.” In this case, thinking! A brainstorm of nonsense ensued.
“What should I have for dinner tonight? Sushi? Indian? Pizza? I should diet. I should really just cook. Maybe I’ll start watching Narcos tonight. Did I email that woman back? Wait, is my gig tomorrow or the day after? Ok, I need to be focusing on one thing to help my brain relax. One thing. Inner peace starts with one thing. Umm….chocolate sounds good. What should I have for dinner tonight?”
About fifteen minutes later my thoughts stopped spinning and I relaxed. The instructor struck what sounded like a cross between a small gong and a grandfather clock to mark the end of our meditation. Once we were all sitting he adjusted the lights and asked, “do you feel more relaxed?”
Most shook their heads yes. However, one woman said she had a difficult time focusing because someone was snoring loudly. We all agreed with her. Wait, but I didn’t hear any snoring! I didn’t even remember much from the last hour! Was I the boisterous freedom snorer?
I then had a flashback to a life lesson from my Dad. (Insert thick Italian New York accent here.) “Remember these three words. Deny, deny, deny! Never say anything without our family lawyer. He’s half Italian, half Jewish and makes offers you can’t refuse!” Yup, this talk happened right after we all watched The Godfather for the twentieth time.
My verdict on meditation class is that it’s not really worth attending regularly. I basically paid to take a nap with a group of strangers who didn’t appreciate the soothing sounds of my nasal passages. However, I do think that it’s important to have a guided meditation otherwise it’s very difficult to stay focused.
I decided to do the best of both worlds and meditate with Deepak Chopra Center’s guided meditation series. Oprah even recommended it and when she speaks, American people listen. Each audio link is approximately 20 minutes, free of charge and you can do it whenever and wherever. So far, so good!
Oprah and Deepak (or Deeprah as I now call them) also created a new 21 day meditation experience, Creating Peace from the Inside Out: The Power of Connection. In case you want to join, it starts this Halloween. I’m considering going to see Boo (the new Madea film) with my boo then mediate abooot it. That just sounded really Canadian, eh?!