Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Meditation 101

Meditation. I need this. I should learn how to do this. It would be good for me. I can tell, by my complete inability to follow through on any one thought, task or sentence (in fact I had to come back and finish this uncompleted sentence that I left dangling on my first write through).

The chatter in my head is driving me batty. The guilt, the fear and simply the overwhelmed state of my thoughts is running rampant within my thoughts and I'm stuck. Thankfully I'm emptying closets (slowly) so I have something to account for all of my spare time lately. But honestly? If someone was to ask me what I have accomplished lately, I think all I really have to say is "I have been thinking".

So I enrolled in Oprah and Deepak Chopra's 21 Day Meditation Experience yesterday morning. It was an interesting experiment.

Number 1 - If you have cats, you cannot meditate. Unless they are fast asleep. Do cats ever sleep soundly?

I shall set the stage. I sat down in the living room and set my gaze upon a street light outside. Just get yourself into a trance and lose yourself was my mantra. Sit, gaze, listen, declutter my brain.

Then I heard a cat. It sounded like Jet was eating the fresh roll of toilet paper I just brought out (his favorite). I paused the meditative state and raced to the bathroom. Jet wasn't attacking the toilet paper. He was playing in the "cat toy drawer". It doesn't matter. Let it go. These were my first mantras of the morning.

So I sat down again and pressed "Play".

A few calm moments later, I realized I needed to make an urgent trip to the bathroom myself. I paused again. On my way back to the couch, I thought "This is interesting and relaxing. I'll just grab my coffee ..."

I curled up on the couch with my coffee in hand and set my gaze upon that streetlight once again. Now I was ready to be still and "meditate". Then Deepak told me to get comfortable because "this" was when we were going to start to meditate.

I rustled around on the couch and missed everything he said while all this noise was going on in and around my head. Okay. I was ready. I would just rewind the video and start from a few minutes prior. But the video wouldn't let me rewind. What?!! I guess that is lesson #1 - when meditating, there is no need to rewind. Because you are still. And quiet. And in a hypnotic state. And you can't move yourself out of your comfortable spot. Because you are in the zone.

I tuned back in when Deepak was telling me what to chant in my head as I sat still and emptied my brain of thought. "Aham Prema". He told me what these words meant "I am love". These are my thoughts that followed:

Okay. Aham Prema. Aham Prema. Aham Prema, breathe, listen to my breath, breathe deeply ... What does that mean again? I can't remember. What was I supposed to be chanting in my mind again? I can't remember. How do I stop thinking? I didn't hear what he told me. I can't rewind. I can't remember the mantra. What are the cats doing? What do I need to be doing? I'm missing Kelly's radio show ...

The end. I give up. I can't do this, this morning. I can't stop the flow of words and they won't let me rewind the tape. How unfair! I quit!

Then I tuned into my nephew's new radio show and lived a very distracted morning as I blogged, checked my banking transactions, rechecked my budget, wondered about my financial future, pondered some financial forecasts, blogged some more, laughed a little as my nephew tickled my funny bone, checked out a few blogs, returned to my own blogging, made coffee, watched the cats at play, made more coffee and basically had the most un-meditative kind of morning ever.

This morning, I woke up at about 4:15 a.m. and felt pretty wakeful. It was too early to get up so I had a brainwave. I brought the computer into my room, turned on Oprah and Deepak's meditation series again and tried very hard.

This was working! I woke up the cats when I ran to get the computer but as I nestled back into bed, so did they. Jet snuggled in at my feet; Ray at my side. They cat napped and I listened to Oprah and Deepak's calm, relaxing voices and tried very, very hard to follow their instructions. There was no need to rewind because I got comfortable before I pressed "Play". I just sat and listened and breathed and tried to remember the mantra (I keep forgetting those words). Suddenly, I was back where I was yesterday morning.

What was I supposed to be chanting? What does it mean? What is the centering thought? What did they say? Why am I thinking? Why can't I stop .... breathe. In ... out ... focus on breathing ... deep breaths ... in ... out .... ... .... ...

Then I woke up when Deepak chimed his bell or whatever it was that he said he was going to do to signal the end of our meditation.

Does meditation count if you sleep through it? How do you turn off your thoughts? What was our centering thought of the day again? Did I hear anything? Why can't I remember??

Just ask me about the vivid dream I had just before I woke up before all of this meditation this morning. I remember it well. I was being robbed and I was very calm as I tried to help the perpetrators of the crime. I tried to humanize myself and them and I talked oh, so calmly. I handled it like a champ.

But do I know what Oprah and Deepak told me to focus on today? I need a workbook to go along with the meditation. Words alone do not penetrate the protective layer of words, thoughts, worries and guilt. I need to be fully engaged. I need to sit still, read, write notes and answer questions. Then I'm ready to absorb the words I have been given.

Do I need this? I think so. I think this state of quiet mindlessness and not thinking in words will help to centre me and still the chaos in my mind.

How do I accomplish this feat set out before me? I will Google that. There must be a place where I can read, write and interact with some information that teaches me how to still my mind. Maybe yoga is where it is at for me.

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