My goal of mastering meditation started to slip but after reading a recent article recently that promises that regular meditation increases immunity, emotional balance and sex life I decided I was keen to take my meditation goal to the next level despite the fact I kept avoiding any dedicated classes with all manner of excuses. Then my trusty friend Gill (the one who cornered me into the Bikram Yoga experience) calls and asks if I am keen to try out the 1 hour meditation class at the local Well Being Centre. We laugh nervously and decide its a great idea.
We turn up like giggling school girls and notice the serious face everyone else in the room is wearing. About 10 of us sit in a circle, around a single candle, holding a blanket each . The room is warm and dark lit by a few scattered candles and lamps - it feels slightly gothic. This is heightened when we are all instructed to hold hands, close our eyes and feel the energy flow. I suddenly panic that this is more of a hippy healing class than meditation and to lighten my mood start to slowly rub my thumb over the top of Gill's hand in a caressing circular movement. I find this fucking hilarious and use every bit of strength I have not to burst into a fit of laughter. I can feel Gill convulses next to me and know she is fighting the same battle. I’m not sure if it was holding in the hilarity, the panic or the actual energy but I start to get extremely hot, like boiling hot and sweaty. I am grateful when we break the circle and I can take off my sweater and recompose myself!
We are then further instructed to lie down with a large rounded pillow under our heads and knees and place our blankets over us to get nice and cosy – now this bit I like, it reminds me of being at Girl Guide camp many years ago settling down for a large communal sleepover. Its peaceful and silent when my stomach decides to makes a loud rumble sound, I cringe and pray that it stops, I do not want to humiliate myself by being the one person who uncontrollably disrupts everyone else’s quiet time.
The meditator has a very quiet voice and at first I struggle to hear him but when I manage to tune into his words I follow them intently. He tells us to imagine that we are covered in white light, then green on top of the white, then a purple light on top of the green light and then suddenly I am falling into darkness. The jolts from the falling sensation brings me back to the room where I hear the mediator inform us to pick up our glowing sword and smash down all the blocks we just built….. I'm confused I dont remember any building blocks I am concerned I may have just fallen asleep and missed some of the journey. I am now back in a conscious state and midfully holding a glowing sword but not sure what bricks I am supposed to be smashing, I look around in my created dream world (not quite inception and check but Leonardo DiCaprio is definable not there) and imagine a pile of blocks and charge at them "break them all" he tells us “insecurity, jealousy, resentment… smash them all down”. I have no idea what he is talking about so walk around with my sword and pretend I am Shearer. A few minutes later I realize I must have drifted into my subconscious again as he asks us all to bring awareness back to ourselves and back to the room. We sit upright and he asks if anyone would like to share their experience. One ladies openly tells us that when she became a tree, and her roots embedded deep into the earth, her grounding felt so significant that hundreds of colours flashed before her eyes. I am very confused. Another lady says being a tree made her feel like never before, like her feet are firmly on the ground finally and then she starts laughing manically, the instructor encourages her to laugh further until we are all laughing - some awkwardly, some like they are having the time of their lives. I have no idea what the hell is going on – I do not remember trying to be a tree.
The mediator smiles at me a few times, I think how friendly and welcoming he is. We then all hold hands and stare at the candle in the center and for about 5 minutes we will the flame to get bigger - it doesn’t. We stare at the candle and look for a purple light, I think I see it. We then breathe our energy at the candle and he says a prayer to mother nature and father sky at which point Gill and I exchange confused looks and get up to leave.
As we walk to the car I check the time – what a rip off $10 and we were only there 45 minutes. Gill admits she didn't quite 'get the class' and I confess that I thought it was less about quietening the mind and a little cult like. I also sheepishly admit that I may have fallen asleep twice. Suddenly Gill is in hysterics. She knows I was asleep because she could hear me - apparently I WAS SNORING!! I am assured that everyone else in the class would have definitely heard too. The instructor wasn’t smiling at me because he’s friendly – he was grimacing at me because I snored through his entire meditation. I am mortified. I ask about being a tree. Apparently the tree section went on for at least 10 minutes but I missed the entire thing because I was asleep! I joke and say maybe I should ask for half my money back considering I was only present for half the class! We laugh all the way back to the car. When I get home I am further horrified when I check my watch and realize the class wasn’t 45 minutes long. It was an hour and 45 minutes! I dread to think how long I was actually asleep and how much I likely disturbed everyone’s meditation. I am slightly mortified.
Despite my horror though I did feel a sense of calmness (probably because I had an hours nap) so have concluded that it wasn’t a complete disaster and as with Bikram I should try at least once more – and attempt to remain conscious this time – to decide if it really was as weird as I remember.